Today we’re thrilled to reveal the cover for La Mala Suerte Is Following Me/La mala suerte me sigue by Ana Siqueira, illustrated by Carlos Vélez Aguilera! The book was designed by Jon Simeon and edited by Karen Boss. Both English and Spanish editions will be released simultaneously on March 12, 2024 by Charlesbridge. Preorder it here and here.
Keep scrolling for exclusive author and illustrator’s notes!
In this fun picture book romp about superstitions, can Miguel learn to make his own luck—and be rid of La Mala Suerte—before it’s too late?
A word from the author:
I had fun writing this book, but it wasn’t fun believing the number 13 was a bad luck number when I was born on July 13th. And sometimes, my birthday was on a viernes—Friday the 13th! As a child, I believed I was unlucky because of that superstition. And when I grew up and had my Brazilian restaurant, my servers and I would sweep “sal grosso”—coarse salt—out the door to cleanse the bad energy and bring luck. But now, I finally learned that I can make my own luck. And the recipe is Preparation + Opportunity. I am always looking for ways to improve myself and for opportunities, such as pitch events, contests, workshops, and more. — Ana Siqueira
A word from the illustrator:
Illustrating this book was so fun. It reminded me a lot of my grandmother Carmelita. When I was a child, I went through two surgeries and went to hospitals a lot. I believed I had “mala suerte” because that did not happen to the other children in my school. My grandmother, who took care of me, had plants with red bows in front of her house. She told me it was for good luck! Can you imagine? The boy who needed good luck learned a trick for good luck. And then my grandmother taught me another trick: “Ay mijo, you can take away la mala suerte with saliva.”
So when I needed to do something important like talk to the girl I liked, I carried red ribbons and put a saliva seal on my forehead. Then I’d feel more confident. In the first sketches of the book, I drew plants with red bows. But it was difficult to understand what it was because they are very local to certain parts of Mexico. So I changed them for a bucket of umbrellas.
I really enjoyed illustrating the book. I laughed a lot with my nephew Mateo who loves soccer, and accompanied me as a model for the book. I am very happy that other boys and girls can see my drawings inspired by my grandmother, my nephew, and the child I was. — Carlos Vélez Aguilera
Ana Siqueira is a Spanish-language elementary teacher and an award-winning Brazilian children’s author. Her books include Bella’s Recipe for Success and If Your Babysitter Is a Bruja. Besides writing, Ana loves to read, teach, and play with her Cuban-Brazilian-American grandchildren. anafiction.com
Carlos Vélez Aguilera is an award-winning illustrator from Mexico City, Mexico, who has a degree from the National University Autonomous of Mexico. He has illustrated more than twenty children’s books, and he’s the author/illustrator Salón Destino. Carlos has been recognized with two illustration awards from the International Children’s and Youth Book Fair in Mexico. yeonagency.com/carlos-