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Juana Martinez-Neal

Press Kit

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biographies, author photos (hi-res), book covers (hi-res), and book descriptions

Biography

Bio 50-word

Juana Martinez-Neal is the daughter and granddaughter of painters.

Alma and How She Got Her Name was her first book as author-illustrator. She is the recipient of a Caldecott Honor, a Sibert Medal and a Pura Belpré Medal for Illustration.

Juana was born in Peru, and lives in Connecticut with her family.

Bio 100-word

Juana Martinez-Neal is the recipient of the 2019 Caldecott Honor for Alma and How She Got Her Name (Candlewick Press), her debut picture book as author-illustrator. She also the recipient of the 2020 Robert F. Sibert Medal for Fry Bread: A Native American Story (Roaring Brook) and the 2018 Pura Belpré Medal for Illustration for La Princesa and the Pea (Putnam).

Juana was named to the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Honor list in 2014, and was awarded the SCBWI Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize in 2012. She was born in Lima, the capital of Peru, and now lives in Connecticut, with her husband and three children.

Bio 150-word

Juana Martinez-Neal is the recipient of the 2019 Caldecott Honor for Alma and How She Got Her Name (Candlewick Press), her debut picture book as author-illustrator. She also the recipient of the 2020 Robert F. Sibert Medal for Fry Bread: A Native American Story (Roaring Brook) and the 2018 Pura Belpré Medal for Illustration for La Princesa and the Pea (Putnam).

Juana is the illustrator of La Madre Goose (written by Susan M. Elya, Putnam/Penguin 2016), Babymoon (written by Hayley Barrett, Candlewick 2019) and Swashby and the Sea (written by Beth Ferry, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2020).

Juana was named to the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Honor list in 2014, and was awarded the SCBWI Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize in 2012. She was born in Lima, the capital of Peru, and now lives in Connecticut, with her husband and three children and two dogs.

Publicists

Zonia’s Rainforest


La selva de Zonia


Alma and How She Got Her Name


Alma y cómo obtuvo su nombre


Babymoon


Laura Rivas
Candlewick Press

Tomatos for Neela


Vanessa de Jesús
Penguin Random House

Swashby and the Sea


Zoe Del Mar
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

Mary Van Akin
Macmillan

La Princesa and the Pea

La Madre Goose

Jennifer Dee
Penguin Random House

Author Photos

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Books: Covers and Information

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Alma and How She Got Her Name

★ 2019 Caldecott Honor
★ 2019 Ezra Jack Keats Award Writer Honor
★ 2019 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children Recommended Title
★ 2019 ILA Children’s and Young Adults Book Award Honor

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.

    • Publisher: Candlewick Press
    • Release Date: April 10, 2018
    • Author: Juana Martinez-Neal
    • Illustrator: Juana Martinez-Neal
    • Age Level: 4-8, 32 pages
    • ISBN: 978-0-7636-9355-8

Awards, reviews, pull quotes and more information along with activities based on Alma and How She Got Her Name can be found here.

Alma y cómo obtuvo su nombre

★ 2019 Caldecott Honor

¿Cómo terminó Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela con un nombre tan largo? Mientras Papi le cuenta la historia de cada uno de sus nombres, Alma comienza a sentir cómo cabe perfectamente en ellos.

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. Spanish language edition!

If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! Just think of how hard it is to fit them all on the back of a little photo. 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 or name story.

    • Publisher: Candlewick Press
    • Release Date: April 10, 2018
    • Author: Juana Martinez-Neal
    • Illustrator: Juana Martinez-Neal
    • Age Level: 4-8, 32 pages
    • ISBN: 978-0-7636-9358-9

Awards, reviews, pull quotes and more information along with activities based on Alma y cómo obtuvo su nombre can be found here.

Zonia’s Rain Forest

A heartfelt, visually stunning picture book from the Caldecott Honor and Sibert Medal Winner illuminates a young girl’s day of play and adventure in the lush rain forest of Peru.

Zonia’s home is the Amazon rain forest, where it is always green and full of life. Every morning, the rain forest calls to Zonia, and every morning she answers. She visits the sloth family, greets the giant anteater, and runs with the speedy jaguar. But one morning, the rain forest calls to her in a troubled voice. How will Zonia answer?

