My name is Andrea Olatunji and I write books to inspire and empower children. I am originally from Uruguay and I live in the United States where I have been teaching Spanish for almost twenty years. I have taught all levels from Kindergarten to college and doing so, I discovered that everybody (without exception) likes a good story.
I have used stories to engage, entertain, teach a language, highlight culture, heal, connect, validate and much more. Yet, I have always found it challenging to find the right stories. I wanted books in Spanish that represented my beautiful Hispanic culture. I wanted books where my kids could see themselves reflected. I wanted stories that were beautifully written and illustrated and that delivered powerful messages. These stories were hard to find, so I decided to embark in the beautiful journey of writing and illustrating my own books.
Omar, el jaguar is my first book and the first one in a Spanish series that features animals that are native to the Americas. Omar is a lonely jaguar looking for friends. He encounters some that invite him to play but he thinks these animals are not fit to be his buddies because they don´t look like him. Later on, he discovers that they have more in common than he thought.
This is a beautiful story about celebrating diversity and protecting our environment. Since it published last year, Omar, has gained a lot of media recognition and it won two awards: The Moonbeam Spirit Award (in the Conservation category) and The International Book Award (in the Children´s Educational category). It has also become an asset for many parents and teachers, especially during the pandemic. I created a guide with lesson plans, project ideas, and guiding questions to use with the book.
My second book, Guillo, el armadillo, follows the steps of his predecessor by inspiring kids. It is based on a project I did with my own students where they have to teach something they knew how to do well. In this process, many of them discovered their unique talents. The book is coming up in December.
To learn more about me and my books, you can visit Cuentacuento.com
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