Saturday, May 14, 2011


Thanks for stopping by. I created this blog to connect with old and new friends about my passion for children's books and art making.
You can also visit the studio blog at: rafaellopezstudio
To view more of my work see my website at:

One World, Many Stories

I hope you will click on the orange link below to listen to a voice tape I made about this poster created for the 2011 Collaborative Summer Library Reading Program.

The Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) is a grassroots consortium of states working together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials for children at the lowest cost possible for their public libraries. Go to your browser and type in One World, Many Stories to find out about the exciting activities for kids where you live.

Make it a great summer and fill it with reading. Thanks to for putting this audio tape together.

It's called One World, Many Stories.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Discovering Dubai

I want to sincerely thank my new friends in Dubai who share a great passion for books.

I had the chance of a lifetime to discover the beautiful emirate of Sharjah, which overlooks the Persian Gulf. This region has an impressive array of cultural and traditional projects, elegant mosques, fascinating souks [markets] and many outstanding museums. I was invited by the gracious Bodour Alqasimi, the daughter of the Emir to visit and give a workshop for children. Her incredible renovation of the Casbah area includes restaurants, offices, galleries and a cultural center where the workshop was held.

What a thrill it was to see Book Fiesta translated into Arabic by my good friends at Kalimat Publishing. I discovered friendly, worldly people and had a magnificent time exploring the city with Omar, Amani and Tamer. In 1998 Sharjah was named a UNESCO World Heritage site for being the cultural capital of the Arab world. My appreciation goes out to Marwa for organizing the trip and especially to the inquisitive, energetic and talented children I met in the workshop. I wanted to share some of my photos including the library bus that goes out to the far reaches of the region bringing books to children. The Emirate of Sharjah is also known to be the Cultural Capital of the UAE. The Expo Centre Sharjah is well known for the annual book fair that is famous all over the region. The Emir personally takes keen interest in this event which brings together hundreds of publishers from all over the world and thousands of titles. I look forward to working with my new friends in the future to promote literacy and Arab literature for children.


Exploring Chicago and Minnesota

I'm just returning to the studio after dynamic trips to Northern Minnesota and Chicago where I had the great opportunity to talk about books and participate in workshops with children.Thank you to all the librarians, teachers and students I met along the way.

I traveled 1000 miles by car from Duluth to Grand Rapids. I spoke in Mount Iron, Hibbing, Virginia, Babbitt and Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Imagine driving for miles on end without seeing another soul where wolves and moose run freely. I enjoyed connecting to students, talking about the process of making children's books and we had fun brainstorming ideas together. I wanted to share some of my photos documenting this land of 10,000 lakes.
The state's name comes from a Dakota word for "sky-tinted water". The forests, wild salmon swimming up river and vast wilderness areas will stick with me.

This was my second visit to the wonderful Harold Washington Library in Chicago and once again I enjoyed meeting the children and families who came in by bus each evening to talk about our shared love for books. It was a rainy day so I spent a very memorable day getting inspired at the incomparable Art Institute of Chicago.