Edel Rodriguez
Book Release Salsa Party!
I've illustrated a kid's book titled Oye Celia!, about the Cuban Salsa singer Celia Cruz, for Henry Holt publishers.  The book was released recently and the author, Katie Sciurba put together a really fun book release party and signing at LINK Bar downtown on 15th Street by Union Square park, in NYC.  It was not your typical kids' book signing, there were no kids!  It's Katie's first published children's book.  Big congratulations to her!  She's very excited about it, as are her parents, who came out all the way from California for the party.

I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to make it due to work commitments, but fortunately I did and was able to sign some books for the party goers and dance the night away with a lot of fun people.  Sorry I didn't notify you guys ahead of time, would have been great to see you there.  I thought it was just going to be a small book signing thing!   Katie is planning other dance events to promote the book so I'll definitely let you know about any future goings on.

I illustrated the entire book without meeting Katie, the author.  We had e-mailed some, but when we finally met I found out she's an incredible Salsa dancer!  LINK is a great place for Salsa, they have dance lessons at 7pm every Tuesday and after that the place is open for dancing all night.  You can go just to watch too.  Everyone is extremely friendly and joyous.  I haven't experienced something like that in a while.  There were people from so many different countries dancing Salsa together, and they were terrific dancers, a really wonderful crowd.

Pictures from the party below, along with spreads from the book  Oye Celia! 
The last picture here is of me dancing with Katie, the book's author.  She can dance!
This is the image for the endpapers
Celia Cruz has been an inspiration to my entire family. She came to the U.S. from Cuba like we did. I used to watch her concerts when I was growing up in Miami and they always made me feel a little closer to the people I left behind in Cuba. I'm very honored to have worked on this book. Here is a clip of Celia Cruz singing in Africa if you'd like to get a feel for her music and spirit.
I'm also currently working on the visuals for a documentary film about Celia Cruz, titled 'Celia the Queen'.  I'll be doing the poster and collateral imagery, they'll be filming me making the work and weave the footage into the film somehow.  I'll be having a film crew at my house later this month.  You can see the trailer for the film HERE.
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