Meet the Team
Reynaldo (Rey) Mora,
Illustrator & Co-founder
Reynaldo Mora was born in Los Angeles and raised in Baldwin Park, CA. He is a figurative artist with extensive experience creating fine art with acrylics, chalk, pastel, oils, photography, and mixed media. The source of inspiration for many of Rey’s art comes from the cultural wealth that he inherited from his Mexican ancestors. The theme that most resonates with Rey’s artwork is movement. He feels that there is life, progress, growth, and learning in movement. The iconography used to depict movement in his current Colibrí Collection is the hummingbird.
Rey has three Associate Degrees in Fine and Performing Arts from Citrus Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art from California State University, Long Beach, and is currently earning an MFA in Ceramics from Cal State Los Angeles (Graduation May 2024). His first published illustrated children’s book won two International Latino Book Awards. He enjoys participating in Aztec Dance and grassroots organizing.
Julia Rae Rodriguez,
Co-Author & Teen Poet
Julia Rae Rodriguez has been enchanted by words since she was a baby. Her favorite word as a 4-years old was exquisite, her favorite color was chartreuse, and her favorite shape was a trapezoid.
Julia Rae has always had a unique way about her. She wrote a “bucket list” in the first grade declaring that one day she would write chapter books. For her 4th Grade California Mission project, she rejected building a model as instructed, and instead wrote an essay speaking the truth about the history of colonialism and the abuse the indigenous people of California endured as they built the missions. Her teacher was very proud!
Julia Rae is currently in the 11th grade and attends Whittier High School in California. When not in school or helping to create bilingual books, she enjoys singing on stage for musical theatre, crocheting, baking, learning piano, and writing poetry for her book, Dried Lavender & Sage: Poems as I Grow (Release Date Oct 2023). Read some of Julia's poetry on Instagram @jrae.writes.
Cristian Gabriel Rodriguez,
Creative Director & Book Trailer Producer
Cristian’s first language is Spanish. Unlike many Spanish-speaking children, his first word was not mamá or papá - it was brócoli! Ever since speaking his 3-syllable first word, Cristian has been over-achieving in all his endeavors, inside and outside of school.
In Cub Scouts, he and his cub friend, set a record as the youngest scouts to walk a 10-mile hike. They were 5 years old. Cristian’s robust vocabulary and affinity for words comes from reading countless chapter book series throughout his primary education. His favorite word is asinine. The academic subject that he most enjoys is, and always has been, literature. He credits his exceptional reading and writing skills for being awarded High School Valedictorian.
Cristian Gabriel skipped his freshman year at UC Berkeley for having extra college units (that’s him over-achieving again!). He’s currently a senior at Cal Berkeley double majoring in Film and Linguistics. He will write, produce, and direct for the big screen one day.
His dream travel destination is Japan and hopes to make the trip in 2024. When not assisting in the creative process of publishing books or working on book trailers, he enjoys practicing card tricks, yo-yoing, balloon-animal art, and skateboarding.
To contract him for your book trailer, connect with him here.
Meet our Partners
Illustrator & Book Designer
Cynthia Nava is an illustrator from South Central, Los Angeles. Her debut children’s book is, I Want to Dance Like a Koala Bear/Quiero bailar como un koala. She loves creating art filled with bright colors and playful illustrations. Her goal is to evoke warmth and happiness to those who come across her work.
She is often inspired by her Mexican-American roots and centers her work around her culture and traditions. She also enjoys illustrating whimsical characters and compositions, oftentimes featuring adorable animals and her pets.
Cynthia proudly earned her Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts in Illustration from California State University, Long Beach. She still currently lives in Los Angeles and has fun in the sun while spending quality time with her family, three cats and playful dog.
Cynthia is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). For more information, please visit Cynthia’s site.
Translator & Spanish-Language Editor
Elizabeth Huerta was born in Ciudad Guzmán, a small city in Jalisco, Mexico. She migrated to California in 2000. Elizabeth studied Business Administration from the Instituto Tecnológico de Ciudad Guzmán and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree.
While in California, she enrolled in the Child Development Department at Antelope Valley Community College. For over ten years, Elizabeth has supported the early care and education field in areas of family literacy, parent education, school readiness, and previously participated in grassroots organizing within the First 5 LA-funded Best Start Communities in Lancaster and Palmdale.
Her excellent translation skills, along with her passion for children's books, has allowed her to be an ideal partner in translating children's books for Skillful & Soulful Press.
When Elizabeth is not translating material, she is cooking exquisite meals, feeding hummingbirds in her backyard, traveling, or connecting with her family in Mexico.
Cuitlahuac Arreola Martinez,
Indigenous Language Consultant
Cui Arreola Martinez is a Nahuatl language teacher from the Yaanga-based (so-called Los Angeles) Nahuatl study collective called Tlahtoltapazolli which means language nest. This study collective specifically teaches the Huasteca Nahuatl dialect of Chicontepec Veracruz, as well as Classical Nahuatl. Cui has been a part of this collective since August 2016.
He has taught in-person Nahuatl classes at Los Angeles locations including Eastside Café, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, and Semillitas Preschool. Cui has also delivered language instruction at Pasadena City College.
Since June 2018, Cui made a commitment to himself to teach his beautiful, ancestral language full-time and is currently teaching various classes online. His maternal ancestors come from a historically Nahuatl-speaking town in Jalisco, Mexico, but sadly, the language has been dormant for generations due to colonization.
In January 2019, Cui started a podcast with other language warriors as a way of discussing topics related to decolonization. In addition to teaching Nahuatl, Cui also teaches about other indigenous languages and incorporates relevant videos about Language Revitalization of indigenous languages.
Cui's commitment to revive and celebrate indigenous languages makes him the perfect partner in the development of our series of trilingual concept board books. Please follow him on Instagram @speaknahuatl and register for his classes here.