Rafael López

Take a look at the magical work of award-winning illustrator, Rafael López!

Books by This Author

We've Got the Whole World in Our Hands

We've Got the Whole World in Our Hands
Age Level: 3-6
Language: English

Award-winning illustrator Rafael López brings new life with his adaptation of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," saluting the lives of all young people. The rhythmic verse and repetitive emphasis on "we" and "our" encourages inclusive communities and the celebration of unity and diverse friendships all around the world.

Books by This Illustrator

Book Fiesta!

By: Pat Mora
Illustrated by: Rafael López

Even though there's a special day called Children's Day/Book Day, children and books can be celebrated everyday and in any place as is demonstrated in this vibrant book. Energetic illustrations show a wide range of children and animals playing, reading, and just plain having fun with each other and with books.

Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics

Portraits of famous Latinos
Illustrated by: Rafael López
Age Level: Middle Grade (9-14)

Musician, botanist, baseball player, pilot ― the Latinos featured in Bravo!, by author Margarita Engle and illustrator Rafael López, come from many different countries and from many different backgrounds.

Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics / Poemas sobre Hispanos Extraordinarios (Bilingual board book edition)

Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics / Poemas sobre Hispanos Extraordinarios (Bilingual board book edition)
Illustrated by: Rafael López
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

Adapted from the Texas Bluebonnet Award–winning Bravo! Poems About Amazing Hispanics, this board book of poems and portraits from writer Margarita Engle and illustrator Rafael López celebrates the lives and accomplishments of a number important figures young readers will enjoy learning about.

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln

Illustration of girl playing piano while flowers rise above her.
Illustrated by: Rafael López
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

As a little girl, Teresa Carreño loved to let her hands dance across the beautiful keys of the piano. If she felt sad, music cheered her up, and when she was happy, the piano helped her share that joy. Soon she was writing her own songs and performing in grand cathedrals. Then a revolution in Venezuela forced her family to flee to the United States. Teresa felt lonely in this unfamiliar place, where few of the people she met spoke Spanish. Worst of all, there was fighting in her new home, too—the Civil War.

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music
Illustrated by: Rafael López
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule — until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream.

Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You

Colorful letters with a boy pushing a wheelbarrow
Illustrated by: Rafael López
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

Feeling different, especially as a kid, can be tough. But in the same way that different types of plants and flowers make a garden more beautiful and enjoyable, different types of people make our world more vibrant and wonderful. In Just Ask!, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges--and looks at the special powers those kids have as well.

Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood

Girl imagining drawing
Illustrated by: Rafael López
Age Level: 6-9

What good can a splash of color do in a town that is gray? As Mira and her neighbors discover, more than you might ever imagine! Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California, Maybe Something Beautiful reveals how art can inspire transformation—and how even the smallest artists can accomplish something big. Pick up a paintbrush and join the celebration! 

My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz

A painting of Celiz Cruz as a child under colorful letters spelling her name
Illustrated by: Rafael López
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

The beautiful artwork of this award-winning picture book about salsa queen Celia Cruz practically jumps off the page, and conveys the spirit and rhythmic energy of her music. Learn about Cruz's childhood in Havana and her entry into the world of salsa music from vibrant illustrations and text presented in English and Spanish.

Our California

Illustrated by: Rafael López
Age Level: 3-6

Visit some of the most special places in California, from the big (San Francisco) to the small (San Juan Capistrano) and everything in between! Vibrant and whimsical illustrations from Rafael López create a vivid impression of how a child might remember California's unforgettable natural and man-made wonders.

The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred

Illustration of young woman running with bowl and wooden mixing spoon
Illustrated by: Rafael López
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish vocabulary featured

Start with a farm maiden and a pot, invite some friends to help her, and before you know it, you have arroz con leche — and a rollicking party! Told in the style of "The House That Jack Built," this lively story incorporates new Spanish words into each refrain, which are highlighted by Rafael López's vibrant and entertaining illustrations. Activity guide available.

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