Los Angeles Festival of Books- USC

I will be signing books this Sunday at Los Angeles Festival of Books at 10:00 a.m. at East West Discovery Press- Booth 510.  USC

Este domingo voy a estar firmando libros en el Festival de Libros de Los Angeles en el puesto 520 de West Discovery Press. USC


San Antonio Book Festival 2017

I had an amazing time at the San Antonio Book Festival. 
I told whether Mamá was an alien! 

I met many author and illustrators friends.

 René Saldaña Jr., René Colato Laínez, Xavier Garza

 René Colato Laínez and Lupe Ruiz-Flores

Carolyn Flores and René Colato  Laínez

Presenting at Spicewood Elementary School

5th Annual San Antonio Book Festival

I will be presenting this Saturday at the San Antonio Book Festival. This is my schedule. 

April 8, 2017 - San Antonio Book Festival

René Colato Laínez tells us whether Mamá is an alien!

Location: Holt Family Children’s Reading Tent
Start Time: 
2:15 pm
End Time: 
2:45 pm
Start of Signing: 3:00 pm
Signing Location: McNutt Garden at Southwest School of Art


The 5th annual San Antonio Book Festival will take place on April 8, 2017 at the Central Library (600 Soledad) and Southwest School of Art in downtown San Antonio. The Festival runs from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The San Antonio Book Festival (SABF), the signature program of the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, celebrates national and local authors and their contributions to the culture of literacy, ideas, and imagination. The free, daylong event is a gift to visitors and the citizens of San Antonio, bringing books to life through author presentations, innovative panel discussions, recipe demonstrations, and book sales and signings. Also included in this fun day of literary entertainment are family activities such as children’s theater performances, a technology area, interactive play and art stations, and a selection of the city’s famous food trucks. SABF offers learning experiences for readers of all ages and interests.

SABF has a Governing Board, Advisory Committee, and Event Planning Committee, which consists of over 40 Volunteer Chairs who oversee 500+ volunteers who help at the Festival. 

 To see the 2017 Book Festival authors visit http://www.saplf.org/festival/meet-the-authors/

My CABE Schedule

I will be presenting at CABE in Anaheim, California- March 29 to April 1. This is my schedule. 

Workshops at CABE 2017 (California Association For Bilingual Education)

Connecting Communities through Our Languages, Cultures, and Stories

Forty-two Years of Educational Excellence for English Learners & Biliteracy for All

March 29 - April 1, 2017

Anaheim Marriott and Hilton Hotels-
 Anaheim, California

Many children's book writers will be presenting at CABE.  This is a partial list of author's workshops in English and Español. If you are at CABE, please come and meet them. 

Thursday March 30, 2017 

Writers Workshop in the Common Core Classroom
1:30pm - 2:45pm
Hilton Room: Catalina 4

Students write better when they control their writing. This presentation, focused on upper elementary grades, presents participants with a writing program that balances standards-based instruction with the Writers Workshop model. The five-day plan explains how to arrange time to teach grammar and spelling, district writing assessments, and Writers Workshop sessions. All the components for student writing folders, including domain/genre sheets, writers’ logs to keep track of projects, pre-writing organizers, and more will be shared.

From Idea To Book: Mamá The Alien/ Mamá la extraterrestre
3:15pm - 4:30pm
Hilton Room: Catalina 4

Author René Colato Laínez and illustrator Laura Lacámara, will discuss the process of publication of the bilingual book Mamá The Alien/ Mamá la extrarrestre. René Colato Laínez will share how he got the idea and concept to write the story. Laura Lacámara will describe her illustration process from sketches to final art.

Friday March 30, 2017 

The Stories Behind the Stories- Los cuentos detrás de los cuentos
10:30am - 11:45am 
Marriott Room: Orange County 2

The Stories Behind the Stories- Los cuentos detrás de los cuentos Bilingual Children’s authors James Luna and Amy Costales share the stories behind their picture books, stories that come from community and family. Come learn about those stories and how literature helps students write about their own lives.  Conversation in Spanish and English.  

Two Languages on My Tongue: U.S. Spanish in the Classroom
1:30pm - 2:45pm
Marriott Room: Orange County 2

Language is living, evolving and intimately tied to the identities of its speakers. How do our youth feel when they are told their Spanish is bad, incorrect or informal? And how do we, as teachers, avoid turning Spanish class into yet another barrier? In this interactive presentation, Amy Costales, bilingual children's author and Spanish Heritage Language Advisor, will present methodology to meet the needs of heritage speakers of Spanish and address linguistic variation in U.S. Spanish.

Creating Art with Children's Books
3:15pm - 4:30pm
Marriott Room: Orange County 2

Come and celebrate reading in two languages. Three children's authors will present their bilingual books. Then, they will share art activities relating to their books that you can do in the classroom with your students or at home with your children. Participants will receive a packet of the art activities. Ven y diviértete.

