Southwest Children's Literature

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The Piñata Quilt

Author/Illustrator Interview with Jane Tenorio-Coscarelli:

This is a photograph of Jane Tenorio-Coscarelli.

Q: Which came first, the stories or the quilts, and which is your passion?
A: I write the story, then I make the quilt to match, and then the illustrations. My passions cross over into my work - family, fabric, and food.

Q: What do you consider to be the best thing about writing?
A: To share my stories with others. Many stories are lost from generation to generation. I can share them and, hopefully, they will warm the heart and be remembered.

Q: Why did you, as a writer, decide to choose this point in Alberto's life to have Tia Lilly give him this particular gift?
A: First, I wanted to show that the events that happen in our lives touch us forever. I also wanted to show that Albert had grown into a young adult and planned to continue his education.

Q: Is The Piñata Quilt based on real people or a real event?
A: Yes. My sister and I were the piñata makers, and we did make one that no one could break. My father had to cut it with a knife. All the names in the book are those of family members and friends.

Q: Why did you include the little hidden mouse feature?
A: My niece came over as I was doing the illustrations for the first book. She was 4 at the time and was not reading yet. She asked me to put "Where's Waldo" on each page. I tried to explain copyright law to her and it went over her head. So I put a mouse on each page to make her happy. She is in school now and reading well, but if I forget the mouse I am in trouble. We have mouse checkers here so I don't forget.

Q: What do you want people to know about this book?
A: I want children to remember to be honorable, and to know that we can all learn from our lessons. I want them to know that our traditions need to be remembered, and it is appropriate to take pride in them.

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