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Folks, I could not be more excited to be finally making this deal announcement that we’ve been sitting on for almost a year and a half! This project and this team make me shiver with excitement. This is going to be an incredible book!

Long-time EMLA client Laura Resau wanted to get Ecuadorian Indigenous activist Patricia Gualinga’s story told for children, and she wanted to do it right. So she reached out to Paty directly, and soon, the two were co-writing a beautiful and lyrical picture book text. 

Karen Boss of Charlesbridge was quickly on board, and they began the process of editing and then translating the final text into Spanish—because it will be simultaneously published in both languages. (Laura and Paty served as translators as well.)

Then came finding the perfect illustrator. We are all thrilled that Vanessa Jaramillo, who is also Ecuadorian, will be doing the art for this book. 

Here’s the full deal announcement:

Karen Boss at Charlesbridge has acquired world rights to STAND AS TALL AS THE TREES: HOW AN AMAZONIAN COMMUNITY PROTECTED THE RAIN FOREST, a picture book autobiography by Patricia Gualinga, environmental and Indigenous-rights defender of the Pueblo Kichwa de Sarayaku, a community in the Ecuadorian Amazon, co-written with award-winning author Laura Resau. Ecuadorian artist Vanessa Jaramillo will illustrate for a Summer 2022 publication. The book will publish simultaneously in English and Spanish. Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency brokered the deal on behalf of Gualinga and Resau, and the illustrator represented herself.

If ever the world needed to hear the story of an Indigenous woman who is fighting for the rights and the homeland of her people, it’s now. I can’t wait for kids to read the story of Paty’s life and accomplishments, and to see the importance of saving the Amazon rain forest—an issue dear to Laura’s heart, as her previous books show. Summer 2022 cannot come quickly enough!

—Erin