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

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

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

boy with calavera
Age Level: 6-9, 9-12, Middle Grade

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

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 Piñata Maker

A piñata maker holding a piñata
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
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

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

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.