Texana Reads: Children's book beautifully tells story of Selena Quintanilla

Dr. Manuel Flores
Texana Reads
Texana Reads

Just when you thought that the story of slain Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla had been told in every possible way comes a new children’s book that retells the story in a delicate and magnificently artistic way. “Sing With Me – The Story of Selena Quintanilla” is perhaps the best adaptation of the story ever made for children and young adults and for those sentimental older folks who have come to idolize the Corpus Christi singer for her contributions to the Hispanic culture and the American story.

The picture book is told beautifully by author Diana López and illustrated delicately and magnificently by artist Teresa Martinez. The two compiled a solid interactive story woven into the life of the vibrant young singer who died at an early age but whose legacy has stood the test of time. She has become an iconic figure for Hispanics in the United States and for those among us who love a rag-to-riches story like the Quintanilla family produced in their marvelously talented daughter – Selena.

In typical fashion when telling the story of Selena, the author focuses on her life. From learning to speak and sing in Spanish to performing with her family at restaurants and clubs, Selena’s path to stardom is chronicled in an easy-to-understand fashion. Selena was no ordinary child and her family was determined to make her a success beyond belief.

The book even presents an opportunity to enjoy it while listening to Selena’s songs and perhaps to have a sing-along with tunes like “Como La Flor” or “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom,” It is perfect for an abuelita (grandma) to sing to her grandkids and more importantly to be used in a classroom in elementary school.

While the story is rich in detail and expression, the artwork by Martinez is delicate and endearing. Martinez has presented a fairy-tale version of the story with Selena looking like a Disney princess that communicates with her mannerisms and expressions. In short, Martinez’ depiction of the famous Tejano singer comes to life in every page that seems to present a new vision of the Tejano singer.

“Sing With Me” is an enjoyable and endearing book that will stand the test of time. It is destined become a family heirloom and it will become a children’s classic. Perhaps, it may even become a Disney movie. This book has the potential to help the Selena story accomplish that.

About the book

“Sing With Me – The Story of Selena Quintanilla”

By Diana López

Illustrated by Teresa Martinez

Dial Books,. 2021, New York, N.Y.

32 pages

ISBN – 9700-595-1095-9

Available at amazon.com and many other websites, HC, $12.95-17-99

About the author

About the author . . . Diana Lopez is the author of several middle-grade books for teens, including “Confetti Girls” and “Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel.” She also did the grade school adaptation of Disney’s Pixar film “Coco.” She is from Corpus Christi.

About the illustrator

Teresa Martinez is an accomplished illustrator who has helped design numerous children’s books. She is from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and loves Selena and her music.

Texana Reads

This weekly column focuses on new and old books about Texas or related to Texas. It includes fiction and nonfiction books, reports on political and sports books as well as cultural or historical works. The common thread among these books is their relationship to Texas.

For suggestions on topics or books, email manuelf78407@yahoo.com.

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