Dear Primo, a letter to my cousin


This is the cover of “Dear Primo, a letter to my cousin.” It’s my first picture book. I wrote the story and illustrated it. Its published by Abrams and it will be in stores March 1st.

The story is about Carlitos and Charlie, two cousins that write letters back and forth to each other. Carlitos lives in the countryside in Mexico. He rides his bicicleta to school and loves quesadillas. Charlie lives in a city in the US. He rides the subway to school and always gets a slice of pizza on his way home.

There are words in Spanish scattered throughout Dear Primo and a glossary at the end. These are some spreads from the book:





Carlitos and Charlie’s environments are vastly different, but at the end of the day the two primos are more alike then different. Primos are primos. The story is inspired by my own experiences and observations. I grew up in Mexico, but have lived for a significant amount of years in the US.

I received a copy of the book from my publisher this last week. Here are some pictures of it:



I’m so happy with how it came out.  My mom and I got very emotional when I translated the author’s note to her.

my mom and the primos

I can’t wait to see it in libraries and bookstores, but more importantly, to see children reading it.


I plan on being in NY for the release of the book and hopefully I’ll be doing some book readings too. More on that once I know the details.

The book is 32 pages long, full color. It’s 8.5 x 11 inches, and it has a hardcover with a jacket. If you are interested in pre-ordering the book you can click here and to see the Abrams spring 2010 catalog you can click here or visit


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

11 Responses to “Dear Primo, a letter to my cousin”

  1. cynthialawson Says:

    Felicitaciones! It is so exciting to see the printed, bound book!

  2. New Book by IDp alumnus, Duncan Tonatiuh – The School of Design Strategies - Parsons Says:

    […] For more details and spreads from the book see Duncan’s blog entry. […]

  3. Bernadine Says:

    Me encanta! Congratulations on getting published, and it’s really a book I would have read happily as a child. I can’t believe I was in class with you! Good luck!

  4. nati Says:

    If you are in LA – we’d love to have you at our store! LA residents – pick up the book at our store in Eagle Rock!

    • duncantonatiuh Says:

      I’d love to come! I’ll talk with my publisher and look into it. If I can get some sponsorship I’m all about it.

  5. conrazon Says:

    Awesome – please hit us at Duncan when you know!

  6. Ida C. Benedetto – Blog » “Life Beyond Tourism” Festival in Tbilisi, Georgia Says:

    […] Duncan Tonatiuh, BFA Integrated Design Studies 2008, presented Journey of a Mixteco, a graphic novel about Sergio, a Mexican immigrant to New York City, drawn in the style of Mixteca art, the art created by Sergio’s ancestors. This project lead to the publication of Duncan’s first book, Dear Primo, A Letter to My Cousin. […]

  7. Says:

    […] Dear Primo, A Letter to My Cousin by Duncan Tonatiuh Written as a series of letters between Carlitos who lives in Mexico and Charlie who lives in a big city in the U.S, Dear Primo is a testament to how children see their world. The two cousins describe the events of their days from playing fútbol with friends in Mexico to break dancing on the sidewalk in the U.S. […]

  8. Ms. B. from VA Says:

    I love this book! I used it this week with our first and second graders as they talked about rural and urban communities. The colors are beautiful and the details are fun to pour over!

  9. Tressa Says:

    Just simply want to stress I’m just glad that i stumbled on the internet page.

  10. SEO services Denver Says:

    Hello there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and
    say I genuinely enjoy reading through your articles.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the
    same topics? Thanks a ton!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: