We are Constanza Recart and Ana María Pavez, founding members of Editorial Amanuta. Twenty years ago we wanted to create an illustrated children's book to contribute to the culture and reading of boys and girls in Chile. We write the text Kiwala knows the sea and we went looking for an illustrator. Neither of us came from the world of literature, or anything related to publishing. We just wanted to do a project for the children of Chile. There weren't many illustrators in those days, so we went to the university where they taught an illustration course that they had as students. Pigeon Valdivia, Bernadette Ojeda y Rachel Echenique. Paloma was enthusiastic about our project and illustrated the collection Kiwala. Bernadette and Raquel also illustrated some of our first titles. Initially we had the support of a company, which financed and distributed our first four books in the north of Chile. However, we wanted to reach more families and the whole country, so we went knocking on the doors of several publishers, but it didn't go well.
It was there when we decided to create our own editorial, without knowing what we were embarking on. Many warned us how difficult this area was in Chile. Especially 20 years ago when there were few bookstores and children's books were something unknown to many in Chile. But we knew there was a need and that we were capable of doing it.
We start with four books, all from the collection Kiwala. During the first years, all our titles sought to rescue the cultural heritage of Chile and America. Then we expand our themes to the construction of our identity as citizens of the world. And from the first books we seek to combine texts and illustrations, tradition and modernity, that is, cultural heritage and new concepts, through a wide variety of themes, seeking to delight both children and adults.
Amanuta means "with intention" in the Aymara language. Each of our books has been created with intention, dedication, work, and a lot of love. They have been conceived with the intention of entertaining, entertaining, inspiring, moving and teaching. We are passionate about this project, which turns 20, and we have developed it with a small team of enthusiasts and dreamers just like us, and with the support and love of our authors and illustrators.
We have published more than 200 illustrated books, and each one of these books has meant a lot of work, but above all they have allowed us to work with many people, with whom we have created bonds over the years. Illustrators, designers, authors, friends, editors, proofreaders, translators, teachers, librarians, mediators of reading, who have accompanied us on the journey of each of these projects, which have often been long projects, lasting several years. There are 200 titles, but there are thousands of stories behind each of these books.
Without realizing it, we have grown more than we dared to think and today our books are in the hands of boys and girls from Chile, from other Latin American countries and from other parts of the world.
We are convinced that books open doors and windows to broaden horizons. Books allow us to travel to real and fantasy worlds, to internal and private worlds, but also to external and shared worlds. Reading provides meaning and builds history. We have valued reading, not only words but meanings, as a process that stimulates imagination, creativity and develops cognition.
We never cease to be amazed by boys and girls, because they are curious, creative, open and without prejudice. Always willing to take everything that life can offer them. We consider the first years of life as the period in which our identity as people is built, a period that shapes our way of being, our biology and the way in which we will inhabit the world.
Amanuta celebrates 20 years making books. There are many themes that we have developed over the years. Some are:
Books on heritage and culture: books about native peoples, historical figures such as Gabriela Mistral and Darwin.
Flora and fauna books: books of animals, insects, birds, trees and flowers, such as Water and land, amphibians and reptiles of America, Explore your natural world, Insectopedia.
Books about the environment: books related to the care of the planet such as Green Echoes.
Books on diversity: where everyone is considered and valued regardless of their background, beliefs, sexuality, gender, appearance and physical abilities as Adela and the missing socks.
Genre Books: to talk with boys and girls, to understand the differences they have and invite them to reflect and be educated in freedom, both in their games and in their dreams; You and I.
Science books: books to introduce boys and girls to various scientific topics such as Incredible evolution y The book of comparisons.
Poetry books: books by Gabriela Mistral, Nicanor Parra, Rafael Pombo among others.
Album books: books where text and image are important, like Mole under the earth.
We want to thank everyone who has accompanied us in these 20 years.