You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Be inspired by authors visiting Austin in April

A fledgling luchadora, a playground game for the ages and a princess warrior are all coming to Austin.

While books themselves can certainly transport young readers, seeing an author in person does that and more, bringing the ideas, characters and words to life — not to mention inspiring authors-in-training for the future. April is full of author events in Austin aimed at picture-book readers all the way to young adults, so get your calendars ready to sync. (Find our full April family events calendar online at and in print next Saturday.)

Lucía zooms through the playground with verve (and a POW! BAM!) — until the boys inform her that girls can’t be superheroes.

Lucía’s abuela begs to differ. Turns out that Lucía is descended from a long line of luchadores, the masked Mexican wrestlers. Luchadores never reveal their identity, Abuela warns, so Lucía dons a cape and mask to conceal her identity as she caroms through the playground. But to truly inhabit the power of her heritage, “Lucía the Luchadora” (POW!, $16.99) must decide whether standing up for what’s right trumps the tradition of staying masked.

Journalist, essayist and South Texas native Cynthia Leonor Garza, who will be at BookPeople on April 1, weaves a heady amalgam of girl power and Mexican culture into her debut picture book. Illustrated in colorful, action-packed splendor by Alyssa Bermudez, “Lucía” offers a welcome female counterpart to Yuyi Morales’ 2013 modern classic “Niño Wrestles the World.”

And feisty Lucía is a heroine who transcends as she teaches: “A luchadora has moxie,” Lucía’s abuela tells her. “She is brave and full of heart and isn’t afraid to fight for what is right.” (Ages 4-7)

Who among us hasn’t resorted to a few quick rounds of rock, paper, scissors to settle a stalemate? Drew Daywalt, author of the New York Times best-selling “The Day the Crayons Quit,” and Adam Rex, author and illustrator of “Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich,” team up to share the lore and “The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors” (Balzer +Bray/HarperCollins, $17.99).

Daywalt – who’ll be at BookPeople on April 7 – spins a tale of these three worthy opponents who, before they met, easily vanquished all foes. Rock rules the backyard, but flattening apricots hardly feels like a fight. Paper reigns supreme over the home office, jamming printers with the greatest of ease. And Scissors holds the kitchen realm in thrall to slashing powers that easily slay Dinosaur-Shaped Chicken Nuggets.

Imagine Scissors’ surprise, then, when she’s crushed by Rock. And then Paper arrives to show Rock that he can, in fact, be beaten.

Daywalt infuses this epic with hilarious faux bombast from each of the key players, accented by outsized typography from Rex that matches the huge personalities enshrined in this picture book. It’s full of wit and begs to be read aloud — in appropriately loud and melodramatic voices, of course. (Ages 4-7)

Cinda Williams Chima excels at creating fantastical worlds, like the Seven Realms that played home to a four-book series that eventually landed her on the New York Times best-seller list. Chima returned to the Seven Realms world for the second in the “Shattered Realms” series, which launched last year with “Flamecaster.” Chima will be at BookPeople on April 8.

While “Flamecaster” main character Jenna does appear in “Shadowcaster” (HarperTeen, $18.99), this book puts much more focus on Alyssa ana’Raisa (the sister of Jenna’s love), who emerges victorious against such worthy foes as Capt. Halston Matelon, fighting across enemy lines in a nearby village. Lyss and Hal find they have more in common than they originally realized, and while romance blooms, the focus remains politics of the region and well-drawn battles. Full of the rich detail and characterizations familiar to Chima fans, “Shadowcaster” sets up the third in an expected four-volume series with a cliffhanger of an ending. (Ages 12 and older)

Later in the month, look to the stars with “Cassandra and the Night Sky” (Bright Sky Press, $19.95), Amy Jackson’s astronomy-inspired fable. Cassandra is a princess who at first overlooks the battered teapot she receives as a birthday gift from her nanny. When she sits down to a tea party, though, she discovers a surprise — the starscape of the night sky, stolen from the kingdom long ago. She lets it loose, with the help of some animals that become constellations. Jackson, founder of Starry Sky Austin and an astronomy educator, will be at BookPeople at 3 p.m. April 23 to read from and sign “Cassandra.” … Last month we told you about Austinite Liz Garton Scanlon’s sweet new picture book “Bob, Not Bob!” Scanlon and co-author Audrey Vernick will be at BookPeople at noon April 22 to read from and sign the book. Go to for more details on both events.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Lifestyle

Austin-based Waldo Photos uses facial recognition to sort camp photos
Austin-based Waldo Photos uses facial recognition to sort camp photos

Each July, when I send my kids to a three-week camp near Waco, I become a bit crazy. I log into the camp’s photo site daily and begin searching like mad for proof of life. On days when there might be a happy, smiling photo of one of them, I’m over the moon. On days when I can’t find them anywhere, I’m in the depths of depression...
Consider the heat-loving salvia for summer gardens
Consider the heat-loving salvia for summer gardens

GARDENING Consider the heat-loving salvia for summer gardens Take a stroll through almost any Central Texas garden and chances are you’ll come upon at least one type of salvia. Salvia is the largest genus of plants in the mint family, and is also commonly referred to as sage. All sages are salvias; those used for medicinal purposes or as culinary...
Austin’s indie wrestling boom means big spectacles and big business
Austin’s indie wrestling boom means big spectacles and big business

Sweat-soaked shirts cling to the backs of more than a dozen exhausted men and women. They are wrestlers in training who have spent their Wednesday night pinballing between the ropes of a square wrestling ring inside an industrial warehouse in Pflugerville. Over and over, they rustle and tumble and throw each other down, their arms whacking the mat...
Pediatricians should ask parents about guns at home, study recommends
Pediatricians should ask parents about guns at home, study recommends

Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a study that will be in the July issue of “Pediatrics” and its recommendations in response to the study. The “Childhood Firearm Injuries in the United States” is the largest study to look at the number of gun-related injuries and deaths in children and adolescents. It looked...
Finding dignity in another human being even in a hot alley
Finding dignity in another human being even in a hot alley

It was a summer day in Texas — 103 sweltering degrees! I filled the trunk of my car with bottled water and ice. Not bagged ice from the supermarkets, but ice from the machines in neighborhoods where there is usually no air conditioning. Here for $2 you can fill up a good-sized tub. I headed to a back alley I knew where people find shelter in...
More Stories