Acclaimed author-illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal explores the wonders of the rain forest with Zonia, an Asháninka girl, in her joyful outdoor adventures. The engaging text emphasizes Zonia’s empowering bond with her home, while the illustrations—created on paper made from banana tree bark—burst with luxuriant greens and delicate details. Illuminating back matter includes a translation of the story in Asháninka, information on the Asháninka community, as well as resources on the Amazon rain forest and its wildlife.

    • Publisher: Candlewick Press
    • Release Date: March 30, 2021
    • Author: Juana Martinez-Neal
    • Illustrator: Juana Martinez-Neal
    • Age Level: 4-8, 40 pages
    • ISBN: 978-1-5362-0845-0

Awards, reviews, pull quotes and more information along with activities based on Zonia’s Rain Forest can be found here.

La selva de Zonia

Explora las maravillas de la Amazonía con Zonia, una niña asháninka, cuyas alegres aventuras en la selva se interrumpen un día por un misterioso y desconcertante descubrimiento.

La selva es el hogar de Zonia. Es su jardín y su patio, su vecindario y su parque. Cada mañana, la selva llama a Zonia. Cada mañana, ella responde: le dice “hola” a la familia de perezosos, saluda al oso hormiguero, da una carrera con el veloz jaguar…

Una mañana, la selva llama a Zonia con una voz diferente, una voz de preocupación. Esta es la historia de esa inesperada mañana.

A heartfelt, visually stunning picture book from the Caldecott Honor and Sibert Medal Winner illuminates a young girl’s day of play and adventure in the lush rain forest of Peru.

Acclaimed author-illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal explores the wonders of the rain forest with Zonia, an Asháninka girl, in her joyful outdoor adventures. The engaging text emphasizes Zonia’s empowering bond with her home, while the illustrations-created on paper made from banana tree bark-burst with luxuriant greens and delicate details. Illuminating back matter includes a translation of the story in Asháninka, information on the Asháninka community, as well as resources on the Amazon rain forest and its wildlife.

    • Publisher: Candlewick Press
    • Release Date: March 30, 2021
    • Author: Juana Martinez-Neal
    • Illustrator: Juana Martinez-Neal
    • Age Level: 4-8, 40 pages
    • ISBN: 978-1-5362-1336-2

Awards, reviews, pull quotes and more information along with activities based on La selva de Zonia can be found here.

Tomatoes for Neela

Padma Lakshmi, bestselling author and host of Bravo’s Top Chef and Hulu’s Taste the Nation,and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal team up in this celebration of food and family.

Neela loves cooking with her amma and writing down the recipes in her notebook. It makes her feel closer to her paati who lives far away in India. On Saturdays, Neela and Amma go to the green market and today they are buying tomatoes to make Paati’s famous sauce. But first, Neela needs to learn about all the different kinds of tomatoes they can pick from. And as Neela and Amma cook together, they find a way for Paati to share in both the love and the flavors of the day.

Bestselling author and host of Bravo’s Top Chef and Hulu’s Taste the Nation Padma Lakshmi takes young readers on an intergenerational journey full of delicious flavors and fun food facts that celebrates a family’s treasured recipes. And Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal brings this circle of women to life with vivid detail and warmth. Tomatoes for Neela lovingly affirms how we can connect to other cultures, as well as to our own, through food.

    • Publisher: Viking Children’s Books
    • Release Date: August 31, 2021
    • Author: Padma Lakshmi
    • Illustrator: Juana Martinez-Neal
    • Age Level: 3-7, 40 pages
    • ISBN: 978-0-5932-0270-8

Awards, reviews, pull quotes and more information along with activities based on Tomatoes for Neela can be found here.

Swashby and the Sea

From New York Times bestselling author Beth Ferry and Caldecott Honor–winner Juana Martinez-Neal comes a sweet-and-salty friendship story perfect for pirate-lovers and fans of The Night Gardener.

Captain Swashby loves the sea, his oldest friend. And he loves his life by the sea just as it is: salty and sandy and serene.
One day, much to Swashby’s chagrin, a young girl and her granny commandeer the empty house next door. All Swashby wants is for his new neighbors to GO AWAY and take their ruckus with them.

When Swashby begins to leave notes in the sand for his noisy neighbors, however, the beach interferes with the messages that are getting across. Could it be that the captain’s oldest friend, the sea, knows what Swashby needs even better than he knows himself?

    • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    • Release Date: May 5, 2020
    • Author: Beth Ferry
    • Illustrator: Juana Martinez-Neal
    • Age Level: 4-8, 32 pages
    • ISBN: 978-0-544-70737-5

Reviews, pull quotes and more information on Swashby and the Seacan be found here.

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

★ 2020 Robert F. Sibert Medal Award
★ 2020 AIYLA Picture Book Honor
★ 2020 Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book
★ 2020 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award – Recommended Book

Told in lively and powerful verse by debut author Kevin Noble Maillard, Fry Bread is an evocative depiction of a modern Native American family, vibrantly illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner Juana Martinez-Neal.

Fry bread is food.
It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate.

Fry bread is time.
It brings families together for meals and new memories.

Fry bread is nation.
It is shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond.

Fry bread is us.
It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.

    • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
    • Release Date: October 22, 2019
    • Author: Kevin Noble Maillard
    • Illustrator: Juana Martinez-Neal
    • Age Level: 3-6, 48 pages
    • ISBN: 978-1-626-72746-5

Reviews, pull quotes and more information on Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story can be found here.

Babymoon

In a perfect gift for new and expectant parents (and siblings), a gentle story pays tribute to the wonder and emotion of a family’s first quiet days with a newborn.

The house is hushed. The lights are low.
We’re basking in a newborn glow.

Inside the cozy house, a baby has arrived! The world is eager to meet the newcomer, but there will be time enough for that later. Right now, the family is on its babymoon: cocooning, connecting, learning, and muddling through each new concern. While the term “babymoon” is often used to refer to a parents’ getaway before the birth of a child, it was originally coined by midwives to describe days like these: at home with a newborn, with the world held at bay and the wonder of a new family constellation unfolding. Paired with warm and winsome illustrations by Juana Martinez-Neal, Hayley Barrett’s lyrical ode to these tender first days will resonate with new families everywhere.

    • Publisher: Candlewick Press
    • Release Date: April 2, 2019
    • Author: Hayley Barrett
    • Illustrator: Juana Martinez-Neal
    • Age Level: 2-5, 32 pages
    • ISBN: 978-0-763-68852-3

Reviews, pull quotes and more information on Babymoon can be found here.

La Princesa and the Pea

★ 2018 Pura Belpré Winner for Illustration

The Princess and the Pea gets a fresh twist in this charming bilingual retelling, winner of the Pura Belpré Medal for Illustration.

El príncipe knows this girl is the one for him, but, as usual, his mother doesn’t agree.

The queen has a secret test in mind to see if this girl is really a princesa, but the prince might just have a sneaky plan, too . . .

Readers will be enchanted by this Latino twist on the classic story, and captivated by the vibrant art inspired by the culture of Peru.

    • Publisher: Putnam
    • Release Date: September 5, 2017
    • Author: Susan Middleton Elya
    • Illustrator: Juana Martinez-Neal
    • Age Level: 4-8, 32 pages
    • ISBN: 978-0-399-25156-6

Reviews, pull quotes and more information along with activities based on La Princesa and the Pea can be found here.

La Madre Goose: Nursery Rhymes for los Niños

Classic favorites get a modern Latino twist

The itsy arañita
climbed up the water spout.
Down came la lluvia
and washed la araña out.

Classic Mother Goose rhymes get a Latino twist in this cozy collection. From young Juan Ramón sitting in el rincón to three little gatitos who lost their mitoncitos, readers will be delighted to see familiar characters in vibrant, luminous scenes brimming with fanciful details.

La Madre Goose will make a playful multicultural addition to every modern bookshelf.

    • Publisher: Putnam
    • Release Date: July 19, 2016
    • Author: Susan Middleton Elya
    • Illustrator: Juana Martinez-Neal
    • Age Level: 4-8, 32 pages
    • ISBN: 978-0-763-68852-3

Reviews, pull quotes and more information along with activities based on La Madre Goose: Nursery Rhymes for los Niños can be found here.

Juana Martinez-Neal Logo

me@juanamartinezneal.com
310-489-4560

153 Boston Post Rd Ste 2
#107
East Lyme, CT 06333

Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel
stefanie(at)fullcircleliterary.com
858-824-9269 ext. 2
Full Circle Literary