Eric Velasquez

Books by This Author

Grandma's Gift

Illustration of grandmother hugging grandson
Age Level: 6-9

It's Christmastime, and Eric has a special assignment — he has to write a report about a new painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Eric's grandmother makes a deal with him: if he will help her make traditional Puerto Rican pasteles, she will take him to the museum. Together they leave the familiar neighborhoods of Spanish Harlem and venture out to the Met, where Eric encounters a painting that changes his life. A note from author and illustrator Eric Velasquez provides some background to this quiet yet profound story from his childhood.

Grandma's Records

Boy dancing with grandmother at home
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Every summer, Eric goes to live with his grandmother in El Barrio (Spanish Harlem) while his parents work. Through the long hot days, Grandma fills her apartment with the blaring horns and conga drums of Bomba y Plena, salsa, and merengüe — the music she grew up with in Puerto Rico — sharing her memories and passions with Eric. Join Eric Velasquez on a magical journey through time and across cultures, as a young boy's passion for music and art is forged by a powerful bond between generations.

Looking for Bongo

Age Level: 3-6
Language: English

Where could Bongo be? Help a young boy find his beloved toy — and figure out how he got lost to begin with. The boy knows Bongo was right there with him this morning—but suddenly, Bongo is missing. He asks his whole family if they've seen the stuffed toy.  "Yo no sé," says abuela, "I don't know." When he finally finds Bongo, the boy is thrilled — and he sets a trap to catch the Bongo thief. Eric Velasquez's detailed, expressive illustrations follow the boy's investigation throughout his home, giving a glimpse at a warm, multi-generational family.

Books by This Illustrator

Journey to Jo'burg: A South African Story

Illustrated by: Eric Velasquez
Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

A sister and brother travel to Johannesburg in search of their mother as their baby sister becomes ill. On the way, they become aware of what apartheid means for the people in their country. "This well-written [story] has no equal. Evocative and haunting." — School Library Journal

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library

Illustrated by: Eric Velasquez
Age Level: 6-9

Where is our historian to give us our side? Arturo asked. Amid the scholars, poets, authors, and artists of the Harlem Renaissance stood an Afro–Puerto Rican named Arturo Schomburg. This law clerk’s life’s passion was to collect books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora and bring to light the achievements of people of African descent through the ages.

¡Mambo Mucho Mambo! The Dance That Crossed Color Lines

¡Mambo Mucho Mambo! The Dance That Crossed Color Lines
Illustrated by: Eric Velasquez
Age Level: 6-9

Millie danced to jazz in her Italian neighborhood. Pedro danced to Latin songs in his Puerto Rican neighborhood. It was the 1940s in New York City, and they were forbidden to dance together . . . until first a band and then a ballroom broke the rules. Illustrated with verve and told through real-life characters who feature in an afterword, ¡Mambo Mucho Mambo! portrays the power of music and dance to transcend racial, religious, and ethnic boundaries.