Levine Querido has announced the creation of Ediciones Levine Querido, an imprint dedicated to bringing high-quality literature for young people to Spanish-language readers through collaborations with authors, illustrators, translators, and publishers from around the world.
The new imprint, which comes on the heels of the publisher’s announcement of launching Lantern Paperbacks, will release between four and six titles annually, ranging from picture books to YA fiction.
Ediciones Levine Querido kicks off this month with a trio of titles: Buenos espíritus (High Spirits) by Camille Gomera-Tavarez, translated by Lorraine Avila (Sept. 20); La tímida Willow (Shy Willow) by Cat Min, translated by Alexis Romay and Valerie Block (Sept. 27); and Newbery-winning La última cuentista (The Last Cuentista) by Donna Barba Higuera, translated by Aurora Humarán (Nov. 15).
In spring 2023, three additional titles will join the list: Noche antigua(Ancient Night) by David Álvarez and words by David Bowles; La forma de un hogar (The Shape of Home) by Rashin Kheriyeh; and Lo que le contó el jaguar (What the Jaguar Told Her) by Alexandra V. Méndez.
The current demand for Spanish-language children’s books significantly outpaces their availability, noted Antonio Gonzalez Cerna, LQ marketing director and founding member of Latinx in Publishing, an organization that was established to support and increase the number of Latinx people in the publishing industry, and to promote literature by, for, and about the Latinx community.
“The Spanish-language market continues to be underserved by mainstream publishers, especially in Texas, California, and Florida,” Gonzalez Cerna said in a statement. “At the last Texas Library Association conference, many librarians approached the Levine Querido booth specifically asking for Spanish-language and bilingual books to share with their classrooms.”
Two of the imprint’s debut authors also underscore their personal commitment to making literature available in Spanish editions.
“When I was a child there were few books, if any, in Spanish,” Barba Higuera said. “It makes me so proud that my books will be part of something special at Ediciones Levine Querido. Kids like I was will now be able to read in both English and Spanish and be given a bridge to connect them to stories they can now share with others.”
Camille Gomera-Tavarez, who is of Afro-Dominican heritage, also emphasized the rewards of having her writing published in Spanish. “When I was first writing High Spirits, I wrote with the intent of the target audience being native Caribbean Spanish speakers,” she explained. “It feels like such a privilege to have my work translated with such care and for my own family members to be able to finally read it along with other Dominicans and Spanish-speaking readers. To me, the Spanish-language edition is the more valuable version.”
LQ president and editor-in-chief Arthur A. Levine added that the new imprint taps in to LQ’s staffers’ backgrounds and talents. “With three of the six of us being native speakers of Spanish,” he said, “we have unique resources with which to ensure the publication of beautiful, accurate, fluid works in Spanish for the great numbers of readers who will appreciate them.”