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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. It’s a strange obsession, but I love the magic and whimsy of Halloween.
My love for pretending and imagining the impossible, began at an early age. 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. And more importantly, I wanted to share my stories.
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 I could see myself in. It saddened me to think people like myself didn’t have valuable stories to tell or positive contributions to make. I hope to change that perception, through my books, for other minority children that are growing up now.
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.