We’re celebrating the bilingual Book Birthday for
ISABEL AND HER COLORES GO TO SCHOOL
by Alexandra Alessandri, Illus. Courtney Dawson, Sleeping Bear Press–
and there’s a #GIVEAWAY –details below.
We first chatted with Alexandra here,
about the release of her debut picture book,
FELIZ NEW YEAR, AVA GABRIELA!
We’re super-excited to ask her five questions about
ISABEL AND HER COLORES GO TO SCHOOL:
- Q 1. What was the inspiration for ISABEL AND HER COLORES GO TO SCHOOL?
Alexandra Alessandri: Isabel and Her Colores Go to School was inspired by my experience of starting school in New York. My home was a Spanish-only space, so I knew very little English when I started kindergarten, and because of this, I misunderstood my teacher and literally got lost in the hallways! While Isabel’s story is different, I did channel that sense of feeling lost because of language barriers.
Q 2. I love that this book is bilingual. What Spanish word(s) would Isabel use to describe her first experience at school?
Alexandra Alessandri: Isabel would say her first experience at school was sorprendente—surprising!
Q 3. Were there any surprises that your illustrator Courtney Dawson brought to the book?
Alexandra Alessandri: I don’t know that I would call it a surprise, but I love how Courtney captured the colors and swirls of sounds that Isabel hears. There’s something magical in those illustrations and how they capture Isabel’s emotional state so perfectly.
Advice for others on this #kidlit journey:
Q 4. Do you have any advice for pre-published Alexandra, and readers who might also be beginning, not-yet-published #kidlit writers?
Alexandra Alessandri: Keep your eyes on your own journey. It’s so easy to look around you and compare your journey with that of others, to minimize your successes—and sometimes, the lack thereof—by others’ standards, but that is counterproductive in the end.
Q 5. What do you hope readers will take away from ISABEL AND HER COLORES GO TO SCHOOL?
Alexandra Alessandri: I hope they take away how important it is to extend kindness to someone in need. Even a small gesture, like welcoming someone new, can make the world of a difference.
Happy Book Birthday to ISABEL… & Alexandra Alessandri
Spread the word about this fabulous back-to-school book!
To learn more about Alexandra Alessandri and her books,
check out her web site: alexandraalessandri.com and follow her on
We’ll be back soon with Book Birthday celebrations for
Katelynn Aronson’s CLOVIS KEEPS HIS COOL
and Lindsay Bonilla’s I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEARTS
Felicitaciones, Alexandra and Courtney!
This bilingual book looks so beautiful! I have been an ESL teacher for 9 years, and I had a baby this summer (he’s almost 2 months old). I am trying my best to teach him Spanish, even though it’s not my first language. I really want him to be able to build bilingual friendships, like Sarah and Isabel do! I sing to him every day in Spanish, and I also want him to have a lot of bilingual books. He has several already, but I’m always looking for more. I am even trying to write bilingual picture books myself!