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


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.”

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Hardcover (Bi-lingual edition: English-Spanish lang)
$12.85 price
(Save 19%)$15.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (18) from $2.49   
  • New (11) from $8.62   
  • Used (7) from $2.49   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...


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.”

Read More Show Less

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.
Read More Show Less

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.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)