hotTEAs of Children’s Literature: Duncan Tonatiuh

Duncan Tonatiuh is an award-winning author-illustrator. His work is inspired by the ancient art of Mexico, particularly that of the Mixtec codex. His aim is to create images and stories that honor the past, but that are relevant to children nowadays. (Pictured here with his 9-month-old daughter Vida.)



☕ HOT OFF THE PRESS: Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras (Abrams, 2015) and Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation (Abrams, 2014). Forthcoming: The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes (Abrams, October 2016) and Esquivel!: Space-Age Sound Artist, written by Susan Wood (Charlesbridge, September 2016).


☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOK: Salsa: Un poema para cocinar/A Cooking Poem, written by Jorge Argueta (Groundwood Books, 2015).

Visit Duncan Tonatiuh’s Official Website

☕☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: Check out this video where Duncan expresses thanks for the Sibert Medal and Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor he was awarded earlier this year for Funny Bones.


☕☕☕ CAN’T GET ENOUGH: Duncan chats with Viviana Hurtado from last summer’s Lunchtime Author Google Hangout. He talks about Funny Bones, how he got his first book contract with Abrams, and shares thoughts about creating diverse books for young readers in today’s publishing climate.


☕☕☕☕ STILL THIRSTY: More Vida cuteness!


Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

4 thoughts on “hotTEAs of Children’s Literature: Duncan Tonatiuh

  1. Thanks so much for featuring him! I didn’t know about him but definitely want to find his books, especially Separate Is Never Equal. And what adorable pictures with his baby!


    1. Yes, Vida is TOO adorable! Hooray for CuTEAs!! Hope you read some of of Duncan’s books soon. He’s so very talented; love his distinctive style.


  2. Aha! We have another hotTea and a tinyTealet! I think she’s really after tea herself. I’ve been aware of this gentleman’s books, and I LOVE his style; the sort of …flat-dimensional drawings, where you only see one side of a person at a time does indeed look like ancient stuff, kinda like cave painting – so interesting to know it’s got a Mixtec vibe. Will have to look that up. Meanwhile, his artwork is so stylish, and I’m excited to see he writes, too! Yay! Always happy to welcome more men and people of color to the table of children’s literature. And, anyone who has a Vida gets in automatically.


    1. Tiny Tealets are what we definitely need to cheer us up and give us hope. I did not know anything about Mixtec Codex until I saw Duncan’s books. These ancient art forms are fascinating, no?


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