Meet the Author
Desiring a way to spend time with his grandkids and teach them about their Hispanic heritage and the Spanish language in an exciting way, Ernest Olivarez authored the book, Jose the Reindeer, and wrote and produced the corresponding musical album to bring the story to life. Since English is his first language, he worked with his parents to achieve the most authentic Spanish translation and hopes you and your family will enjoy incorporating the books, plush toy, and songs into your holiday traditions.
Ernest Michael Olivarez
A bit more About the Author
Ernest Olivarez is a first-generation Mexican-American on his mom’s side and forth-generation on his dad’s. He has been happily married to his wife, Melisa, since 1992 and they have five children (Michael, Isaiah, Luke, Aaron, Alexis (our angel in heaven), and Nichole) and two grandchildren (Delilah and Isabella). He spends his days as an electrical engineer, and his free time with his family, writing and producing music, and volunteering at his church.
. "Every day is a miracle and a gift from God." Ernest always says. His faith in God is deep, and the joy in his spirit is contagious. You can experience his passion for all things Christmas by listening to the American Legacy Jazz band playing many of his all new original Christmas songs.
About My Family -
Our family for sure came from humble beginnings. On my Mom’s side, my great grandparents, Andres and Rafaela Flores were the forerunners in coming to America. They actually were the first to go to Michigan to work in the fields. My grandparents Alfredo and Basiliza Gallegos soon followed and immigrated from Mexico in January 1952 along with their 8 children. My Mom was born in Nuevo Laredo, Mejico. My uncle Bob was the only one born in the united states in Saginaw, Michigan.
My Mom remembers all 10 family members coming in the back of a big truck with no amenities on a cold winter month. They traveled to Saginaw, Michigan with hope of making a better life for the family. My Father and his family soon follow them from McAllen Texas in 1953 with the same goal. My great grandfather and also grandfather eventually were able to find work in the automobile plants. During the summers, the rest of the family would pick Cherries in June and then potatoes. That is where my 14-year-old Mother first met my 16-year-old father. A life-long love affair ensued. But that is another story...
In the following years, the families attended a small Spanish church. They grew up in a close-knit Spanish community. My father was a musician in the church and active in a traveling music ministry with his brothers. From an early age, my Mother was a voracious reader. I believe her favorite subject was space travel. Her older brother, my uncle Mario, would walk her to the library to check out books. When she was younger, she wished there were bilingual children’s’ books.
Books are a fantastic way for one to take a journey any place you wish. And when you are poor, imagination can provide a wonderful escape! That is what make our Jose the Reindeer so special to our family! How blessed we are to share this book along with the song with everyone. Not only does it celebrate our Hispanic heritage, it also can be used as a tool to help children learn both English and Spanish. The book is bilingual; that is just how we grew up.