Naibe Reynoso, multi-Emmy award winning journalist, released her newest children’s book “How to Fold a Taco” on October 5th, National Taco Day. Reynoso explained that the timing worked out perfectly, with Hispanic Heritage Month lasting until October 15th.
The book is bilingual, written in both English and Spanish, and promotes active imagination in children. Reynoso’s first three books are more educational and focus on Latinx leaders who made history in the United States. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Reynoso was eager to give children an escape from their stress with the light-hearted, whimsical adventures of dragons and dinosaurs in “How to Fold a Taco."
However, Reynoso still wanted to to honor her Mexican Heritage as a proud Mexican American. “The taco was invented by Mexicans, and it is one of the most popular dishes in the United States, if not the world," said Reynoso. So, she wanted to combine her two worlds and honor her culture while writing an adventurous children’s book that features dragons lifting tortillas and magicians folding tacos with the power of their mind.
“How to Fold a Taco” includes historical context about the origins of the Taco and even features on of Reynoso’s family Taco recipes.
Reynoso explained the difficulty of writing a bilingual book because the rhyming scheme often does not match up when translated from English to Spanish. “I had to be very creative. I really wanted to make the the Spanish and English parts as parallel and as mirrored as possible, because I want children to be able to use this as a tool to learn either English or learn Spanish,” said Reynoso. Because she did not want to undercut the importance of the Spanish part of the book, she hired a Spanish language expert to help her tighten up the rhyming and diction after writing the first draft.
After more than 25 years working in the field of journalism, Reynoso learned that there are a lot of similarities between being a reporter and a children’s author. Both jobs focus on writing a compelling story. For Reynoso, this means choosing on a main character and having an emotional ending, whether it is warm and fuzzy or a call to action. “In my first three [children’s] books, I give a call to action and a sense of hope. In my taco book, I give a warm and fuzzy button ending,” said Reynoso.
In honor of Latinx Heritage Month, Reynoso will join us this Friday, October 9th at 11 a.m. PST for a live reading of “How to Fold a Taco.” Tune in at: facebook.com/justdimelo