About this item

What's in a name? For one little girl, her very long name tells the vibrant story of where she came from - and who she may one day be.

If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all - and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.

About the Author

Juana Martinez-Neal

Juana Martinez-Neal is the recipient of the 2018 Pura Belpré Medal for Illustration for "La Princesa and the Pea" (written by Susan M. Elya, Putnam/Penguin) ."Alma and How She Got Her Name" (Candlewick 2018) is her first picture book as author-illustrator. Martinez-Neal says that the essence of ALMA, which has autobiographical elements, is "you are everyone that came before you, and you are uniquely yourself." Candlewick Press acquired the book in a seven publisher auction and will publish in simultaneous English-and Spanish-language editions.Juana is the illustrator of "Babymoon" (written by Hayley Barrett, Candlewick 2019) , "Fry Bread" (written by Kevin Mailliard, Roaring Brook Press 2019) , and "Swashby and the Sea" (written by Beth Ferry, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020) . She is also the illustrator of "La Madre Goose" (written by Susan M. Elya, Putnam/Penguin 2016) .Juana was named to the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Honor list in 2014, and was awarded the SCBWI Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize in 2012. She was born in Lima, the capital of Peru, and now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband and three children.

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