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Me Llamo Celia/My Name Is Celia: La Vida de Celia Cruz/The Life Of Celia Cruz

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  114 ratings  ·  59 reviews
A Bilingual Storybook Biography of The Life of Celia Cruz, The Cuban-Born Queen of Salsa.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 30th 2004 by Rising Moon Books (first published October 25th 2004)
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128th out of 174 books — 7 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 243)
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CH _Kenya  Walker
This was a wonderfully colorful book that would be great to share with any grade. It gives the life story of Celia Cruz a Cuban singer that used her gifts and talents to bridge a cultural gap at a time when it was sorely needed. Written in the first-person the words feel as if they are coming directly from Celia as she shares her life's experiences in Cuba and America with such clarity. Through her eyes the author shares the scents and sounds of Cuba and Celia's love for music. She began singing ...more
Cayla Caudillo
School Library Journal
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
...more
Q_Jill Burke
I like this book. The colorful illustrations match the colorful life of Celia Cruz. She was born in Havana, Cuba and started singing at a young age. She was inspired by a teacher to share her talent. She soon formed a musical group called Sonora Matancera and ended up marrying the trumpet player, Pedro Knight. Her music stayed true to her Havana roots and she was named the "Queen of Salsa". Her music crossed borders and she touched many lives throughout the world.
Linda
I remember watching certain old tv shows when I was young, and loving the beat of Latino singers and watching them dance. This might have been one of them, but in my world, we didn’t know many famous singers who were from Cuba. This story, about her youth in Cuba in a loving home, hearing her father sing, and finally going off with her cousin to enter singing contests, is Celia Cruz’ story, the story of the singer who brought salsa to the US and to the world. She and her husband immigrated to t ...more
Wendee Vezzetti
Jul 21, 2014 Wendee Vezzetti rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Grades 1-4
Shelves: schl-5200
SUMMARY
Presented in colorful illustrations, this book is about the life of Latin/Salsa singer Celia Cruz. Each double-page spread is presented in both English and Spanish. She describes her family, culture, and lifestyle in Cuba, and the determination it took to confront and overcome obstacles to her singing. She describes leaving Cuba and traveling to NY and Miami with her husband with their musical careers. SUGAR!

AGES: Grades 1-5

PUBLISHER: Northland Publishing

COPYRIGHT: 2004

RATIONALE:
The book
...more
The Reading Countess
Author Monica Brown visited my school following the Texas Library Association's annual conference in my hometown on Friday. She kept our active kids highly engaged with the active participation she required from them as well as by telling them her quiet sound ("Ch-ch-ch-ch"). As she read her book, Me Llamo Celia, the English and Spanish words jumped off the page thanks to the vibrant artwork. I especially loved how she told the kids that no matter where they came from, that they would be able to ...more
Mary
From School Library Journal
Grade 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 he
...more
Arielle
Grade/interest level: Primary (K-2nd)
Reading level: 2.6
Genre: Multicultural, Bilingual
Main Characters: Celia cruz
Setting: Cuba, New York, Miami
Author: Rafeal Lopez
POV: Celia
This book has received both Americas Award, and the Pura Belpre Award. This book is about the life and career of the “Queen of Salsa,” Celia Cruz. Born in Cuba 1924, Celia was a great singer,, encouraged by her family and friends continue singing, Celia entered competitions. When communist Fidel Castro came to power in Cub
...more
Viridiana
Title:"Me Llamo Celia/My Name is Celia" by Monica Brown
Grade Level: k to 2nd grade
Guided Reading Level: T
Genre: Biography

Setting: Cuba & America
POV: Celia Cruz
Main Characters: Celia Cruz

Summary: This book is about a famous musician by the name of Celia Cruz. She talks about her childhood in Cuba and about her family along with the place where she lives which she loves so much. A teacher once told her that she must reveal her voice to the world for everyone to hear. When Cuba went into a revo
...more
Veronica Diaz
Main Characters: Celia Cruz
Setting: Cuba & America
POV: Celia Cruz
Grade Level: 2-3
Reading Level: Fountas-Pinnell - T
Genre: Multicultural Literature

Celia Cruz is a famous musician. She talks about her childhood in Cuba and about the family and atmosphere that she loves so much. A teacher once told her that she must reveal her voice to the world for everyone to hear. When Cuba went into a revolution, Celia went from Cuba, to Mexico to the United States of America. Along the way, her and her ban
...more
Bianca
Main Characters: Celia Cruz
Setting: Cuba & America
POV: Celia Cruz
Grade Level: 2-3
Reading Level: Fountas-Pinnell - T
Genre: Multicultural Literature

