Bilingual ‘Birdie’s Beauty Parlor’ Celebrates The Grandmother-Granddaughter Bond

The cofounder of El Paso publishing house Cinco Puntos Press said her children’s book will resonate with kids living along the Texas-Mexico border.

By Joy DiazApril 28, 2020 3:10 pm, ,

Lee Byrd is cofounder of the El Paso book publishing house Cinco Puntos Press.

She’s also a writer, and her new children’s book, “Birdie’s Beauty Parlor,” written in both English and Spanish, is inspired by her granddaughter Emma. When Emma was young, Byrd would convince her to play “beauty parlor” to provide a brief respite from the challenges of babysitting a little kid.

“Our way of doing beauty parlor was for me to lie down on the bed and for her to just take every single piece of makeup I had and lay it on me,” Byrd said.

Courtesy Cinco Puntos Press

An illustration from the new Cinco Puntos Press children's book "Birdie's Beauty Parlor," by Lee Byrd.

Byrd wanted to commemorate that bonding moment in the book.

“Birdie’s Beauty Parlor” is illustrated by El Paso/Ciudad Juárez-based artist Francisco Delgado. He and Byrd had teamed up before to write another children’s book – that one about Byrd’s grandson. But they used Delgado’s son as the model for the illustrations.

“That’s how we work together: he uses his kids to model and I use my grandchildren as the inspiration,” Byrd said.

Byrd said that in her books, she tries to reflect the world around the kids who will read them – those who live in the Southwest and along the border, many of whom speak Spanish and English.

“They don’t want to see ‘Little Red Riding Hood,'” Byrd said. “They want to see their own cultural stories.”

Web story by Caroline Covington.


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