When I came across this beautifully illustrated book about a royal messenger in the ancient Inka Empire, I knew it belonged on any and every library shelf. It offers a wonderful opportunity for children to learn about history and a unique ancient culture through folklore.
In this tale set in the ancient Inka empire, Little Chaski has a big job: he is the Inka King’s newest royal messenger. But on his first day things quickly start to go awry. Will Little Chaski be able to deliver the royal message on time?
You have published several books in both English and Spanish. What do you love most about being a bilingual author?
I love being able to convey feelings and emotions in two languages. Feeling my brain work in both languages is always so much fun, I can feel I’m changing the chip when I rewrite my work in Spanish. It’s important for me to write in my native language and pass on the pride I feel for being bilingual in a country that doesn’t encourage bilingualism.
Beautifully said. RUN, LITTLE CHASKI is a tale that captures the spirit of Peru. In what ways, if any, did this book surprise you as you wrote it?
It surprised me in so many ways. First, just realizing I was able to write such a fun story and with so much information weaved into it. Impostor syndrome is real for authors, you know? Once I realized I had in fact written an excellent book, I was surprised by how much the art enhanced the story, making it so relatable to young children.
I have written a sequel (I hope it gets published one day!), and I’m still surprised by how much more I can get from this little character and my amazing culture.
I hope the sequel gets published too! In your book EUNICE AND KATE, two friends learn about honoring their different dreams. What is one dream that you had as a child that you’ve seen realized?
When I was a child I used to run my finger over the author names on the spine of different books. I wondered if Mariana Llanos López de Castilla (my complete surname in Spanish) would ever fit there. I did dream of being an author, and at least Mariana Llanos fits perfectly on the spine of my books.
Wonderful. What are some of your current projects?
Currently, my lovely agent Sera Rivers is subbing several of my manuscripts. I’ve been digging into my Peruvian culture for several stories, but also written a fun middle grade and I’m working on two verse novels (one in English, the other in Spanish). I’ll have something new to announce soon, a new picture book I’m so excited about. I think you’ll all love it too!
Buy: Bookshop.org ~ Book Passage ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Indiebound
For more of Mariana Llanos’ books, in both English and Spanish, go to https://www.marianallanos.com/
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