Celia Cruz is a famous musician. She talks about her childhood in Cuba and about the family and atmosphere that she loves so much. A teacher once told her that she must reveal her voice to the world for everyone to hear. When Cuba went into a revolution, Celia went from Cuba, to Mexico to the United States of America. Along the way, her and her ban
...more
Maribel Galvez
Grade/interest level: Primary (K-2)
Reading level: 2.6 (Lexile 850L)
Genre: Biography, Multicultural

Main Characters: Celia Cruz
Setting: Cuba, New York, Miami
POV: Celia

My Name is Celia is an illustrated, bilingual biography of the late salsa singer, Celia Cruz. Growing up in Havana, Cuba, Cruz demonstrated from a young age that she was a talented singer. With the encouragement of her friends, family, and teachers, Cruz began entering competitions. However, Celia’s life in Cuba would come to an en
...more
Alexandria
Azucar! Azucar! This bilingual story takes us through the colorful, vibrant, and inspiring life of salsa queen Celia Cruz. Born in Havana, Cuba, in 1924, Celia grew up loving to sing. She wanted nothing more than for her voice to be heard and to share, with the world, the pure emotion that can come from music. Faced with the obstacles of poverty and racial discrimination, Celia Cruz was a fighter who broke boundaries and crossed borders to make her dreams a reality. During her lifetime she recei ...more
Myhiah
Jul 14, 2013 Myhiah added it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Audience: Primary

Genre: Biography

Discussion Questions: Text-to-World Connection
-From the book, My Name is Celia by Monica Brown, I had a text-to-world connection. This book shares the life of Celia Cruz. She was born in Cuba, and became an American citizen. She is known for being a part of a team that created salsa music. “I was still a young women when a revolution began in my country” and “My new home with the lights and people- a blend of many cultures and traditions” are two quotes from th
...more
Cecilia
This story takes a look into a blend of cultures the history and music of a woman named Celia Cruz. Even in her death she continues being a big part of the Latin community who was able to hear and enjoy her rich voice. The book is very child friendly and it allows any person who picks this book up understand Celia and her music. It allows the reader see the beautiful colors of a culture coming together to create something new. I enjoyed this story very much because in my childhood Celia Cruz was ...more
Doret
This is a beautiful bilingual biography of Celia Cruz the queen of salsa. Brown's rhythmic text and Lopez's colorful illustrations will entice readers to dance

Sugar! My voice is strong, smooth, and sweet. I will make you feel like dancing. Close your eyes and listen. My voice feels like feet skipping on cool wet sand, like running under a waterfall, like rolling down a hill. My climbs and rocks and dips and flips with the sounds of congas beating and trumpets blaring.

Boom boom boom! beat the c
...more
Rachel Dalton
This Americas Book Award winner is a beautiful book! It is about the life and music of Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa. This bilingual book is a great way to include Hispanic (specifically Cuban) culture into the classroom, appreciating the contributions Hispanics have made to the "American culture."
Myrza
Brown, M. (2004). My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz/ Me llamo Celia: La vida de Celia Cruz. Flagstaff, Ariz..: Rising Moon.
A book about Celia Cruz and her life as it was. Celia Cruz is known around the world for her great salsa music. The reading points out the struggles of Celia Cruz as she fought to become a singer. From traveling far with her cousin to compete or being turned away for her color, Celia Cruz promised herself to continue no matter what. Lovely colorful illustrations captu
...more
Crystal
Monica Brown does a fabulous job of sharing the life of Celia Cruz. The illustrations are also eye-popping. I am happy to have this and look forward to sharing it along with Brown's biography of Tito Puente. They will work very well together.
Dianne J.
Age of readership: Ages 5-10

Genre: Picture Book

Diversity: Bilingual text, Cuban culture

Illustrations: Graphic deeply colored acrylic paintings

My response to the book: This book tells the life story of a young Cuban girl who moved to the United States as a refugee and became a salsa singer in Miami, New York and throughout the Americas. Celia Cruz (1924-2003) was known as the Queen of Salsa and there is a short biography of her life at the end of the book.