Writers Workshop in the Common Core Classroom
3:15pm - 4:30pm
Hilton Room: Catalina 4

Students write better when they control their writing. This presentation, focused on upper elementary grades, presents participants with a writing program that balances standards-based instruction with the Writers Workshop model. The five-day plan explains how to arrange time to teach grammar and spelling, district writing assessments, and Writers Workshop sessions. All the components for student writing folders, including domain/genre sheets, writers’ logs to keep track of projects, pre-writing organizers, and more will be shared.

Authors James Luna, Mara Price and René Colato Laínez at CABE 2014


Houston Public Library 
Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
September 15 - October 15, 2016

Saturday, October 1, 2016 | 1PM - 5PM
Central Library Plaza | 500 McKinney St., 77002

Join us for the 5th Annual Houston LibroFEST, a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month that spotlights books, art, history and culture through library presentations, activities, performances and more. Local literary organizations, community groups, writers, artists and notable speakers take part in the festivities. This free event is for all to enjoy! 

Follow #HOULibroFest on Facebook and Twitter

12:45 PM  |  KICK OFF: HPL Welcome + Performance by High School for the Performing and Visual Arts group, Mariachi Los Pasajeros

1 PM  |  Two Trailblazing Latina Leaders: Former Texas State Representative, Diana Dávila Martínez, and former Houston City Council member and Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Houston, Gracie Saenz, share their experiences as Latina civic leaders.

2 PM  |  Aliens, Mothers and Family Trees: Bilingual storytime with Salvadoran children’s author, René Colato Laínez!

2:45 PM  |  Music performed by Dan Oviedo & Friends

3 PM  |  Readings by local writers sponsored by Gulf Coast Literary Journal, Writespace, Public Poetry, and the University of Houston’s Center for Mexican American Studies

4 PM  |  American Dreams: Poet Javier O. Huerta and Wall Street executive-turned-author Julissa Arce speak about their immigrant experiences and remarkable accomplishments; moderated by Claudia Kolker.

From North to South in Parents Magazine

I am so happy to see my book From North to South/ Del Norte al Sur included in Parents Magazine’s list of "5 Books to Help You Raise a Globally Minded Child". 
This is a picture of the magazine, to read it on line visit http://www.parents.com/fun/entertainment/books/books-to-help-you-raise-a-globally-minded-child/
#kidlit #wndb

LibroMobile Presents: A Bilingual Children's Reading Hour!


CSUF Grand Central Art Center 
125 N Broadway,
Santa Ana, CA 92701

con/with René Colato Laínez & Amy Costales

Descripción del Evento/Event Description:

1:30-2:00pm Tiempo para “Colorear con la Comunidad”/
“Coloring with the Community” Time

2:00-3:00pm Lectura en Vivo por los Autores/
Live Reading by Authors 
René Colato Laínez & Amy Costales

3:00-3:30pm Firma de Libros y Fotografías/Book Signing & Pictures

This literary event is supported & co-hosted by Grand Central Art Center. “Coloring with the Community” is brought to you by Community Engagement (communityengagement.org) & supported by local artist Dino Perez.

Conoce los Autores/Meet the Authors:

René Colato Laínez

Yo soy René Colato Laínez, el premiado autor salvadoreño de muchos libros bilingües/ multiculturales para niños. Yo obtuve mi maestría en Creación Literaria para Niños y Jóvenes en la Universidad de las Artes de Vermont y soy maestro en la escuela primaria Fernangeles. Mi meta como autor es producir buena literatura multicultural para niños; historias donde niños latinos sean presentados en maneras positivas, donde ellos puedan verse como héroes, y donde ellos puedan soñar y tener esperanza en el futuro. Yo quiero escribir historias autenticas de niños latinoamericanos que viven en los Estados Unidos. http://renecolatolainez.com/

I am René Colato Laínez, the Salvadoran award winning author of many bilingual/ multicultural children's books. I have a master's degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children & Young Adults. My goal as a writer is to produce good multicultural children's literature; stories where minority children are portrayed in a positive way, where they can see themselves as heroes, and where they can dream and have hopes for the future. I want to write authentic stories of Latin American children living in the United States.

Amy Costales

Escuché mis primeras palabras de español en el regazo de mi abuelo. El hijo de una inmigrante siciliana y un cubano/español que fue exiliado cuando EEUU invadió Cuba en 1898, hablaba inglés, español e italiano. Cuando era adolescente, mi familia se mudó inesperadamente a California, pegado a la frontera con México. Para ese entonces, me identificaba como española. Me casé con un joven inmigrante mexicano, y pronto nació mi hija. A él lo dejé, pero nunca a la comunidad mexicana a la cual me introdujo. Desde entonces, he enseñado tercer grado bilingüe, quinto grado, español, ciencias sociales e inglés como segunda lengua. He enseñado en escuelas internacionales en Tailandia y la India y en escuelas públicas en Oregón y California. Actualmente enseño español y español para hablantes de herencia en la Universidad de Oregón, donde soy también consejera para el Programa de Español para Hablantes de Herencia. El aspecto de mi trabajo que más me fascina es invitarles a los estudiantes a escribir sobre sus historias, sus familias y sus sueños. Siempre me ha encantado escribir. Empecé el intento de publicar libros en vez de escribir nada más para mi hija. Las vidas de todos los niños deben de ser legitimizados, no tan solo a ellos mismos, sino a todos los niños. Por eso no son los niños latinos los que tienen que leer sobre niños latinos, sino que todos los niños deben leer sobre niños latinos. Y los niños latinos tienen que leer sobre todo tipo de niño. Los niños van a comprender mejor la complejidad del país y del mundo si están expuestos a ella. http://www.amycostales.com/

