Congratulations to Pura Belpre honor author Marisa Montes and winning illustrator Yuyi Morales, both celebrated for Los Gatos Black on Halloween (Henry Holt, 2006)!
In a September 2006 interview at Cynsations, Marisa said, "In the late 1990s, my mentor, Barbara Steiner, sent me a Halloween postcard that had a fun, spooky four-line poem on the front. I pinned it up on my "inspiration" bulletin broad that hangs on the wall to the left of my computer in my office. I pin a lot of things to that board: favorite souvenirs from our travels around the world, meaningful fortune cookie fortunes, motivational blurbs on bookmarks, comics, postcards, special photos. I'd had the Halloween postcard up for a couple of years, and I'd reread the poem periodically. I really like the meter, the bu-bump, bu-bump, bu-bump rhythm of it. And it spoke of pumpkins and witches and black cats--all the Halloween things I'm so fond of.
"One day, when I was sniffing around for inspiration, I reread the poem."
In a September 2006 interview at Cynsations, Yuyi said, "...I did quite some research for clothing, because I wanted to bring to my work a taste of colonial Mexico. Many of the dead in the book come out their graves after hundreds of years and still wearing the clothes that distinguished such a controversial period."