Corpus Christi native, 'Coco' author debuts new Selena Quintanilla picture book

Ashlee Burns
Corpus Christi Caller Times

Corpus Christi native Diana Lopez debuted her new picture book "Sing with Me! The Story of Selena Quintanilla!" at Dr. M.L. Garza-Gonzalez Charter School Friday morning.

Lopez, who also wrote an adaption of the Disney movie "Coco," met with dozens of elementary students who learned about some of Selena's favorites, like pizza fries and white roses, and what it means to be a writer or illustrator. 

"It was really on my mind while I was writing the Selena book that I would go around Corpus Christi and talk to students because this is where she's from and I really want to share her legacy and her spirit with the community," Lopez said.

Corpus Christi native Diana Lopez debuted her new picture book "Sing with Me! The Story of Selena Quintanilla!" at Dr. M.L. Garza-Gonzalez Charter School Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.

The book, also available in Spanish as "¡Canta Conmigo! The Story of Selena Quintanilla!," was expected to be published in April 2021 for what would have been Selena's 50th birthday, but was delayed after a cargo container full of her books was lost in the sea.

The delay worked out though and the book was published just as schools began to reopen after remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Principal Rosemarie Rojas said the school welcomed Lopez and her book as an opportunity to encourage reading after noticing a statewide decrease in reading because of the pandemic's disruptions.

Corpus Christi native Diana Lopez debuted her new picture book "Sing with Me! The Story of Selena Quintanilla!" at Dr. M.L. Garza-Gonzalez Charter School Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.

"Our focus this year has been on reading to kind of promote reading with our children and get them excited about reading," the principal said. "[Selena] is really big in this area so that was one of the reasons we thought this was a good book that students could relate to."

Students got a chance to look at some of the illustrations created by Teresa Martinez and sing some songs, including "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom."

Lopez plans to visit other Corpus Christi area schools. Her book is available in stores and online. For more information, go to www.dianalopezbooks.com.

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