October | 2013 | Cuban Heritage Collection

Editor's Note: We have chosen to publish The Reading Festival is one of the most important events in the history of the Spanish language.

Weeks ago, about the long table in the meeting room of the Cuban Heritage Collection were deployed dozens of illustrations by important Cuban artists. Full of color; others, in black and white. Representative of different techniques and styles, but all suggestive and captivating ...

Illustration by Reinaldo Alfonso for The valley of the Pájara in> by Dora Alonso. Havana, Cuba: Casa de las Américas, 1984

However, when the time came for the organizers of the exhibition, "Drawing the Story: Illustrations from Cuban Children's Books, 1980s-2000s / story: Cuban children's book illustrators we had to decide which of those works we considered the most appropriate to be reproduced in the promotional poster, our looks came together, without prior agreement, in one of them. "This, without a doubt," was the unanimous opinion. The illustration by Reinaldo Alfonso for the cover of the book The valley of the Pájara Pinta ​​em>, by Dora Alonso, published by the Casa de las Américas in 1984, caught us all by the delicacy of its composition , the luminosity of its tonalities and the charm that radiates the figure of a girl stopped in the middle of the country vegetation, surrounded by multicolored birds.

Forest awake
In the breeding season it migrates towards the dry tundra of the Arctic: the coast of northern Alaska, Canada and Russia. The head is covered with white feathers and the wings are transformed into a checkerboard with black and white feathers.

Reinaldo Alfonso was born in Matanzas, in 1937. He studied painting, sculpture and engraving at the San Alejandro Academy in Havana, and became known as an illustrator in the pages of the weekly Pionero , in 1962. He created the graphic images of some of the most memorable children's books published in Cuba: Platero y yo (1964), by Juan Ramón Jiménez; The flute of chocolate (1980) and The valley of Pajara Pinta ​​em> (1984), by Dora Alonso, and Two frogs and a flower 1987), by Onelio Jorge Cardoso.

"Since the illustrations for the Platero and I edition in 1964, he became a key name among illustrators of children's books in Cuba, illuminating the Cuban book , "Wrote Daisy Valls, author and Cuban editor. "With his images he revived for us the world of childhood by creating an atmosphere of soft nostalgia, as if he were trying to find amiable memories, while the vibrant color gave light to the text, extending its meanings. It was the other part of the equation, the perfect binomial for any author, however demanding it was. And he was, above all, an intelligent and sensitive man, able to turn the literary image of others into his own visual language, a work of magicians. "Another important facet of this creator was his work as a filmmaker . His animated shorts Los zapaticos de rosa , based on the homonymous poem by José Martí, and El Abuelo de la Sierra , with screenplay by writer Froilán Escobar, are two of his works more representative in this artistic field.

Valls, Daisy: "Reinaldo Alfonso in my memory", in MiauBlog, 18-07-2013. http://blog.cuatrogatos.org/blog/?p=1393

Neira Vilas, Xosé: "Deixonous Reinaldo Alfonso", in El Correo Gallego , Santiago de Compostela, 27-07-2013.