In a remarkable celebration of Latino literature, children’s author Carla Martilotti has brought home the Gold Medal for Best Illustrated Fiction Book for Children at the esteemed 2023 International Latino Book Awards (ILBA). Her enchanting book, “El Mundo Magico de Mishi,” has earned accolades, showcasing the rich tapestry of Latino storytelling.
The 25th annual ILBA ceremony, held on October 21st in Los Angeles, was a testament to the diversity and richness of Latino literature. With over 900 books submitted from around the world, encompassing languages like Spanish, Portuguese, and English, the competition was fierce. These works were meticulously reviewed by 221 judges and categorized into 111 different segments, with each category awarding Gold, Bronze, and Silver medals.
“El Mundo Magico de Mishi,” a delightful tale about a cat named Mishi who discovers a magical backyard world filled with talking trees, fairies, and adventurous turtles, is one of over a dozen children’s books penned by Ms. Martilotti in her 30-year career. The judges, impressed by the book’s rich vocabulary and mind-cultivating narrative, unanimously decided to honor Ms. Martilotti with the Gold award.
Speaking from her home in Miami, an elated Ms. Martilotti expressed her profound gratitude: “Just to have been nominated by this incredible organization that promotes Latin diversity and culture was an immense honor. To have won the Gold is the best distinction that I could have ever received. It is awe-inspiring to be recognized by an organization that has done so much to promote the Latino experience to readers in all countries. I’ve always loved writing books for children in both English and Spanish, and this recognition is just so beautiful.”
Ms. Martilotti’s books, a mainstay on Amazon.com, reflect her deep commitment to sharing and celebrating Latino stories and experiences. Her work stands as a beacon, encouraging young readers to explore and cherish the richness of diverse cultures.
The ILBA, co-founded by the renowned Mexican-American actor, producer, and director Edward James Olmos, has become a pivotal event in the United States, honoring outstanding authors and publishers contributing to Latino literature. In his written statement, Mr. Olmos reflected on the journey: “Since co-founding ELF and the first Latino Book and Family Festival, which led to the creation of the International Latino Book Awards, I am continually amazed by the richness of literature in the Latino community. It is a story too little known and shared. Everyone should know about these books.”
As the ILBA celebrates its 25th year, it stands as a testament to the vibrant and evolving narrative of Latino literature, an arena that has seen illustrious authors like Paulo Coelho, Dolores Huerta, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Rudolfo Anaya.
Carla Martilotti’s triumph at the 2023 ILBA is not just a personal achievement; it is a beacon of inspiration, illuminating the path for future storytellers who aspire to share the depth and diversity of the Latino experience through the power of literature.