Calexico girls have illustrations published in ‘Three Pigs'

March 15, 2001|By LAURA MACKENZIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Adriana Perez, 13, and Nancy Campos, 12, have something special; the seventh-graders at William Moreno Junior High are published illustrators.

Their artwork, illustrating scenes from the book "The Three Pigs/Los Tres Cerdos," by award-winning author Bobbi Salinas, was chosen by the author to appear on the inside cover of the latest edition.

The girls entered a contest last year after Salinas did a presentation at their school at that time, Blanche Charles Elementary.

Their teacher at Blanche Charles, John Soto, had his students draw a picture of their favorite scene in the book.

"It's cool. It makes me proud," Adriana said of having her illustration chosen.

Nancy added, "It's exciting."

Kevin Dorward, principal at Moreno, praised both girls for their academic achievements.

Adriana and Nancy are 4.0 students at Moreno and have been named students of the month by teachers in every subject this year.


They are accomplished readers and have won prizes such as backpacks, jackets and shirts from the school for their Accelerated Reader achievements.

Adriana is a cheerleader and member of the Advancement Via Individual Determination club.

Adriana and Nancy agree that what makes Salinas' version of

"The Three Pigs" special is that she puts a decidedly Mexican twist to the tale.

"The characters are Mexican and that's not what you normally see in cartoons," said Adriana.

In Salinas' version, the three pigs all have hobbies — one is a painter, one a musician and one is a reader.

"It de-emphasizes the stereotype of Hispanics," said Teresa Romero, resource teacher at Moreno Junior High.

"You see the diplomas on the wall, the pigs are in tank tops, they have careers and hobbies. She (Salinas) dispels the image of the hat over the face, lying under a cactus that most people have of Hispanics," Romero said, adding Salinas takes the time to point out and explain the details of her illustrations.

Another difference is the book is written in both English and Spanish, with both languages written on the same page.

"She changed the book, made it more interesting," said Nancy.

"It shows that Mexican people can also meet their goals," Adriana said.

Nancy agreed, adding, "We are all alike. No matter if we are different, we all have the same feelings."

Both girls concede Salinas has inspired them to achieve their own personal goals.

Adriana wants to attend Boston College and become a lawyer.

Nancy's goals are to attend San Diego State University and become a teacher.

"I like kids," she said, adding that she would like to teach sixth or seventh grades.

Describing Adriana and Nancy, Romero said, "They are both very determined girls. They are risk-takers and leaders in their class."

The girls were recognized Wednesday at the general parents' meeting at Moreno Junior High.

Salinas is an award winning author of Indo-Hispanic literature. She was the recipient of the Tomas Rivera Mexican-American Children's Book Award in 1998.

The book, featuring the girls' artwork, "The Three Pigs/Los Tres Cerdos" can be purchased in Calexico at Nana's Book Warehouse.

Staff Writer Laura MacKenzie can be reached at 337-3442.

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