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In the first grade, every student in our class entered a contest depicting the “Joy of Reading.”
I drew a picture of happy children holding books. Above them was a rainbow with fairy tale creatures walking over it.
More than 100,000 students all over the country entered the contest and of those, 41 honorees were chosen to be exhibited at the Capital Children’s Museum in Washington D.C.
Mine was one of them.
It was then I knew I wanted to create. There is nothing like the exhilarating feeling of creating new worlds that exist only in my head and bringing them to life. The realization that other people enjoyed my work, made the process even more special.
My name is Cynthia De La Torre and I love all things weird, whimsical, and magical. My favorite time of year is Halloween – my home is covered in Halloween decor year-round. I love the magic and whimsy of Halloween. My love for pretending and imagining the impossible plays a huge role in the stories I write and the art I make.
As a Mexican-American girl growing up, I did not see many characters that looked like me or shared my experiences. I yearned for books with characters (especially main characters) I could see myself in. Because of that, my goal is to show other little Mexican-American girls that we too have stories of value to share with the world.
Being surrounded by strong, intelligent, and wonderful women has taught me the importance of representing women in books as who they truly are—the heroines. There should be more stories about strong, intelligent women who help change the world for the better. And stories about strong, sensitive men, who aren’t afraid to show their emotions and who respect women as their equals. I hope to help change the perception of women and men through my wonderfully flawed characters.
The same year my drawing was placed at the Capital Children’s Museum in Washington D.C., I was also selected as a finalist in a book writing and illustrating contest our class participated in.
That was the start of something wonderful. I knew there was magic in books and that I could make people happy through my words and pictures. I hope to share that magic with children and parents alike who need a reminder that the world can be a wonderful place.