Marisa Montes, 59, of Walnut Creek, California, died Aug. 18, 2011. She was born in San Juan Puerto Rico on Nov. 5, 1951.
"At the time of her death, she was working on compiling an anthology of stories by Latina women about pivotal moments in girl's lives."
Marisa was a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and of the State Bar of California.
Source: Rene Colato Lainez at La Bloga (via Struve and Laporte Obituaries).
I only knew Marisa online and in passing, but I did have the pleasure of interviewing her and illustrator, Yuyi Morales, about one of my all-time favorite picture books, Los Gatos Black on Halloween (Henry Holt, 2006).
In the video below, watch the 2008 Tomas Rivera Award Luncheon Speech by Marisa. Los Gatos Black was the winner that year. Marisa talks about the growth of Hispanic and Latin American children's-YA literature, related challenges and the importance of such award programs.
For Spanish-language speakers: Univisions Encuentro en la Bahia interviews Marisa on the importance of books and reading.
Don't miss Marisa's classic online craft article Notes on Writing a Picture Book.
My condolences to Marisa's family, friends, and many fans.