Book cover

A children’s book, written and published by a McAllen ISD teacher from Achieve Early College High School, has earned national recognition.  

The book Feyesper and the Red Shoes by Reynaldo Jope has become a Distinguished Favorite in the Childrens - Motivational category for the 2021 New York City Big Book Awards.

The competition is judged by experts from different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. Selected award Winners and Distinguished Favorites are based on overall excellence.

This is Jope's third book in his Feyesper series. The second book, Feyesper and the Wicked Neighbor, won the same award in 2018, along with Distinguished Favorite in the Childrens - Inspirational category. The first book, Feyesper and the Rogue Kite, was published in 2013. 

These books chronicle the adventures of a pink fairy armadillo (pichiciego, in Argentina) named Feyesper (pronounced fI-spur), and they teach young readers tools they can use in life. For example, Rogue Kite is about strengthening relationships. Kids can be taught how to take an active part in strengthening their relationship with anybody around them. (Whose kite are you? Do you fly well? Who are your kites? Do you fly them well?) Wicked Neighbor is about tolerance and understanding, while Red Shoes is about active charity and empathy.

“I wanted to honor my parents, especially my mom,” Jope explained. “I thought my mom was the epitome of faith and hope. ‘Faith and hope’ in Spanish is fe y esperanza. If you take away the ‘anza’ at the end of the second word, you will get fe y esper. You put them together and you get the name of my protagonist Feyesper.” 

2021 was a record year for books awarded due to the high level of quality and diverse books submitted.  Again in 2021, NYC Big Book Award received book submissions worldwide, including great submissions from journalists, well-established authors, small and large press plus first time indie authors who participated in high numbers. Entries came in from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. Winners were recognized globally from Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Lebanon, Queensland and the U.S.  

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To view the list of winners, visit

Distinguished Favorites listed here: