In the Summer of 2000, I went on a a family vacation with my wife and children to visit my parents in Puerto Rico. Through my kids, I was reminded of the wonder and curiosity that children have for the island. Immediately, my kids were intrigued by the tiny coquí frog, and it’s enchanting song. I returned back home to Los Angeles inspired and motivated with the same youthful sense of wonder that I had as a child visiting the island. I spent the better half of ten years thinking about and sketching concepts and story ideas regarding the coquí frog.
Finally, Kiki Kokí, the Enchanted Legend of the Coquí Frog, was scheduled to make it’s debut at Borders Books in Puerto Rico in September of 2010. While I felt confident that I had spent the time and care to create something that I could be proud of, I had no idea how it would be received by people living on the island. So no one was more surprised than me, of overwhelming warm and enthusiastic welcome that Kiki Kokí received. I was relieved and grateful that the story and the character were embraced not only by children, but by parents and the media as well. In fact, the book was so well received, that I had to reprint and air ship books, Tee Shirts and Plush to Puerto Rico in time for Christmas.
The photos in this entry depict the people we met and places we visited from September to December at the launch of the first Kiki Kokí book. Many have remained friends of mine and fans of Kiki Kokí.
Within days of launching the book, I received requests from teachers to use the story as source inspiration for school plays. Needless to say I was honored. here are photos from Ms. Sandin’s class at the American Military Academy in Guaynabo Puerto Rico. The book had been released all of two weeks when the play took place on October 1. A lot of credit goes to their teacher who pulled this all together in a short time. It’s great that the kid’s had costumes for all the main characters. Kiki, the Tainos, pirates, frogs, even Mona the lounge lizard.