El Nuevo Día recently reported that C.J. García won the El Barco de Vapor Children’s Literature prize for his book Buen viaje, Kekái. [As soon as we find a photo of the book cover, information on the illustrator, and a link for more information, we will share.]
Kekái is a coquí frog born in Hawaii, persecuted for singing in the middle of the forest. If someone manages to catch him, it will be the end, as it has happened to his parents and friends. But while he discovers his true origin, he undertakes the adventure of arriving to the country where his song is venerated, Puerto Rico.
This is, broadly speaking, the story behind “Buen viaje Kekái,” the winning book of the eleventh edition of the El Barco de Vapor Children’s Literature Prize—by Puerto Rican writer, editor and musician C.J. García—recently announced by the SM Foundation.
According to the writer, the idea for the story arose when he visited a house that his family had in Cayey. When he was going to open the door, there was a coquí “sitting” on the padlock. “It looked like it was on a swing, the little guy was sitting there and he did not move. From that day on, I wanted to write about these little animals that are ours, but approaching them from another perspective,” he recalls.
[. . .] He also highlights that the book—aimed at children from ages 7 to 12, “although an adult can also read and enjoy it”—is beautifully illustrated. “In these days, when so many people are leaving the country, a text about returning to Puerto Rico is especially significant,” the author adds.
[Translated by Ivette Romero. See original, in Spanish, at https://www.elnuevodia.com/entretenimiento/cultura/nota/triunfaaventuradelcoquikekai-2417672/]