I heard my first words of Spanish on my grandfather's lap. The son of a Sicilian immigrant and a Spanish/Cuban who was exiled when the U.S invaded Cuba in 1898, he spoke Spanish, English and Italian. When I was in my teens, my family unexpectedly move to California along the Mexican border. By then, I indentified as Spanish. I married a young Mexican immigrant, and soon had a daughter. I left him, but never the Mexican community to which he introduced me. Since then, I have taught bilingual third grade, fifth grade, Spanish, Social Studies, and ELD. I have taught in public school in California and Oregon and in international schools in India and Thailand. I currently teach Spanish and Spanish for Heritage Speakers at the University of Oregon where I am also an advisor to the Spanish Heritage Language program. An aspect I particularly love about teaching is inviting my students to write about their stories, their families, and their dreams. I have always loved writing. Raising my daughter, who is now a grown woman, inspired me to write picture books. The lives of all children need to be legitimized, not just to themselves, but to all children. Therefore Latino kids do not need to read books about Latino kids. All kids need to read books about Latino kids. And Latino kids need to read books about all kind of kids. Children will better understand the complexity of the country and the world if they are exposed to it.


To celebrate the release of Mamá the Alien/Mamá la extraterrestreauthor René Colato Laínez will be stopping by the following blogs from August 15th to the 24th! Follow along as René Colato Laínez discusses his writing process, his thoughts on diversity in kidlit, and the recent debate over the term “illegal alien.”

Below is the schedule of the Mamá the Alien/Mamá la extraterrestre Blog Tour:

August 17: Mommy Maestra
August 19: Latinaish
August 22: Pragmatic Mom
August 23: Reading Authors
August 24: The Logonauts

And in case you missed it, here’s René Colato Laínez’s post about his experience being called an “illegal alien” when he was young.

To find out more about René Colato Laínez and Mamá the Alien/Mamá la extraterrestre, check out his blog and follow him on Twitter. And if you are a blogger interested in being included on this or future blog tours, please reach out to us at publicity [at] leeandlow [dot] com.

Author René Colato Laínez and Illustrator Laura Lacámara

Mamá the Alien/ Mamá la extraterrestre

Written by René Colato Laínez
Illustrated by Laura Lacámara

I am so happy that my new bilingual book Mamá the Alien/ Mamá la extraterrestre is available now. Last week, I received my author's copies. It is always great to see, feel and hug a book for the first time.

 The box is here!

Fantastic! My new book!

Mamá the Alien/ Mamá la extraterrestre 

When Mamá’s purse falls on the floor, Sofia gets a peek at Mamá’s old Resident Alien card and comes to the conclusion that Mamá might be an alien from outer space.

Sofía heads to the library to do some research. She finds out that aliens can be small, or tall. Some have four fingers on each hand, and some have big round eyes. Their skin can be gray or blue or green. But she and Mamá look like human people. Could Mamá really be an alien from another planet? 

Filled with imagination and humor, Mamá the Alien/Mamá la extraterrestre is a sweet and timely immigration story, and a tender celebration of family, no matter which country (or planet) you come from. 


A delightful, original, clever, purposeful, multicultural alien tale.- Kirkus Reviews

… an exceptional story about immigration with a new twist. – Booklist

Book Trailers

Thank you, Fabiola and Ms. Hernández

René Colato Laínez has written more than a dozen award-winning books for young readers. A native of El Salvador, his goal is to write stories in which children of color are portrayed positively, with hopes and dreams for the future. This story was inspired by the many children of immigrants who have experienced the same misunderstanding as Sofía. When not writing or presenting at conferences or workshops, Colato Laínez teaches in a bilingual elementary school. He lives in Arleta, California, and you can find him online at renecolatolainez.com

Laura Lacámara is the creator of several award-winning children’s books; and she is a popular presenter at schools, festivals, and conferences. Born in Cuba, Lacámara was delighted to illustrate this story because it is clever as well as meaningful, especially since she was the same age as Sofía in the story when her own mamá became a United States citizen. Lacámara also had fun creating her own versions of aliens! She lives in Venice, California, with her husband and their daughter. Visit her online at lauralacamara.com