John Parra

Books by This Author

Growing An Artist: The Story of a Landscaper and His Son

Father and son planting in garden
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish

Today is a big day — the first time Juanito gets to help his papi on the job as a landscape architect! Throughout the day, Juanito sketches anything that catches his eye: a nest full of baby birds, a nursery with row upon row of plants and flowers, and more. Father and son travel from house to house, pruning, weeding, mowing, and turning overgrown and chaotic yards into beautiful spaces. A few of the clients don’t appreciate Papi’s hard work, like Juanito’s classmate who pretends not to see him. But Papi always feels pride in owning his own business and in a job well done.

Books by This Illustrator

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos

Illustration of Frida Kahlo painting animals as a young child
Illustrated by: John Parra
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, her dramatic works featuring bold and vibrant colors. Brown's story recounts Frida's beloved pets — two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat, and a fawn — and playfully considers how Frida embodied many wonderful characteristics of each animal. 

Gracias/Thanks

By: Pat Mora
Illustrated by: John Parra
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

From the sun that wakens him to the cricket that serenades him to sleep, a young boy gives thanks for the many kinds of friends who help him throughout the day. Pat Mora's reflection on gratitude is filled with kindness and humor, brought to life by John Parra's heartwarming illustrations. Pat concludes the book with an author's note about the things she for which she feels grateful. Bilingual text.

Green Is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors

Two children holding a chili pepper
Illustrated by: John Parra
Age Level: 0-3
Language: Spanish vocabulary featured

In the latest collaboration between Thong and Parra, children discover a world of colors all around them: red is spices and swirling skirts, yellow is masa, tortillas, and sweet corn cake. Many of the featured objects are Latino in origin, and all are universal in appeal. With rich, boisterous illustrations, a fun-to-read rhyming text, and an informative glossary, this playful concept book will reinforce the colors found in every child's day!

Little Libraries, Big Heroes

Illustrated by: John Parra
Age Level: 0-3

the inspiring story of how the Little Free Library organization brings communities together through books, from founder Todd Bol's first installation to the creation of more than 75,000 mini-libraries around the world.

My Name Is Gabriela: The Life of Gabriela Mistral

A painting of Gabriela Mistral as a child
Illustrated by: John Parra
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

"My name is Gabriela Mistral. It is a name I chose myself because I like the sound of it." With these words, Monica Brown introduces us to the Chilean poet and author who, in 1945, became the first Latin American writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. The lyrical text and exquisite illustrations bring Gabriela's childhood and talent to life for young readers.

One Is a Piñata: A Book of Numbers

Children under a pinata
Illustrated by: John Parra
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish vocabulary featured

One is a rainbow. One is a cake. One is a piñata that's ready to break! In this lively picture book, children discover a fiesta of numbers in the world around them, all the way from one to ten: Two are maracas and cold ice creams, six are salsas and flavored aguas. Many of the featured objects are Latino in origin, and all are universal in appeal.

P is for Pinata: A Mexico Alphabet

Illustrated by: John Parra
Age Level: 6-9
An A-Z tour of our neighbor to the south in P is for Piñata: A Mexico Alphabet. Visit the tomb of a Mayan king, experience the life of the vaquero (Mexican cowboy), attend the world-famous Ballet Folklórico de Mèxico, and sample the everyday treat that was once known as the "food of the gods." From folk art to famous people to the original "hot dog," the treasures of Mexico are revealed in P is for Piñata.

Round Is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes

Children holding a tortilla
Illustrated by: John Parra
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish vocabulary featured

Circles, squares, triangles, ovals and stars are all around! The rhyming text incorporates Spanish words which are defined in illustrations reminiscent of folk art. A glossary of Spanish words concludes this engaging glimpse into Mexican culture.

Waiting for the Biblioburro

Illustration of a male librarian riding on a donkey
Illustrated by: John Parra
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

Meet Ana, a young girl who loves to read. There aren't many books in her small Colombian village, though — until the day Ana meets the Biblioburro, a librarian who brings books through the mountains on the backs of two strong donkeys. Inspired by the heroic efforts of real-life librarian Luis Soriano, this story asks readers, "How far would you go for a book?"