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1998 Book Award Winner

Tomas and the Library Lady

Book Synopsis:

Tomás and the Library Lady recalls how a young Rivera, after a long and ardous day in the fields, would listen intently to the stories his grandfather told. Soon, he knew all the stories by heart. So, his grandfather took him to the library and introduced him to the librarian and a whole new world, limited only by his imagination. Colón’s warm, expressive paintings portray both the harsh realities of young Rivera’s life and the special relationships he has with his grandfather and the caring librarian.

En Espanol: Tomás y la Señora de la Biblioteca

Tomás y la Señora de la Biblioteca recuerda cómo el joven Rivera, después de un largo y arduo día en el campo, escuchaba atentamente las historias que su abuelo le decía. Al poco tiempo, conocía todas las historias de memoria. Por lo tanto, su abuelo lo llevó a la biblioteca y lo presento a la bibliotecaria y a un mundo totalmente nuevo, limitado solamente por su imaginación. Las pinturas cálidas y expresivas de Colon retratan las duras realidades de la vida del joven Rivera y las relaciones especiales que tiene con su abuelo y la cariñosa bibliotecaria.


Pat Mora, author of children’s books, poetry and nonfiction, promotes conservation diversity, and ecological and cultural heritage. A native of El Paso, Texas, Mora grew up in a bilingual home and books were an important part of her life. Her family memoir, House of Houses, reveals her interest in Mexican American family culture and the desert. She has worked with national organizations to have April 30th designated as Dia de los Niños; Dia de los Libros. A celebration of childhood and bilingual literacy. She has been a recipient and judge of the Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, recipient and advisor of the Kellogg National leadership Fellowship, and has received four Southwest Book Awards and numerous children’s book awards. Recipient Website:


Raúl Colón, a native of New York City, studied commercial art in Puerto Rico. He later moved to Florida where he worked at an educational television center designing puppets for animated films for television. He later returned to New York to begin his career as a freelance illustrator. The medium for his unique style is watercolor and colored pencil. Colón is a versatile and acclaimed artist whose work has appeared in publications like the New York Times, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, and the Wall Street Journal. He has illustrated numerous picture books, receivinggold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year honor.