Duncan Tonatiuh (toh-nah-tyou) is an award winning author and illustrator.
His book Diego Rivera: His World and Ours, published in 2011 by Abrams Books for Young Readers is the winner of the 2012 Pura Belpré illustration award for a work that best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children's books. It is also the winner of a 2012 Tomás Rivera Mexican American children's book award.
His first book Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin, published in 2010 by Abrams Books for Young Readers, received an honorable mentioned from the Pura Belpré committee in 2011. It was also an América's Award Commended Title, a Notable Book for a Global Society list and chosen as one of the best books of 2010 by Kirkus reviews and the Chicago Public Library.
His series of illustrations titled Little Red and the Coyote received an honorable mention in 2011 from the Catalog of Illustrators for Children and Young Adults that the Mexican Council for the Arts and Culture sponsors. His illustrations of the H1N1 epidemic were selected for the catalog in 2009.
His short graphic novel Journey of a Mixteco won the the grand prize for the best project in the Regional Art Festival in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2010, and the award for the best thesis in the Integrated Design Department at Parsons the New School for Design in 2008.
Duncan has collaborated with the Journal of Children's Literature, Contratiempo magazine, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the 5yearplan.org, el Colegio de Michoacán, ST editorial, topshelf comix 2.0, among others.
Duncan was born in Mexico City but grew up in San Miguel de Allende. He graduated from Parsons The New School for Design and from Eugene Lang College in New York City in 2008.
Duncan's work is inspired by Ancient Mexican art, particularly that of the Mixtec codex. He samples elements and motifs from them and overall resembles the codex' aesthetic, particularly their flatness and geometry. But Duncan takes advantage of the tools of our digital age. He draws by hand but the collages his drawings in the computer. His aim is to create images that address contemporary issues that affect people of Mexican origin on both sides of the border.