Monday, November 23, 2020

Review - Alma and How She Got Her Name

Alma and How She Got Her Name

by Juana Martinez-Neal
Date: 2018
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

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.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a sweet little story about a girl whose father is explaining to her how she got her long and elaborate name.

Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has a lot of names. Too many, she thinks. But as her father sits her down and explains the origin of each part of her name, she finds herself relating to the people she was named after.

Soft colours and sweet illustrations highlight the story. The whole thing is simple, but it works. I have to admit that I'm a bit jealous. As someone whose parents picked her name because they just liked it, I can't really relate to Alma's perceived struggles. But kids who are gifted with names that have great meaning in their family will probably find this story reassuring. You might be named after someone, but you still get to carve out your own path in life.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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