Meet Eric Velasquez, Author-Illustrator of LOOKING FOR BONGO

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OurShelves is your trusted resource for expert-curated diverse kids' books along with additional resources to deepen engagement with the books and topics they raise.

In this blog post, you'll find:
  • A video storytime and discussion with Eric Valesquez, author and illustrator of LOOKING FOR BONGO;
  • Discussion questions to engage with Eric's video and book; and 
  • Advocacy actions you can take with your children to support diverse books and their creators amid unprecedented book bans targeting diverse books.


    Enjoy this storytime and discussion with Eric Velasquez, Author and Illustrator of LOOKING FOR BONGO!

    In this video, author-illustrator Eric Velasquez reads and shares behind-the-scenes background about OurShelves book selection, LOOKING FOR BONGO. 

    While watching this video, you might discuss . . .
    • Who are the characters in LOOKING FOR BONGO based on?
    • Why does Eric create the "turnaround"? Would you like to draw a character you create from different angles?
    • Why does Eric make a storyboard? 
    • How do you make your art? Do you sketch first and then paint or add color? Or do you have a different process? 
    • Do you have a special friend like Bongo? Have you ever lost your friend? How did you try to find your friend?
    • How does the child in this story learn how Bongo was going missing?

    Engage your children in taking action!

    Unprecedented book bans that disproportionally target racially, ethnically and religiously diverse, LGBTQ+, and other under-represented characters, authors, and illustrators are on the rise. (Learn more from PEN America and Get Ready, Stay Ready.) 

    Here are 5 concrete actions you and your children can take to proactively support diverse books and their creators:

    1. Buy and borrow diverse books like LOOKING FOR BONGO;
    2. Share this book and this video within your family, classrooms, library, and beyond (on Facebook and Instagram);
    3. Send a note to Eric Velasquez to share why this special book matters to you;
    4. Follow your favorite authors and illustrators of diverse books, like Eric Velasquez (on Instagram and his website);
    5. Leave a short review for LOOKING FOR BONGO and other favorite diverse books on Goodreads and Amazon.
    Visit our Advocacy page for more ways to take action!
    Join our e-list. Join the movement. FIRST access to NEW resources + NEW products. FREE videos, activities, guides, how to's.