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Juan Muñoz, author of the emblematic "Fray Perico and his donkey" and "El pirata Garrapata" from El Barco de Vapor, from SM, dies
• The famous writer from Madrid has contributed for more than 40 years to promoting reading among boys and girls in our country with his endearing characters and with his encounters with readers in educational centers.
• "Juan Muñoz's characters are part of our lives, as readers and as editors": Berta Márquez, editorial manager of Children's and Youth Literature at SM.
• "Today an author leaves us who is and was an inspiration for those of us who love the LIJ and dedicate ourselves to writing for children and adolescents. His humor and bonhomie remain, thanks to his books, by our side," he laments. the award-winning young author Nando López.
Madrid, February 27, 2023.- SM regrets to announce the death of Juan Muñoz, the longest-lived author of Children's and Youth Literature in Spain, at 93 years of age. And our most beloved writer, who has converted generations and generations of boys and girls in our country into readers with his fun and endearing characters.
His emblematic books Fray Perico y su borrico and El pirata Garrapata continue to lead the sales of the El Barco de Vapor collection, with more than a million and a half copies sold in Spain. For more than 40 years, the nonagenarian author from Madrid and a great reader, especially of classics, has contributed to the promotion of reading not only with his adventure stories and lots of humor, but also with his encounters in educational centers. "The pirate Garrapata and Fray Perico and his donkey have been orphaned and those of us who dedicate ourselves to children's literature a bit too. Juan Muñoz's characters are part of our lives, as readers and as editors," Berta Márquez acknowledged, editorial manager of Children's and Youth Literature of SM.
His family has released the sad news this afternoon on the social networks of the writer who opened during the pandemic to continue being by the side of his readers and where he received the love of young and old. With the help of his children and his Muñoz grandchildren, from his profile @autorFrayPerico, he answered daily the affectionate messages thanking them for their laughter and passion for reading. Today they remember it happily and wish that new readers discover it.
Legacy of Children's and Youth Literature
For the vast majority of authors of children's and youth literature, Juan Muñoz has been a teacher with a legacy to dream of. "It was an inspiration for those of us who love the LIJ and are dedicated to writing for children and adolescents," recognized the award-winning youth writer Nando López. Roberto Santiago, author of the successful SM collection Los Futbolísimos, remembers the advice Muñoz gave him at an El Barco de Vapor Awards ceremony: "enjoy writing, when you realize it, you open your eyes and everything has happened." Of course, as a reader, he had known him long before. "Since I was a child and, thanks to his books, I dreamed of being a rambunctious pirate or a magical friar and traveling the world living adventures. Reading Juan Muñoz Martín has been synonymous for decades with opening your eyes to a better world, more optimistic, full of hope and tenderness. Thank you for creating so many new readers, for opening so many doors and for showing us the way. We will continue to enjoy you, Juan", added Santiago. For her part, Laura Gallego, another great creator of readers thanks to Idhún, commented that "the stories and characters of Juan Muñoz are not only part of the best Spanish children's literature, but will also remain forever in the hearts of all those of us who grew up with them. His readers will never forget him and we will always be grateful to him."
About Juan Muñoz
Juan Muñoz was born on May 13, 1929 in Atocha, Madrid, where he studied French Philology. He was a Language and Literature teacher and founded several schools while he dedicated himself to children's literature, with more than thirty books published.
In 1966 he got his first literary recognition, the Doncel Children's Story Award with Las tres piedras.
In 1980 he won the SM El Barco de Vapor Award with Fray Perico and his donkey, his most important work that has sold more than one and a half million copies in Spain. In addition, it has been translated into many languages and is even used in Japan to teach Spanish. In 1982 another of his most important books, El pirata Garrapata, came to light. Over the years, Juan Muñoz turned his two characters into protagonists of two sagas that have become the two best-selling titles in SM's El Barco de Vapor collection. There have been 71 editions of Fray Perico and his donkey and 64 editions of El pirata Garrapata. In 1984 he obtained the second prize for the short story New Acropolis. In 1992 he won the I Complutense Cervantes Chico Award for Children's and Youth Literature as the author most read by children. Last December he went to Tenerife accompanied by his family to collect the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts 2021, the year in which he published his latest adventure of El pirata Garrapata.
His latest book: The Pirate Tick on Mars
At the age of 92, he published his last book, "a crazy adventure with puns, names that rhyme and that you don't forget; posters and secret messages that make you part of the story; stinky smells, hateful flavors, disgusting food, expired cans ; stones, meteorites, eyes and ears of Martians, spiders..., junk that doesn't work and my favorite phrase to know that we are going to be a little scared: is there anyone there?", as revealed by this emblematic author of the LIJ who always He wrote by hand, with pen and paper. The book is dedicated to all his readers, for making him so happy.
Hook held high at the Madrid Book Fair With his inseparable hook, he went year after year to sign copies at the Madrid Book Fair. The most exciting is that of 2021, that of the reunion with his readers after the confinement, where he ended up signing in the SM booth after the closing of the day, sharing laughter and anecdotes and feeling the affection of countless people from the publishing sector, bookstores , teachers, professors, families and readers, large and small. "I am excited to see that those readers of the eighties and nineties, now adults, recover the widely read editions of Barco de Vapor for their children and nephews. It is a great satisfaction to see that their children have as much fun as they do and that the boys ask for new adventures", he explained in this meeting. Juan Muñoz recognized that "reading is what facilitates the learning of school subjects and prevents misspellings, which are very ugly, and encourages imagining and inventing, which is very beautiful".
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