My Name Is Celia:The Life of Celia Cruz/ Me llamo Celia: La vida de Celia Cruz

Overview

This bilingual book allows young readers to enter Celia Cruz's life as she becomes a well-known singer in her homeland of Cuba, then moves to New York City and Miami where she and others create a new type of music called salsa. School Library Journal has named My Name is Celia “[a]n exuberant picture-book biography . . . a brilliant introduction to a significant woman and her music.”

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Hardcover (Bi-lingual edition: English-Spanish lang)
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Overview

This bilingual book allows young readers to enter Celia Cruz's life as she becomes a well-known singer in her homeland of Cuba, then moves to New York City and Miami where she and others create a new type of music called salsa. School Library Journal has named My Name is Celia “[a]n exuberant picture-book biography . . . a brilliant introduction to a significant woman and her music.”

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Beginning with a resounding "SUGAR!" the story of Cuban songstress/Salsa Queen Celia Cruz is told in both English and Spanish. Surrounded by Lopez's brilliant illustrations—and I do mean brilliant both in terms of composition as well as color/vividness of detail—the text of the piece begins with Cruz introducing herself to readers through the particulars of her voice and music. "My voice feels like feet skipping on cool wet sand, like running under a waterfall, like rolling down a hill. My voice climbs and rocks and dips and flips with the sounds of congas beating and trumpets blaring." This dual attention to detail allows young readers to enter Celia's life as she becomes a well-known singer in her homeland of Cuba, then move with her to New York City and then Miami where she and other musicians like Tito Puente, Johnny Pacheco, and Willie Colon create a new type of music called salsa. "Together we brought a new music to the Americas—salsa—a music that blended rock with rumba, mambo with jazz. Junto trajimos una neuva musica a America, la salsa, una musica que mezclaba el rock con la rumba, el mom con el jazz." This book is an important addition to any library, especially if one is looking to add to a section on Latina/o influences in America. 2004, Luna Rising, Ages 8 to 12.
—Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-An exuberant picture-book biography of the Cuban-born salsa singer. From its rhythmic opening, the first-person narrative dances readers through Cruz's youth in Havana, a childhood bounded by scents of nature and home, the sweet taste of sugar, and the sound of music. A singer from an early age, Cruz sang so continually that one of her teachers finally urged her to share her voice with the world. Thus encouraged, she entered competitions, undeterred when her racial heritage prevented her from competing--undeterred, even, when the advent of Castro's communist regime forced her to leave Cuba as a refugee. Positive even in exile, Cruz made New York City her own and took Miami by storm. The salsa-influenced prose presented in English and in Spanish is followed by a straightforward vita of the singer, noting her death in July 2003. Lopez's distinguished, luminous acrylic paintings are alive with motion, lush with brilliantly layered colors, and informed with verve and symbolism. This is a brilliant introduction to a significant woman and her music. The only enhancement required is the music itself. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780873588720
  • Publisher: Cooper Square Publishing Llc
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Edition description: Bi-lingual edition: English-Spanish lang
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 263,470
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.41 (w) x 10.94 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Monica Brown, Ph.D. is the author of many award-winning books for children, including Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People, winner of the Américas Award for Children's Literature and an Orbis Pictus Honor for Outstanding Nonfiction, and Waiting for the Biblioburro, a Christopher Award winner. She is a Professor of English at Northern Arizona University, specializing in U.S. Latino Literature and Multicultural Literature. She is a recipient of the prestigious Rockefeller Fellowship on Chicano Cultural Literacies from the Center for Chicano Studies at the University of California. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Rafael López is an award-winning children's book illustrator whose work is a fusion of strong graphic style and magical symbolism. In 2012, he won the Pura Belpré honor in illustration for The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred, written by Samantha Vamos. His Illustrations for Book Fiesta! written by Pat Mora were the recipient of the 2010 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award given by the American Library Association to honor work that best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children's books.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 14, 2012

    great book!

    My Name Is Celia, Me llamo Celia is a bilingual book that tell the life story of a Cuban woman Celia Cruz. She tells her story in rhythmic verse, with artwork that practically leaps off the page from sheer enthusiasm.This book is a very energetic and bright picture-book that makes you just want to dance. My son, only three, loved to see all the beautiful pictures and hear the story read aloud. Although some people may think the word choice is not child friendly, I think if told correctly a child can understand the meaning with the help of the amazing artwork. This picture book is a bright and energetic and just fun to read aloud. I love that this book is a bilingual book, currently i am tutoring bilingual students who very much enjoy this book, because they can relate to being from a different culture. I do recommend this book, it a great read for adults and 3-6 grade children.

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  • Posted November 5, 2009

    Review of My Name is Celia

    Celia Cruz was a Latina salsa singer from Cuba. This story tells of her life and the difficulties she faced when trying to get her voice heard. Since she was a small girl, she loved to sing but as she tried to sing in some places, they wouldn't let her because of the color of her skin. She formed a band with her friends and together they created their own sound. Despite challenges, Celia worked hard to become one of the world's most popular salsa singer. I really liked this book. This book is filled with bright, colorful pictures to that add to the tone of the book. This would be a very appropriate book to read with children, especially those of Hispanic background because it is in English and Spanish.

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