Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

My thoughts: Everyone has a mother and a father. Everyone ha a grandmother and a grandfather. And on down the line it goes. Whether we know them or not, whether we like them or not, we are part of who they are or were. It is how we're made up physically.

In Alma and How She Got Her Name an adorable little girl in pink stripped clothes delights the heart visually and in the actual story. But this is so much more than the tale of a sweet little girl traipsing across the pages of a picture book. It is a story of how each part of her name means something and is linked to someone.

The author's birth home is the land of Peru and this sweet book definitely has a Peruvian or Spanish flavor especially when you look closely at the illustrations. I absolutely love little Alma. Her personality shines as one of sweetness and precocious intuition. The drawings are deftly conceived using soft pencils or perhaps charcoal and pastels. The blacks and shades of grey with touches of pinks and red are executed beautifully and tell the story visually in a sweetly unique manner.

I love how it ends with the telling of just what "Alma" means and the goal for living a story it invokes.

A sweet book that readers in English or Spanish will enjoy and they can get a copy in either language. My review copy was in English.

About the book: 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.

Juana Martinez-Neal’s  has been one of the most highly anticipated new picture books this Spring! This is a great book to encourage a child’s interest in genealogy and family history. Juana Martinez-Neal recently received the Pura Belpré award for her book La Princesa and the Pea.
Winner's choice: English or Spanish
Begins April 19
Ends May 11 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA and CANADA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Candlewick Press on behalf of the author to faiclitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.


  1. "Does your family give longer names such as Alma has? What do you think about this custom." I think that's a perfectly fine custom, but we don't do that!

  2. I think it's an awesome custom but our family doesn't do that.

  3. I think a family name is wonderful, but not so sure about more than two names.

  4. It is a neat tradition. In our family the girls middle name is her mother's first name. This has been going back four generations at least that I know of.

  5. No our family did not do this, but I feel that people have a right to name their children anything they want to.

  6. I know many families that follow this tradition, and i think it gives a nice story for the children to talk about and to learn about their family and heritage.

  7. Middle names are often named after family members. We follow this tradition in our family.

  8. we give the kids a name that is long with alot of nicknames, beginning with the initial of a recently deceased relative. we then do descriptive middle name, and a plain one.

  9. Our names are very short - not even a middle name. But I think the tradition of long names is fine.

  10. Our children's names are fairly short with a first, middle, and last name.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  11. First names for my kids are from someone special who has gone on before them. It's hard to fit long names and hyphenated names in the blanks given on forms.

  12. This book looks so sweet! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on!

  13. Our children have long Italian names and I wouldn't have it any other way :)

  14. Long names usually get shortened by nicknames. So what gives?

  15. I would like to win this for my niece.

  16. My family hasn't done that traditionally. Whatever a family's traditions are will be fine with me. This looks like a super cute book.

  17. It seems like long names run in my family. As I've been searching through my family's genealogical branches.


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