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Summer 2022 OMNI

Esme's Birthday Conga Line
By (author): Lourdes Heuer Illustrated by: Marissa Valdez
Lourdes Heuer ,

Illustrated by :

Marissa Valdez


Tundra Books



Product Form:



Children: Age (years) 6 - 9, Grade (US) 1 - 4
May 10, 2022
$17.99 CAD


8.81in x 6.81 x 0.52 in | 0.84 lb

Page Count:

76 pages


Tundra Books
JUVENILE FICTION / Readers / Chapter Books
Esme always has a plan. A funny and sweet early illustrated chapter book about a problem-solving girl who has to manage her own birthday bash. For fans of Dory Fantasmagory.

Esme lives with her grandparents on the uppermost floor of the topmost best building. It’s her birthday. Mimi and Pipo gave her a beautiful guitar. But they didn’t plan a birthday party.

Esme thinks this is the way with grandparents. They don’t know about parties or piñatas or birthday cake. No problem! Esme is great at problem solving.

With the help of her cat, El Toro, and a LOT of help from her neighbors in the topmost best building, the irrepressible Esme gets the birthday party of her dreams.

Series Overview: A plucky heroine with a cat sidekick takes care of business in the topmost best building in her neighborhood. Book 1: Esme’s Birthday Conga Line (Spring 2022)Book 2: TBD (Spring 2023)

    DEBUT AUTHOR: Esme’s Birthday Conga Line is the first book from talented and exciting new author Lourdes Heuer. Her first picture book, On This Airplane, is publishing in Fall 2022

    DIVERSE CAST: Esme is Latina and the rest of the characters are Latinx.

    PLUCKY, DELIGHTFUL CHARACTER: Esme is confident, plucky, a bit bossy and very fun.

    ECONOMIC DIVERSITY: Esme’s “topmost best building” is a fairly run-down small apartment building.

    UP-AND-COMING ILLUSTRATOR: Marissa Valdez is new on the scene and has already had a picture book go to an auction.

    FIRST IN A SERIES: More Esme to come!

LOURDES HEUER is a children’s book author and poet. She was born in Spain to Cuban immigrant parents, then moved to the United States in 1984. She holds an M.F.A. in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and is an Associate Professor of English at Broward College. She lives in South Florida with her husband, son and three dogs.

Author Residence: Florida

Author Hometown: Spain

Originally from South Texas, MARISSA VALDEZ traveled to Boston, Massachusetts, to receive a B.F.A. in Animation from MassArt. After school, and after missing the delicious Texas breakfast tacos, she moved back Houston where she works as a graphic designer during the day and children's book illustrator at night.

Illustrator Residence: Houston, Texas

Illustrator Hometown: South Texas

Marketing: Major trade advertising

Influencer campaign

Author Website: www.lourdesheuer.com ; www.marissavaldez.com

Author Social Media: @LourdesHeuer (Twitter) ; @marissaarts (Instagram)

One of Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids 2022
One of Chicago Public Library’s Best Fiction Books for Young Readers 2022
One of Betsy Bird’s Best 2022 Early Chapter Book picks

“[H]umorous and heartwarming…Readers will look forward to more adventures with Esme in this welcome addition to early chapter book collections.” —School Library Journal

“[T]he playful text features zippy dialogue, bullet-pointed lists, and plenty of pleasing repetition for beginning readers…Like the best bashes, this early-reader series debut is amusing and inviting.” —Booklist

"This book sticks into your head and you keep wanting more.” —The BabySpot

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