Header Work


About Juana

The Creator

Peruvian-born picture book maker living in Connecticut

I’m Juana and I write and illustrate books for young readers.

Alma and How She Got Her Name (Candlewick Press) was my debut picture book as an author-illustrator, and was awarded the 2019 Caldecott Honor. I am also the illustrator of La Princesa and the Pea (written by Susan M. Elya, Putnam/Penguin), winner of the 2018 Pura Belpré Medal for Illustration, and Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story (written by Kevin Noble Maillard, Roaring Brook Press), winner of the 2020 Robert F. Sibert Medal.

I was born in the busy city of Lima, the capital of Peru. Now I live in the woods in Eastern Connecticut. Here I share a home with my husband, two sons, daughter, our two dogs, and the souls of our late cat, Kitty, and ginormous dog, Puppy.

For interviews and publicity requests, write to my publicist at Candlewick Presspublicity(at)candlewick.com. For events and library and school presentations, contact The Author Village. For children’s books projects, contact Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel of Full Circle Literary.

Nací y crecí en Lima, y soy bilingüe. No duden en escribirme en español.

Awards and Recognitions

2021 New York Times bestselling Illustrator
2021 Anna Dewdney Read Together Book Award Honor
2020 Robert F. Sibert Medal Award
2020 AIYLA Picture Book Honor
2020 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Recommended Title
2019 Caldecott Honor
2019 Ezra Jack Keats Award Writer Honor
2019 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Recommended Title
2019 Society of Illustrators Los Angeles - Illustration West 57 - Gold Award
2019 Society of Illustrators Los Angeles - Illustration West 57 - Silver Award
2018 Pura Belpré Medal Award for Illustration
2014 IBBY Honour List Illustration
2012 SCBWI LA Conference Portfolio Showcase - Grand Prize Winner
2011 SCBWI Illustrator Mentorship


Client List

Publishers I have worked with

  • Candlewick Press
  • Roaring Brook Press
  • Viking Children’s Books
  • Clarion Books
  • Abrams BFYR
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Neal Porter Books
  • G. P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR
  • Little Brown, BFYR
  • Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Hi there! I’m Juana and I’m a children’s book author illustrator.

Juana Martinez-Neal

The essence of ALMA, which has autobiographical elements, is we are everyone that came before us, and at the same time, we are uniquely ourselves.

Juana Martinez-Neal
Speaking about "Alma and How She Got Her Name"

1. I love birds. 2. I was born and raised in Peru. 3. I like numbering things.

Juana Martinez-Neal
Three Facts

153 Boston Post Rd Ste 2
East Lyme, CT 06333

Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel
858-824-9269 ext. 2
Full Circle Literary