With a few hours left of Friday, here’s this week’s Perfect Picture Book. Juana Martinez-Neal’s debut as author/illustrator has hit the shelves and is truly a treasure!
Title: Alma and How She Got Her Name
Written and Illustrated by: Juana Martinez-Neal
Candlewick Press, 2018, fiction
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes/topics: names, family, identity
Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela had a long name—
too long, if you asked her.
Overview: (from barnesandnoble.com)
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.
Activities and Resources:
Read a couple more books about names like these two favorites:
Compare and contrast.
Find out the history or your name.
Writing: If you could change your name, what would you choose, and why?
Why I like this book:
Soon after reading the book, and reading it again, and again, five-year-old Corinne began a sing-song chant with Alma’s full name and a few lines from the story—a sure sign of a book that touched a child. Aren’t we all fascinated to learn about our names and the family history? This tender story with irresistible illustrations is sure to inspire conversations. I’d put it right up there with my old favorites about names I’ve shared above!
Visit the Epic Eighteen website to see more exciting debuts in 2018.
Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent activities and resources.