Emerita Romero-Anderson wants the children of Craig to be effective writers.
"It takes a lot and lots of reading and lots of writing to be an author," she said during a presentation at Craig Intermediate School on Tuesday. "When you're an author, there's a lot of research that goes on, even for a little picture book like this."
She was talking about her latest book, "Grandpa's Tarima," which was published by McGraw-Hill in 2002. Romero-Anderson is visiting Tuesday and today local elementary schools and CIS, talking about her book and techniques used by successful writers.
"You can't get a book published about an idea that's already been done," she said. "You've got to be very creative."
Tarima means bench in English, and the story is about the relationship between Marco and his grandfather and how a bench plays a role in their lives.
As she was reading her book, Romero-Anderson explained aspects of writing to the youths, including the cultural theme, embedded Spanish terms and using unusual details to attract attention.
When she finished the book, the author explained circular endings to the children: Just as his grandfather bounced Marco on his knee while sitting on the bench, so did Marco after he had grown older and had children of his own.
"Grandpa is there with him always," she said.
The inspiration for the book came from a bench that belonged to Romero-Anderson's father, and the grandfather in the illustrations looks like him, so the story has special meaning for her.
"I want to share the love of writing, the love for reading," she said. "I'm writing my books to preserve my culture and share my culture, for cultural sensitivity and that kind of thing."
Romero-Anderson has traveled across Colorado and plans to visit schools in New Mexico and Arizona as well. A retired teacher of 27 years, she often gives writing workshops at schools she visits.
"I want to be a role model not only for Hispanic kids but all kids," she said.
"Grandpa's Tarima" is on sale through www.wrightgroup.com.
Michelle Perry may be reached at 824-7031 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.