Art books

New children’s books from San Antonio writers, artists released just in time for the holidays


San Antonio artist Noé González Garza drew on his own memories for the illustrations for “Glove for a Lady,” a new children’s book about a visit then-President Lyndon Johnson made to a Cotulla school in 1966.

“I remember you could feel the excitement, the energy, because Cotulla is a city at a traffic light,” said Garza, who was in kindergarten or first grade at the time. “I didn’t know at the time, really, the historical impact of that. When you’re little, you just say to yourself, “I’ve never seen a limo like this.”

The book was written by his cousin, Gerónima Garza. This is one of the few novelties for young readers of San Antonio writers and visual artists that adults (or little ones with disposable income) might want to consider when shopping for holiday gifts.

In addition to “Glove for a Lady,” offerings include “Revolutionary Women of Texas and Mexico,” a coloring book by Kathy and Lionel Sosa; and “La Llorona Can’t Scare Me / La Llorona no me asusta” written and illustrated by Xavier Garza.

Here’s a look at the three.

“Glove for a lady”

“Glove for a Lady” takes place on the day of Johnson’s visit to Welhausen School, the Mexican-American children’s school where he taught and served as principal in 1928. He and First Lady Lady Bird Johnson did the trip almost exactly one year after he signed the Higher Education Act in 1965. The legislation was designed to make higher education more accessible. At school, the president spoke about the importance of education.

The book tells the story through the eyes of two little girls, Licha and Teresa. When the first lady drops one of her white gloves, Teresa rushes to retrieve it for her, prompting the Secret Service agents to take action. Lady Bird Johnson demands that they let the girl go and thank the child in Spanish – a language children were forbidden to speak at school. At the end of the book, the girls talk about the possibility of them growing up to be presidents themselves.

Johnson spoke in the school auditorium. Garza couldn’t hear him but clearly remembers watching his arrival.

“Out of that limo come out all these guys in black,” he said. “I almost thought it was the police or something – they had radios and dark glasses.

“I was excited, but when you’re that little it doesn’t sink into the fact that this guy is the President of the United States. Then of course Lady Bird comes out, wow, in my head I’m like, ‘He’s got a pretty wife or a pretty girlfriend or something.’ And I thought they must be important.

Garza, who taught at Columbia Heights Elementary School for 20 years, also worked as a commercial artist and made book covers. “Glove for a Lady” is the first book he has fully illustrated.

“My prima made up the story, but I made the art my own,” he said. “It got personal, and it still is, because that kind of connection runs deep.”

He gave his original sketches and full illustrations for the book to his cousin. They will be donated to the Brush Country Museum, which includes exhibits on Johnson’s time in Cotulla.

Where to buy it: The book costs $ 9.99. Signed copies can be ordered from It is also available at

“Revolutionary Women of Texas and Mexico”

Kathy and Lionel Sosa’s book contains ready-to-color portraits of 23 women, each with a short biography. They include Isabel Vargas Lizano, who sang rancheras dressed in men’s clothing under the name of Chavela Vargas; healer Teresa Urrea, who fought for the rights of indigenous communities in Mexico; and Alice Dickerson Montemayor, a South Texas social worker and activist who worked to ensure Mexican-American families could seek services that sheriffs and judges denied them in the 1930s and 1940s.

The coloring book is a spin-off from “Revolutionary Women of Texas and Mexico: Portraits of Soldiers, Saints, and Subversives,” which was published last year by Maverick Books, an imprint of Trinity University Press. This book – which Kathy Sosa edited with Ellen Riojas Clark and Jennifer Speed ​​- is a compilation of essays, each accompanied by a black and white portrait of the Sosa.

Sandra Cisneros was one of the contributors, writing essays on Urrea and Lizano. When she got her copy, she told Kathy Sosa it should be a coloring book.

“I mentioned this to Marguerite Avery, my editor at Trinity Press, not really believing it would go anywhere because college presses aren’t known for their coloring books,” Sosa said. “And then (director) Tom Payton came back and said, ‘No, it’s not something we normally do, but we’re going to do it because we think it’s a really good idea. “”

The coloring book includes a few portraits not in the first one, including union organizer Dolores Huerta. Three contributors to the essay collection – Cisneros, Clark and Laura Esquivel – also get their own portraits.

The book is already in its third printing. Sosa attributes this to the fact that so many adults have taken to coloring and the attraction of strong women.

“We were all waiting for cool things like this to share with our daughters and friends,” she said.

Where to buy it: The book costs $ 9.95. It is available at the San Antonio Museum of Art, Larder and Curio at the Emma Hotel, Feliz Modern, Feliz Pop, Rancho Diaz, SA Flavor, Schnables, The Twig Book Shop, Nowhere Bookshop. Barnes & Noble and the Guadalupe Latino bookstore and gift shop.

“La Llorona can’t scare me / La Llorona no me asusta”

Xavier Garza has included creepy creatures in his books before, but for his latest he wanted to write and draw a lot.

“I wrote a list of the cucuys (boogiemen) that I would like in there – La Llorona, the witch owls, the duendes (goblins), the Lady with donkeys, the little devils, the chupacabras – I’m just making a list of cucuys that were the most popular, that kids would easily recognize, “said Garza, an artist and writer who also teaches at Northwest Vista College.” And after doing that, I wanted to incorporate elements of lucha libre into it. In wrestling movies, the Santo was always fighting some kind of monster.

The book begins with a little boy named Damian nestled in his bed, his bedroom decorated with posters and dolls of lucha libre characters. He receives a visit from La Llorona, the ghost of a woman who roams the earth in search of her drowned children. She looks out of her bedroom window and moans, trying to strike fear into the little boy’s heart.

No dice.

Damian isn’t even a little shaken, assuring him that he can’t be scared of his antics. Stunned by this response, she calls on her creepy pals to give it a try. None succeeds. Finally, the reader learns – spoiler alert! – that Damian feels very safe thanks to his all-powerful luchador nightlight.

The story is set in English and Spanish, as is always the case in Garza’s books.

“There is nothing wrong with a person knowing two languages,” he said. “I think it allows you to understand other cultures. There is a poem used in another book where a little boy says to the father: “Tell me a story, but tell it to me both in English and in Spanish, give me the best of both worlds.”

Where to buy it: The book costs $ 18.95. It can be purchased from, as well as Barnes & Noble and

[email protected] | Twitter: @DeborahMartinFR

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