I’m a writer and senior editor for Dictionary.com. A former magazine editor, I like to write about language, music, and family traditions. My debut picture book, Dreams of Green, is available for pre-order now.


In this story about Día de los Reyes, or Three Kings’ Day, a girl and her family discover new ways to celebrate their Puerto Rican heritage in Ohio. 

Publish date: October 3, 2023

Format: Picture book

In Puerto Rico, the sun and breeze chased me through every open window. The iguanas lazed about, happy for the sizzling rays. And in bare feet, I gathered grass (for the Three Kings) even in January.”

—Dreams of Green

Other works by Mariel:

El Verde De Mis Sueños (Spanish version):

In this Spanish edition of the picture Dreams of Green, a girl and her family discover new ways to celebrate their Puerto Rican heritage in Ohio.

Where Monsters Lurk & Magic Hides:

Where Monsters Lurk and Magic Hides is an anthology of Latine/x genre fiction from both new and established young adult authors. The stories in this anthology span the genre categories of romance, sci-fi and fantasy, and gothic horror. They take place in this world, other worlds, and maybe somewhere in between.

I watch my breath form small clouds that disappear. I look for the three stars that belong to the Three Kings. Just like on the island, they out-twinkle all the others this time of year.”

—Dreams of Green

About the author (above): Mariel Jungkunz is a former journalist and a graduate of the Las Hermanas mentorship program for unpublished kidlit writers at Las Musas Books. Originally from Puerto Rico, she currently resides in Ohio, where she gathers grass for the Three Kings every year with her family.

About the illustrator: Mónica Paola Rodríguez has a BFA in fine art from Savannah College of Art and Design and loves illustrating people’s stories. She was born and raised in San Juan, and always enjoyed eating her abuela’s homemade pasteles and arroz con pollo.