Where Wonder Grows

By: Xelena González
Illustrator: Adriana M Garcia


Starred Reviews—Kirkus Reviews & Publishers Weekly
Simply dazzling.

Granddaughters gather around their grandmother as she points them to the wonders in her marvelous garden.


Granddaughters gather around their grandmother as she points them to the wonders in her marvelous garden.

Where does wonder grow? Grandmother knows it grows everywhere but​ she especially loves to show it off in what she calls her story garden. She invites her granddaughters to join her there in a sweet meditation on the treasures she’s brought to that magical place—the rocks, the shells, the crystals, the meteorites: how they came to be, how they were formed, how they each have a story to tell. Where Wonder Grows encourages curiosity and thoughtfulness.

Xelena González is a storyteller, screenwriter, poet, and author of ALL AROUND US, winner of multiple accolades, including the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award, an American Indian Youth Literature Honor Award, and an International Latino Book Award. Her storytelling skills were honed as a children’s librarian in San Antonio and in Guangzhou, China. As a visiting author, she has introduced her method of “tai chi storytelling” to more than 60 schools and libraries around the country. In February 2021, Cinco Puntos Press will release WHERE WONDER GROWS, her much-anticipated sophomore collaboration with muralist Adriana M. Garcia.

With grant support from the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, Xelena recently developed a body of work in both children’s literature and visionary fiction, inspired by the iconography of the Mexican Lotería card game. Her resultant book LOTERÍA REMEDIOS led to the creation of a television script centered on the same theme and featuring a modern Mestiza protagonist. She is currently developing the screenplay THE CARD SINGER with support from the Luminaria Artist Foundation. A member of the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation, Xelena is a sought-after speaker on topics such as radical self love, creative early literacy strategies, inhabiting story through music and movement, and reclaiming indigenous identity in Latinx communities.

Adriana M. Garcia, is a home-grown San Antonio visual artist, muralist, and illustrator. Her debut picture book ALL AROUND US (by Xelena Gonzalez) was awarded the prestigious 2018 Pura Belpré Honor for illustration among other honors. One of Garcia’s favorite mural creation “Changing the World” is installed at Northwest Vista College (Fall 2019) and centers around access to education. The mural project “De Todos Caminos Somos Todos Uno” completed for the San Antonio River Authority was recognized in the 2019 Public Art Network Year in Review. Adriana has exhibited her artwork both locally and nationally and has been invited to present at conferences, schools and museums. She has enjoyed working as an arts administrator and an art/design instructor for both youth and adult learners. She is a big fan of portraits and loves depicting strong women as a way to honor those who have come before and those who continue to lead by example.

1 review for Where Wonder Grows

  1. Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
    Simply dazzling.

    Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
    Lyrical words by González (a member of the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation) emphasize the intergenerational ties that bind the characters and show Indigenous knowledge in the process of being passed down. Garcia’s portraits center affectionate familial gestures alongside mural-like views of sunset skies and evocative representations of fire, earth, air, and water.

    This author-illustrator team offers their readers a thought-provoking, mind-expanding piece of art that shows gratitude to our planet.—Stephanie Cohen

    Latinx In Publishing
    A breath-taking exploration into the wonder of the natural world.

    Shelf Awareness
    The team behind the Pura Belpré Illustration Honoree All Around Us here introduce readers to the wonder and healing power of the natural world and the importance of sharing in cultural traditions…Garcia’s illustrations have a dream-like quality that pairs beautifully with González’s spiritual yet grounded narration.—Zoraida Córdova

    Juana Martinez-Neal, Caldecott honoree
    Beautiful and meditative.

    Matt de la Peña, NYT-bestselling author
    A lyrical, wise story that explores family by exploring the earth. This book should be in every classroom and every home.

    Suzanne Bloom, Theodor Seuss Geisel Award recipient
    There’s an undercurrent of urgency here that says: Remember this.

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