Paco and the Giant Chile Plant, written by Keith Polette, illustrated by Yours Truly, Raven Tree Press March 2008, has made the short list - it's a semifinalist for the 2009 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards (out of 1,085 entries)!! The announcement was made through Independent Publisher - THE Voice of the Independent Publishing Industry. (Click the announcement and scroll down to category 9 - "Picture Book - 4-8 Year Old").
What is an Independent Publisher? Wikipedia says this. It's basically a small publishing house (not a self-publisher) that isn't part of the giant conglomerate world of publishing houses. They make up about 50% of the overall publishing industry and often specialize in niche markets.
My publisher is Raven Tree Press, specialists in bilingual picture books and an imprint of the ESL publishing company Delta Systems. They have been enormously supportive of me, my career, and Paco, and will publish my first picture book as author/illustrator in late 2009 or early 2010, "Soap, soap, soap! ~ ¡Jabón, jabón!"
I've really enjoyed working with Raven Tree - so I'm thrilled for all of us! Y'all keep your fingers crossed Paco goes all the way!
Learn about my bilingual picture book Paco and the Giant Chile Plant ~ Paco y la planta de chile gigante - click the cover.
Update - Paco is a bronze medalist - woohoo!!