Reviewers praise Luis Garay's books and his illustrations

A Handful of Seeds

  "Illustrator Garay's intriguing combination of paint and cross-hatching is theatrical, posed, and yet honest, akin in its tone and scope to the work of Diego Rivera."
--Publisher's Weekly

  "Both writer and illustrator achieve simplicity without being simplistic. They convey something of the harsh realities of poverty for millions of street children worldwide together with a message of hope and sharing. A Handful of Seeds is published in collaboration with UNICEF Canada. Highly recommended."
--Canadian Book Review Annual

Alfredito Flies Home

  "Luis Garay’s sensitively attuned illustrations make this book extra special and provide plenty of details both within and outside the narrative."

Popol Vuh

  "Full- and double-page paintings rich in color and detail illustrate the volume. A beautifully designed book to be savored on its own or as a source for cultural or comparative studies."
--School Library Journal

  "Garay’s luxurious full-page illustrations (are) in watercolour and pen and ink. His lush jungle scenes and dramatic nightscapes reward close scrutiny, and all the paintings capture the sense of fecundity celebrated in the narrative."
--Quill & Quire

  "Luis Garay spent six months in Guatemala researching this work. His paintings, all full-page or double-page spreads, are simple, yet detailed. They have an interesting light quality which is very effective in breathing life into the paintings. Greens and browns of the Guatemalan landscape contrast with the bright colours of the people's clothing and headdresses."
--Manitoba Library Association

  "Garay's handsome art, fusing naturalistic detail with stylized forms, complements the text's stateliness and clarity. The artist spent six months in Guatemala researching his work. No one interested in the history of the Americas will want to miss this."
--Publishers Weekly

--(Writer) Montego's young readers will no doubt adore the illustrations of Luis Garay for their boldness and their colour."
--Canadian Children's Literature

The Kite

  "Garay's distinctive style draws on the heritage of Latin American art with its mixture of European and Native influences, sculptures, and murals."
--Children's Book News

  "Following the precedent set by his previous books Pedrito's Day and The Long Road, Nicaraguan-born Luis Garay attempts to create an awareness of the hardships faced by many Latin American children. He succeeds, yet this story far surpasses the label of 'social issues' literature."
--Quill & Quire

  "The glowing, vibrant paintings still manage to bring children up close to the harsh poverty and the individual people in Francisco's life. Garay is originally from Nicaragua, and his pictures show what the story says: 'the marketplace had a rhythm and Francisco was part of it'."

  "Each painting tells the story that is related on the adjacent page. Francisco's poverty, his simple pleasures, and the small rewards evoke admiration for a boy who finds joy in his life. The straightforward telling moves quickly, and is told in language that can easily be read aloud."
--School Library Journal

Jade and Iron

  "These fascinating stories are beautifully illustrated by Luis Garay."

  "The artwork by Luis Garay, a Nicaraguan, lends visual authenticity to the stories and deepens their impact. Each story is accompanied by a full-page illustration – done in strong pen-and-ink lines overlaid with bold and vibrant watercolour – that helps convey a sense of the region’s impressive landscape as well as the story’s central action."
--Quill & Quire

  "Meticulous cross-hatching lends volume and texture to the figures in his carefully planned compositions. Jade and Iron deserves attention not only for these striking illustrations, but also for the glimpse it provides into the multifaceted folklore of Latin America."
--Horn Book

Pedrito's Day

  "Garay, who so gracefully illustrated A Handful of Seeds by Monica Hughes, makes an eloquent debut as writer....Garay's unusual mix of paint and fine cross-hatching combines strongly defined forms with a delicate, gravelly texture. The gravity and stability of the painstaking art heightens the wisdom of this sober but warm story."
--Publishers Weekly

  "Garay's realistic paintings feature strong, clear colours overlaid with delicate black cross-hatching and tiny dots that soften the brightness of the images. He shows the reality of Pedrito's poverty without making it too bleak."
--Quill & Quire

The Long Road

  "This visually stunning book tells the story of a Latin American boy who is forced to move north with his mother as the result of political unrest....The illustrations are outstanding."
--School Library Journal

  "Garay’s brightly colored full-page paintings with cross-hatching have an expressive realism and extraordinary depth."

  “The text and illustrations are emotional and captivating.…A highly recommended book that will touch the hearts and minds of all ages.”
--MultiCultural Review

Cousins / Primas

  "Luis Garay's detailed, colourful illustrations reinforce the differences between the households (chipped paint and cracked linoleum in the poorer home, for instance) and capture the intense emotions of the two cousins."
Quill & Quire

  "Full-page painted illustrations give this book an old-fashioned Hispanic feel."
LMC Library Media Connection

  "Garay's acrylic paintings in a primitive style with crisp black outlines and a warm yet muted palette are arresting and distinctly reminiscent of Diego Rivera's or José Clemente Orozco's work. An intriguing read."
--School Library Journal