Two local women have collaborated to produce an illustrated book about a female Air Force officer who explains her military service exploits -- in English and Spanish -- to her curious son.
Good Night Captain Mama is a bilingual picture book created for children between the ages of three and seven.
The author is Graciela Tiscareño-Sato and the illustrator is Linda Lens. They met though the Castro Valley Parent Nursery School.
The main character is a young boy in pajamas.
As he passes Mama’s bedroom he sees her in her olive-green Air Force flight suit.
The child is curious about the colorful patches on the uniform and asks questions as he pulls off each patch
Aviator Mama uses the patches as props to explain her service in the U.S. Air Force , helping the boy feel proud of his mama and her role in the flight crew.
The story was inspired by a bedtime conversation between the author and her preschooler as she prepared to speak at Castro Valley Parent Nursery School.
The illustrator's children attended the same nursery. That is where Graciela and Linda met.
The book includes an art activity so children can design their own patches to represent their school, team or family.
Graciela Tiscareño-Sato is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, where she completed the Aerospace Studies program through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Program.
After Berkeley, she joined the active duty Air Force and completed Navigator Training, graduating second in her class of 39 students as the only woman.
She was a member of one of the first aircrews that enforced the NO FLY Zone in Southern Iraq after the conclusion of Operation Desert Storm.
During her military career, Graciela lived on or visited four continents and flew for thousands of hours.
"My specialty code was aircraft navigator or, as my husband likes to say: 'professional backseat driver'," Grace quips.
She was one of the few women to serve on the NATO battle staff in Vicenza, Italy during the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
She later led a multi-service group of communications technicians in counter-narcotics operations in Quito, Ecuador.
While on active duty she earned a Master degree in International Management from Whitworth University in Washington.
She is fluent in English and Spanish.
Graciela founded niche publishing, marketing and communications firm, Gracefully Global Group, LLC.
She is the author of the award-winning book Latinnovating: Green American Jobs and the Latinos Creating Them. It highlights Hispanic entrepreneurs in the green economy.
She has been published in the U.S. and Europe in American Careers, Huffington Post, Fox News, Hispanic MBA, Communications News and other publications.
Linda Lens has been passionate about art since the first thunderstorm she can remember.
She was encouraged to pursue art by her grandmother and mother, who would take her and her sister to the library where they could check out as many children's books as they wanted.
The illustrations and colors always fascinated Linda and helped inspire her to become a children's book illustrator.
Her love for capturing human expression followed her throughout college at Cal State East Bay, where she earned a degree in studio art, specializing in portraiture.
One of Linda's favorite quotes is from the author Tom Robbins, who says “The purpose of art is to provide what life does not.”
(Meet Grace at the Castro Valley Library on Thursday, March 28, from 10:30 am to 11:30 am in the Chabot/Canyon Room. Expect to read stories, play with toys, puzzles and games. Recommended for children under 5.)