Raúl the Third, author of the “Lowriders” and “¡Vamos!” bi-lingual books series, will be sharing the inspiration, practice and challenges in his creative process, all done in an interactive manner at the Wood County District Public Library atrium on Thursday at 7 p.m.
“Everyone will have a blast as I share my stories and show the kids how to draw my books’ characters with paper and pencil,” he said.
Raul (whose real name is Raul Gonzales III) said his works center around the contemporary Mexican-American experience and his memories of growing up in El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
“One of the purposes of my ‘¡Vamos!’ book series is to help people understand how border towns like I grew up in are communities of families and friends, not the dangerous places they are made out to be.”
Other books, like “Lowriders to the Rescue,” focus on inclusivity and cooperation between ethnic groups.
“For example, in the collaborative creation with writer Cathy Camper on the book ‘Lowriders To the Rescue,’ I noticed the similarities between Latin X and the Arabic communities including food and art,” Raul said, “which was brought about by the migratory patterns across cultures and how their influence affects their communities.”
Another purpose of the books it to show Latin X people the styles and customs of their original countries, sharing knowledge of their homeland and building pride in their heritage.
Raúl the Third is a New York Times bestselling and three-time Pura Belpre award-winning illustrator, author and artist living in Boston.
This award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.
His book, “¡Vamos! Let’s Cross the Bridge” was awarded one of the year’s Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2021 from the New York Times and the New York Public Library.
González was born in El Paso. His father was from that town while his mother was from the neighboring Mexican city of Juárez. Raúl spent his childhood in both cities.
“As a kid, I didn’t realize I was living in two countries, because they all worked within the market place there,” he said.
These memories were the basis of his “¡Vamos!” series, including “Let’s Go To The Market,” “Let’s Go To Work” and “Let’s Go Eat.”
His wife Elaine Bay is the colorist for his line drawings.
In addition to his work as a comic book and graphic novel illustrator, Raul has extensive work as a painter (which has been exhibited in New York, Boston and Los Angeles).
Registration is required for Thursday’s even. To register, call 419-352-8253, email [email protected], or register online at wcdpl.org/events.