Here is her bio from her website: Claudia Rueda grew up in Colombia. There she went to Law and Art School, worked as a political cartoonist and published educational books with UNICEF. In 1997 she moved to San Francisco, CA with her husband and started working on children's books and computer graphics and had her two girls. Her first book published, 3 bilnd men and an elephant, was her final class project at a UC Berkeley CD illustration program. Since then, she has lived in Madrid, Reston VA and Bogota and has published in the US, Spain and Mexico.
She also answered some of my questions:
I love your wonderful illustrations, when did you start drawing?
Every since I can remember. When I was a child my box of color pencils was my favorite “toy”.
Why did you decide to create bilingual books?
I grew up in Colombia, so my first language is Spanish. But I always had an important cultural influence from English speaking cultures (Rock music, movies, books, travels). When I grew up, I moved with my husband to San Franciso, CA. I learned most of the things I know about picturebooks while living in California. Now I have an editor in New York and an editor in Mexico, so I write in both languages.
Tell us how you came up with the idea for Mientras Se Enfria El Pastel?
I have always loved the traditional story “The Little Red Hen”. When you are a mother, you feel like this red hen very often. On the other side, my younger daughter was having a hard time trying to figure out the concept of time, clocks, hours, etc. So I decide to make a book about a hen named Dorotea. She would bake a cake cut in 12 pieces, and then different animals would grab a piece while the cake was cooling. After talking to my editor about this project, he suggested a birthday party, and I thought that was a great idea (children love birthday parties). There would be 5 chicken, and one of them would eat all the pieces of the cake.
Which is your favorite book that you have written/illustrated?
That is a very though question. I feel something special for my second book published, “La Suerte de Ozu”, maybe because it was very fresh and experimental. I also love the Zorrito and the Pastel books, since kids LOVE those two books, and that is something very special for me. There is a recent book that I like very much, because it is humorous and clever: “Dos Ratones, una rata y un queso”. But, my favorite is always the one I am working on.
Did you teach your children to speak Spanish? If so, how did you do this?
My husband is also Colombian, so we always speak Spanish at home.
What would be some advice you would give parents who are trying to teach their children Spanish?
It is always good for the children to see the cultural opportunities of having access to a second language. So I would tell them about Spanish speaking countries, their cultural heritage, their food, their music, their books, their children. If you have the chance to visit a Spanish speaking country with your kids, they will want to learn more. Look for Spanish speaking kids.
Where is the best place to buy Mientras Se Enfria el Pastel online in the United States?
You can find copies at Amazon or Abebooks. If you want several copies, you can contact the publishing house at http://www.rbalibros.com/
Just a few of her books: Click on the images to be taken to an online store
If you would like to win a copy of Mientras Se Enfria el Pastel, click here to enter the giveaway.