George Ancona

George Ancona likes to photograph real people living their everyday lives. His photo-illustrated nonfiction books, often published in English and Spanish, have featured a small-town puppet maker in Mexico and a boy growing up in a Spanish-speaking barrio in San Francisco. In 2002, Ancona received The Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for work that "has contributed significantly to the quality of nonfiction for children."

Books by This Author

Barrio: José's Neighborhood/Barrio: El barrio de José

Age Level: 6-9
Language: English, Spanish vocabulary featured

José lives in a diverse neighborhood where he's just as likely to hear Spanish, English, or Chinese. The appealing photographs in this book document José's life at home, at school, and on the streets of his colorful barrio in San Francisco, a city that is a dynamic mosaic of different cultures. Available in a Spanish.

Capoeira: Game! Dance! Martial Art!

Age Level: 6-9

A trip to Brazil inspired this look at a unique sport called "capoeira." The result is a compelling journey into capoeira's history and its popularity around the world. The book begins with students at an academy in Oakland, California. Well-placed and -paced, full-color photographs chronicle this amazing activity.


Age Level: 6-9

Share the five days of Carnaval revelry — beginning with the lengthy preparations in Olinda, a northeastern Brazilian city. The book features stunning photographs and crisp text, handsomely formatted.

Charro: The Mexican Cowboy

Age Level: Middle Grade

Visit Guadalajara, Mexico and live for a day in the life of a Mexican horseman during the celebration known as el día del charro. In this photo-essay, Ancona discusses the training necessary to become a charro or a charra.

Cuban Kids

Age Level: Middle Grade

Meet kids in Cuba as they work, play, and go to school. They live in cities and in the country, similar to other children around the world. A straightforward text is expanded by the crisp, varied photographs.

Earth Daughter: Alicia of Acoma Pueblo

Age Level: 6-9

Alicia, a member of the Ácoma Pueblo in New Mexico, learns the art of pottery from her parents in this photo essay from George Ancona. Follow Alicia throughout the entire process of making pottery, from shale collecting in the canyon to the formation and decoration of pots.

Fiesta Fireworks

Age Level: 3-6

Caren and her family prepare for the festival of San Juan de Dios in Tultepec, a Mexican town noted for its fireworks. Full color photographs and lively text capture many aspects of this exciting tradition.

Fiesta U.S.A.

Age Level: Middle Grade

Full color photographs and informative text introduce four Hispanic holidays that are celebrated in the United States, including the Day of the Dead and Las Posadas. Each celebration is photographed in a different U.S. city.


Age Level: Middle Grade

Readers learn of Mexican migrant workers' difficult lives in this photo-documentary. Despite backbreaking labor in poor conditions, the workers take pride in what they do and struggle to help their families get ahead.


Books by This Illustrator

A Williamsburg Household

Illustrated by: George Ancona
Age Level: 6-9

This fictionalized story tells of a slave who lived and worked in Colonial Williamsburg. The straightforward text and dramatic photographs bring the history of the time to life.