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Jacqueline Alcantara

Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Alcantara lives in Chicago

Biography: Jacqueline Alcantara is a freelance author and illustrator. She spends her days drawing, painting, writing and walking her dog. Jacqueline studied art education, attended a summer intensive at Parson's New School of Design, and went on to enroll in the Illustration Certificate program at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. She has managed an art gallery in Chicago, worked at NBC's set decoration department, and at Soho House Chicago. She is particularly excited about promoting inclusiveness and diversity in children's literature and the illustration field in general. Starting her career as a high school art teacher, Alcantara decided to pursue illustration full-time in 2011. She aims to create fascinating worlds that kids and parents can lose hours of their lives reading and re-reading. Half-Honduran and half-Chicagoan, Jacqueline knows the value of being able to find kids that look like you in libraries and bookstores and aims to represent not only the skin tones, but the histories and cultures of todays families.

  • """The Field"""
  • -- Sonia Lynn Sadler Award, 2018
  • -- Kimi Siegel Award
  • -- Junior Library Guild Selection
  • -- Starred Review, Kirkus
  • -- Starred Review, Booklist
  • -- Starred Review, Horn Book
  • -- Fanfare, Best of List, Horn Book, 2018
  • -- Best Books of the Year, School Library Journal, 2018
  • -- Best Books List, Kirkus, 2018
  • -- Best Books List, Shelf Awareness, 2018
  • -- Choices, Best Books List, CCBC, 2018
  • """Freedom Soup"""
  • -- Starred Review, Kirkus
  • -- Starred Review, School Library Journal
  • -- Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
  • -- Starred Review, Shelf Awareness
  • -- Jr. Library Guild Selection
  • -- Best of List, Kirkus, 2019
  • -- Best of the Year List, The Educator's Playbook, 2019
  • -- The Best of Kid's Next, Indie Bound, 2019
  • -- Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, 2020

Primary Literary Genre(s): Illustrator

Primary Audience(s): Children


Selected Titles

Freedom Soup /
ISBN: 0763689777 OCLC: 1128830195

"Every year, Haitians all over the world ring in the new year by eating a special soup, a tradition dating back to the Haitian Revolution. This year, Ti Gran is teaching Belle how to make the soup -- Freedom Soup -- just like she was taught when she was a little girl. Together, they dance and clap as they prepare the holiday feast, and Ti Gran tells Belle about the history of the soup, the history of Belle's family, and the history of Haiti, where Belle's family is from."--

Jump at the sun /
ISBN: 1534419136 OCLC: 1038041168

The field /
ISBN: 0735843120 OCLC: 989964281

"Vini! Come! The field calls!" cries a girl as she and her younger brother rouse their community - family, friends, and the local fruit vendor - for a pick-up soccer (futbol) game. Boys and girls, young and old, players and spectators come running - bringing balls, shoes, goals, and a love of the sport. "Friends versus friends" teams are formed, the field is cleared of cows, and the game begins! But will a tropical rainstorm threaten their plans? The world's most popular and inclusive sport has found its spirited and authentic voice in Baptiste Paul's debut picture book - highlighting the joys of the game along with its universal themes: teamwork, leadership, diversity, and acceptance. Creole words (as spoken as Saint Lucia, the author's birthplace island in the Caribbean) add spice to the story and are a strong reminder of the sport's world fame. Bright and brilliant illustrations by debute children's book illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara - winner of the We Need Diverse Books Illustration Mentorship award - capture the grit and glory of the game and the beauty of the island setting that inspired this particular field. -- From dust jacket.

ISBN: 1328631885 OCLC: 1159046628