Maya Christina Gonzalez

Maya Christina Gonzalez has illustrated over 20 award-winning children’s books, several of which she also wrote. Since 1996, Maya has been providing presentations to children and educators about the importance of creativity as a tool for personal empowerment. For a complete list of Maya's books, coloring books, and other related resources, see her author website.

Related video: Seeing ourselves in books

Author and illustrator Maya Christina Gonzalez talks about why it is so important for all children to see themselves in books and have access to diverse books as they grow. She also shares her story "My Colors, My World/Mis colores, mi mundo" with young readers.

This video was filmed before the COVID-19 pandemic at a family outreach event organized by the American Federation of Teachers and local and state affiliates in Daly City, CA.

Books by This Author

Call Me Tree/Llámame árbol

Call Me Tree/Llamame arbol
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

In this spare, lyrically written story, we join a child on a journey of self-discovery. Finding a way to grow from the inside out, just like a tree, the child develops as an individual comfortable in the natural world and in relationships with others. Maya Christina Gonzalez once again combines her talents as an artist and a storyteller to craft a gentle, empowering story about belonging, connecting with nature, and becoming your fullest self. Young readers will be inspired to dream and reach, reach and dream . . . and to be as free and unique as trees.

I Know the River Loves Me

Girl near river

Celebrate the river's magic and music with this poetic tribute that also speaks to the importance of taking care of our rivers. Vivid aqua and green waves swirl across the pages, bringing the river and her friend to life.

My Colors, My World

Young girl in a colorful sky near her home
Age Level: 3-6
Language: English

Product Description: Little Maya longs to find brilliant, beautiful, inspiring color in her world…but Maya's world, the Mojave Desert, seems to be filled with nothing but sand. With the help of a feathered friend, she searches everywhere to discover color in her world. In the brilliant purple of her mother's flowers, the cool green of a cactus, the hot pink sunset, and the shiny black of Papi's hair, Maya finally finds what she was looking for. Also available as a board book.

They She He Me: Free to Be!

They She He Me: Free to Be!
Age Level: 6-9

Pronouns serve as a familiar starting point for kids and grown-ups to expand ideas about gender and celebrate personal expression with fun imagery that provides a place to meet and play. Award-winning children’s book author and artist Maya Gonzalez is joined by her partner, Matthew, for this collaboration.

Books by This Illustrator

Angels Ride Bikes and Other Fall Poems

Student riding bike
Illustrated by: Maya Christina Gonzalez
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

Celebrate city life, school, and family while sharing loss, earthquakes and even Ángeles del mar (sea angels) in vivid illustrations and short poems presented in both Spanish and English. Though some poems are distinctly southern Californian, all resonate with universally recognizable emotions.

Animal Poems of the Iguazú

Animal near the Iguazú
Illustrated by: Maya Christina Gonzalez
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

Inspired by a visit to the Iguazú National Park in South America, Francisco X. Alarcón celebrates its animals, skies, waterfalls, and more in these short and vibrant bilingual poems. Each page holds pulsating paintings that swirl and move, further vivifying each poem.

Family Poems for Every Day of the Week/Poemas familiares para cada día de la semana

Family Poems for Every Day of the Week
Illustrated by: Maya Christina Gonzalez
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

Children spend Sunday visiting their grandparents, play with school friends on Monday, daydream on Tuesday, eat popcorn at the local market on Wednesday, and more, until we arrive at Saturday, when they get to play nonstop all day. Along the way, we also learn how the names of the seven days came to be. Partly based on the real life experiences of Alarcón's own family, this festive, celebratory collection of poems highlights the daily life of children while also honoring the experiences of the poet's Latino family in the United States.

Fiesta Feminina

Illustrated by: Maya Christina Gonzalez
Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

Product Description: Drawing from Mexico's rich cultural heritage, this book celebrates the courage and resilience of the feminine spirit through the stories of seven extraordinary Mexican women. Using radiant colors in a style reminiscent of famous Mexican muralists to capture the spark behind the stories, this folktale collection that will be enjoyed time and again.

My Diary from Here to There

Young girl holding a notebook and looking at a car traveling
Illustrated by: Maya Christina Gonzalez
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

While the rest of the family proclaims excitement at their imminent move ("They have escalators to ride!" says one of her five brothers), Amada confides her fears to her journal: "Am I the only one who is scared of leaving our home, our beautiful country, and all the people we might never see again?" Amada Irma Pérez shares the story of her journey to the U.S. as a young girl and Maya Christina Gonzalez's fluid illustrations spill color across the page. Bilingual text.

My Very Own Room

Illustration of a girl sitting on the floor
Illustrated by: Maya Christina Gonzalez
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

Product Description: The young Mexican American girl at the center of this charming book loves her family — five younger brothers, her two parents, and several visiting relatives — but in such a crowded house, she can never seem to find a moment alone. Told in both English and Spanish, this boldly illustrated title based on the author's childhood delivers the inspiring story of a California family that pulled together to give a young girl her own corner of the world.

Nana's Big Surprise

Illustration of grandmother near family
Illustrated by: Maya Christina Gonzalez
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

Nana has come to visit, but she is still sad after the death of her beloved husband. What can be done to make her feel better? Amada Irma Pérez's story is based on her memories of the unforgettable time when her grandmother came to stay with her family after her grandfather's death. Maya Christina Gonzalez's vibrant illustrations combine acrylic paintings, photos, fabrics, beads, and paper into textured collages. Bilingual text.

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