It’s hard to remember because I wrote the book so long ago (back in 2000). I know I went through a few versions before getting to the one I liked and felt worked. It probably took me a month or two to get to that point.
Where did you get the idea to write the book?
Back then there were publishers looking for multicultural books and I had been getting more and more interested in the Mexican side of my heritage. I wanted to do something that would help me dive into that. I think I was looking at different concept books and wondered how I could combine looking at my heritage with a counting book. And of course, I love burritos (even though I hate cheese!) and they can have lots of ingredients so it seemed like a good fit.
It’s such a short book. Did it get published really fast?
No! The book was accepted by the publisher in December 2001, but didn’t come out until October 2008. Seven years later! I think it was a combination of waiting for the fabulous illustrator, David Diaz, because he was so busy, and also the publisher trying to decide on a format that would work best for the book.
Are you fluent in Spanish?
No, but I sure wish I was! I originally submitted the manuscript for Build a Burrito in English-only as I am not bilingual. Once they accepted it, they contacted me to see how I would feel about doing it bilingual. I told them I wasn’t and worked with some bilingual friends for some of the words and the publishers Spanish editor also helped with the Spanish in the book.
Why is there cheese on the burrito if you don’t like cheese?
Well, most burritos have cheese so I thought I’d better include it. But notice it’s the very last (and smallest!) ingredient in the book!