Jacqueline Alcántara

Special Guest
Jacqueline Alcántara is a freelance illustrator and educator spending her days drawing, rehabbing houses and adventuring with her dogs. She is fueled by dance music, carbs and coffee. Jacqueline studied Secondary Art Education and taught high school art and photography before transitioning to illustration.

Her experience working with children has led her to focusing on children’s literature and specifically in pursuit of projects featuring a diverse main character. She won the 2016 “We Need Diverse Books Campaign” Mentorship Award and is excited to be working to promote inclusiveness and diversity in children’s literature and the illustration field.

Her first book THE FIELD (written by Baptiste Paul, published by North South Books ) received 3 starred reviews and won Jacqueline the Sonia Lynn Sadler Award in 2018. Her second book, FREEDOM SOUP (written by Tami Charles, published by Candlewick Press) received 4 starred reviews and was a Junior Library Guild, Indiebound and Amazon selection in 2019. JUMP AT THE SUN ( written by Newbery honoree Alicia D. Williams, published by Cailtyn Dlouhy / Antheneum Books ) and YOUR MAMA ( written by NoNieqa Ramos, published by Kwame Alexander’s imprint Versify Books / HMH) both released in 2021 and received a total of 7 starred reviews.

In addition to the children’s illustration field, Jacqueline has worked with other clients including Obama Foundation, NPR, The Chicago Reader, The Chicago Foundation for Women, The Southern Poverty Law Center, Elle Decor, and University of Chicago creating illustrations for a range of editorial and promotional projects. She has a never ending interest in learning new skills and taking on new challenges.