Puerto Rican twin sisters launches bilingual children’s book
by Josian Omed Vázquez Díaz
The book “Haciendo Olas-Making Waves” is their first publication and consists of a bilingual illustrated book that seeks to empower and motivate children of all ages.
Joanne Lopez Ponzio y Caroll Lopez are two Puerto Rican twin sisters, who in their literary works are behind the pseudonyms of Nana and Nina respectively. Joanne is a Mechanical Engineer based in Tennessee and Caroll studied International Business with a master’s degree in Maritime Logistics who currently lives in Puerto Rico.
Both have been working in their professional fields for several years, Nana in Philadelphia, and Nina between Miami and Puerto Rico. They decided to take time away from work to raise their children, and this is where the idea of creating a world of bilingual stories was born. The importance of reading was always something that their parents instilled in them since they were little, and that is why they decided to share the stories created for their sons and daughters with the rest of the bilingual families. Although they live far from each other, Nana in Tennessee, and Nina in Puerto Rico, they talk every day and enjoy creating new stories for everyone to enjoy.
They decided to create this project in the wake of the pandemic, when they became mothers. “We find ourselves living in different places. Joanne is in the state of Tennessee, and I reside here in Puerto Rico. With this we already know that our children need to start learning a second language because they will need it to be able to communicate with their cousins in the diaspora and so on,” explained Caroll López, who uses the pseudonym, Nina.
“So, we set out to find books that included both languages in the same text so that we could teach them the similarity of the words in both languages so that they could understand what was happening in the illustration without having to translate it. This is when we realized that there are very few books that offer that option,” said Joanne Lopez, identified as Nana.
Both agree that for some time they had been writing stories and always had the desire to capture them in a book, but they did not have the time to do so because they worked full time. “When we became pregnant and because of the pandemic, we chose to be full-time moms, we saw an opportunity to start working on this long-awaited dream. We decided to submit our first manuscript and from here the publication of our first book was born,” explained Joanne Lopez.
Nana & Nina have just published their first book “Haciendo Olas-Making Waves” under Babidibu publishing house based in Spain and it was illustrated by the Argentinian illustrator, Lucia Tarditti who is under the pseudonym of “Luciernaga Ilustraciones”. The book is currently available on their website www.mundonananina.com.
“Haciendo Olas- Making Waves” is a bilingual illustrated book that seeks to empower and motivate children to pursue their dreams despite the challenges that may arise on their way. A life lesson represented in a story that seeks to inspire them to believe in their potential, grow their values and pave the way for other children who may have similar dreams.
“When we started writing the book, it was initially targeted for young girls. But as we developed and refined the details of the story, we realized that it is important that both genres can be identified in the story since we must all be encouraged at a young age to have confidence ourselves and believe in our potential” said Caroll López.
“However, we decided that the main character would continue to be represented by a girl so that the essence of what was the initial idea of our book prevails and in turn to break a little the stereotype of thinking that if the cover has a girl as its main character, it is a story for girls. On the contrary, we want young readers to be able to enjoy the story and take away the essence of the values that are taught in it” said Caroll López.
This book helps to stimulate the development of Emotional Intelligence from an early age by transmitting the values of self-love, trust, confidence, responsibility, freedom, humility, solidarity, and tolerance. “Haciendo Olas-Making Waves” is a book of simple rhymes, perfect for all ages. The book also promotes the assurance that their loved ones will be there to guide them and give them that impulse they need to believe in them.
Currently, Nana & Nina are working on the publication of what will be their second book with a Puerto Rican publisher.