Vicente Castro i Alvaro

He was born in 1949 in Ventosilla, a town in Segovia. He moved to Mallorca with his family when he was fifteen years old. Once he had finished his studies at the Hotel School in Palma, he wrote his first work, entitled Libro de bares y coctelería (‘Book of Bars and Cocktails’). In Manacor he met the person who would be his mentor and his great friend, Mr Rafael Ferrer Massanet, who was a writer and a journalist. He began to write articles with Mr Rafael Ferrer Massanet in the magazine Perlas y Cuevas (‘Pearls and Caves’), in which he had a section entitled “Pioneros de Cala Millor” (‘Pioneers from Cala Millor’). During those years Vicente Castro i Álvaro signed his articles with his pseudonym, Zuky or Zukycas.

Afterwards, he worked as a photojournalist in various media: the last time was for the Diario de Mallorca in 1994, the year in which he travelled to the Caribbean, although he never stopped collaborating with his teacher, Mr Rafael Ferrer Massanet. The Secretary of State for Tourism of the Dominican Republic commissioned him a field guide to etiquette and protocol for tour guides and Vicente wrote Seminario de etiqueta y protocolo (‘Seminar on Etiquette and Protocol’). When he returned to Spain, he wrote Emigrando a Mallorca (‘Emigrating to Mallorca’) and Solo en el Caribe (‘Alone in the Caribbean’), two books in which he captures the vicissitudes of his arrival in Mallorca and some anecdotes about his trips through the Caribbean and South America.

Back to Mallorca, Vicente Castro i Álvaro began to write what his father had explained to him when he was little, when they went for a walk in the field and he was in contact with nature. That was, in fact, what inspired him most to write El reino de las mil velas (‘The Kingdom of a Thousand Candles’), published with illustrations by Catalina Jaume Sureda, and El león que quería ser perro – The lion who wanted to be a dog, and Bellita y Peter, dos mariposas monarca (‘Bellita and Peter, Two Monarch Butterflies’), the latter two with illustrations by Pep Mascaró Bauzá. It can be said that the latter two books reflect in a certain way what Vicente lived as a child and what he learned from his father, like the journey that the monarch butterflies make. Vicente Castro i Álvaro wanted to raise awareness of the importance for children to be in contact with animals and with nature in general.

All three stories are written in a very clear way for children to begin to read.