My first intimate and meaningful introduction to the Spanish language was through my two nieces, Anjali and Jianna Anand. Their mother, my dearest friend, Diana Anand (my younger brother’s wife), encouraged her girls to become proficient in the language of their heart from birth. Diana may even have sung Spanish songs to each, while still in her womb.
Fast forward to today, Anjali Anand, a senior at Jericho High School and might I brag, an outstanding science student, was looking to write her own picture book on a sensitive topic. Deeply affected by an illness that struck Diana’s sister, Anjali shared with me her passion to write a story about a special character. It would be about a girl, whose terminal illness may have altered her physical appearance, but not who she is on the inside.
While studying picture books as mentor texts, she chose to study Kara’s Dreams and drew inspiration from it. In her words, “I selected Kara’s Dreams as my first book translation because of the empowering message of self belief it carries.”
Anjali hopes to share this Spanish version of the story with kids in her community in Peru and inspire them. She leads causes – Gold Hearts NY, being one amongst many, surrounding around helping the Hispanic community. By translating books to Spanish, she wishes to relate with and inspire more Hispanic children.