When We Love Someone We Sing To Them

Written by Ernesto Javier Martínez

Illustrated by Maya Christina González

Translated by Jorge Martínez Feliciano

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Reflection Press

ISBN: 978-1-945289-14-9

2018 |  Children's Book


In this book, we learn about the Mexican tradition of singing to family and loved ones through one boy who naturally assumes the tradition includes him and his experience. Watch a tradition expand as limitations are lifted to include everyone, all the way to remembering Xochipilli, the Mesoamerican deity of creativity, song, and dance. A perfect book to bring tradition and inclusion into the conversation and support our LGBTQ young ones in knowing that they belong and always have, while providing pride in both our Mexican heritage and our LGBTQ culture and history as families.


  • International Latino Book Award (Best Children’s Picture Book), 2019

  • International Latino Book Award (Best First Book for Children), 2019

  • American Library Association Rainbow List, 2019



“What a groundbreaking gem of a book that recognizes and celebrates the first heartbeats of a boy’s crush on another boy. This sensitively written story and its stunning illustrations hold up to the light an emotional truth that has heretofore been whispered and sings it to life!”— Rigoberto González, award-winning author and educator

“A book for parents as much as for children that should have been published centuries ago.”— F. Isabel Campoy, award-winning author and educator

“When We Love Someone We Sing to Them is touching, beautiful, and necessary. The intricate weaving of song through relationships—between parent and child, child and parents, child and love—gives life to a story that children can embrace from the heart.”— Innosanto Nagara, bestselling author of 'A Is for Activist' and more

“A wonderful reminder to us as parents, guardians, and caregivers that children already recognize the harmony of el bonito amor and need us to help them share it.”— Manuel Muñoz, award-winning author and educator