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


Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

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.

Mayeros: A Yucatec Maya Family

Age Level: 6-9

Visit Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula to meet several generations of Mayan Indians, learn a bit about their history, culture, and contemporary life in this riveting portrait in pictures and words.

Murals: Walls That Sing

Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

Ancona takes a look at Latino and Hispanic murals within the United States in this fascinating photo-essay. The photos vary between broad shots, close-ups that reveal details, and images of a variety of people either creating or viewing the paintings.

Pablo Remembers

Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

This compelling photo essay from George Ancona follows the preparations of young Pablo and his family for the Day of the Dead as they remember Pablo's grandmother. Ancona's photos cover a wide range of the family's activities, from a trip to the market to the family altar overflowing with marigolds. Ancona offers readers an authentic glimpse of daily life in Oaxaca, Mexico, as well as a sense of the love and care with which the family prepares for the celebration. Spanish version available.


Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

What do the colors, sights, and spectacle of a powwow mean to a present-day boy? A contemporary powwow transforms Anthony Standing Rock from a modern kid in a t-shirt to a powerful dancer at this Crow gathering in Montana.

The Aquarium Book

Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

Take a tour through four national aquariums and learn how they are set up, the educational displays they offer, and what sort of things a visitor will see.

The Piñata Maker

Age Level: 6-9

Fiestas often involve puppets, masks, and piñatas. Meet Tío Rico, the elderly piñata maker in a Mexican town, whose artful creations are shown from start to finish in this handsomely photographed book. The text is presented in both Spanish and English.

Viva Mexico!

Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)
Mexico's culture, history, and spirit are revealed through The Foods, The Fiestas, The Folk Arts, The Past, and The People. Each volume — whether focusing on food or art, ancient beginnings, or current conflicts — captures the many flavors and traditions of the land and its people.

¡Olé! Flamenco

Age Level: 6-9

The rich history of the dance known as flamenco is explored in crisp text and dynamic photographs. Readers then learn more about specific aspects of flamenco when introduced to a young dancer named Janira Cordova. Ancona's affection for his subject — people as well as the art form — is evident throughout this informative book.


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.