Curricular/Programming connections: Use
...more
Shayne Cope
This was a great depiction of Celia Cruz. It was well-written and a great depiction of multiculturalism. The art in this book is fantastic.
Denisse
When I was a student at University of Arizona South, I was lucky enough to attend a workshop for preservice teachers by Monica Brown on how to use this book (as well as "Me Llamo Gabriela/My Name is Gabriela: The life of Gabriela Mistral") in a bilingual classroom. Monica was very inspiring and gave every student that attended an autographed copy of each book. I LOVE the art and the rhythmic, playful words of the story. Every classroom, not just bilingual ones, should have copies of these books ...more
Dora
My name is Celia/Me Llamo Celia is a 2004 Americas Award and Pura Belpre Award recipient. Its vibrant colors enrich the language that is used to describe the life of Celia Cruz as she was growing up to the start of her singing career. The text comes in a bilingual format and the flow has almost a poetic feel to it. It only reminds the reader of the importance of music and rhythm in Celia’s life. This biographical book is an excellent addition to any classroom library and curriculum as it accompl ...more
Ch_hayley Medsker
Me Llamo Celia by Monica Brown published in 2004 has been honored with a Pure Belpre award as well as an Americas Book Award. The vibrant illustrations and life experiences of Cuba's Celia Cruz, draw a variety of readers. The playful text and colorful paintings will appeal to a younger audience. While older readers will appreciate the literary elements and biographical information. More of a storyline would have allowed the reader to feel more of a connection; it was a bit choppy and fragmented. ...more
Michelle Rosales
Before Celia Cruz was known as the queen of Salsa, she was just a little ordinary girl growing up in Cuba. The best thing about Celia is that she loved to sing. After the encouragement of her teacher to go out and sing her heart out, Celia moved to the United States to pursue many singing competitions. It is Celia’s sugar loving voice and determination that made her a superstar. Pretty soon, the world started to take notice of Celia and she became the Queen of Salsa. All she had to do was say az ...more
Steven Buruato
This book has some of the best illustrations in it. The way the pictures catch the eyes of the reader is very good. This is the life story of Celia Cruz, and how she travels from Cuba to the United States and begins her career of being a salsa dancer and singer. The book simply is great for those bilingual students in classrooms because the book is told in English and Spanish. The colors are very bright and magical. The author uses a great amount of similes and metaphors to describe Celia's voic ...more
595AJ_JenniferMcCoy
What a fantastic book! I have long been a fan of Celia Cruz and this book, I felt, captured her essence and spirit. While I was reading the book and looking at the illustrations, I could hear her music in my head. This book would be great for students to hear while her music played in the background (something I intend to do!). I also really loved that the book was written in both English and Spanish. My Spanish speaking students would benefit reading it in both languages, and the rest of the st ...more
Q_michelene Haggard
Biography, but told in first person. Written in English and Spanish. Tells the story of Cuban Salsa singer, Celia Cruz. Born in 1924, she left Cuba with her husband after the Cuban revolution, never to return, and became a USA citizen. an upbeat book written with lots of figurative language and voice. figurative language. Makes you want to listen to her music and dance! Bright, cheerful, animated drawings reflect the spirit of Celia's music. One page bio summary in the back of the book.
L11-Mary Utterback
This was the second book I read about Celia Cruz. This book deserved this award because I think it makes a case that the Cuban culture should be celebrated and that it is through music. the illustrations are lively, colorful and inviting. They take you to a place that is rich with salsa dancing. I especially enjoyed the dual text format between spanish and english. I speak spanish pretty well and I was able to decode the words by comparing. I think this book would be great for grades 3-5.
Whitney Ward
This book tells the story of singer, Celia Cruz's life. Throughout her life, her background influenced her to be the person many admired. The illustrations and life experiences of Celia Cruz, draw in a variety of readers. The engaging text and colorful paintings may appeal to a younger audiences, while older readers can appreciate the biographical information. With its bright colors and cultural detail, My Name is Celia proves to be a great book for any elementary classroom classroom.
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Monica Brown, Ph.D. is the author of awardwinning bilingual books for children, including My Name Is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz/Me llamo Celia: La vida de Celia Cruz (Luna Rising), a recipient of the Américas Award for Children's Literature and a Pura Belpré Honor. Her second picture book, My Name Is Gabriela: The Life of Gabriela Mistral/Me llamo Gabriela: La vida de Gabriela Mistral (Luna Ris ...more
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