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

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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  300 ratings  ·  104 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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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Start your review of My Name Is Celia: The Life Of Celia Cruz / Me Llamo Celia: La Vida de Celia Cruz
CH _Kenya  Walker
Jan 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: mc-literature
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
Nikki Romano
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz is a bilingual story book about Cuban-born "salsa queen" Celia Cruz. This vibrantly illustrated book by Rafael Lopez paints the biography of Celia Cruz. You are able to read this book in either English or Spanish. Both languages are on each page of this book.

Monica Brown uses figurative language such as "running under a waterfall," "feet skipping on cool wet sand," "my voice climbs and rocks and dips and flips." This beautiful language allows the reader
...more
Mimi.Y
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This month is Hispanic Heritage so I decided to read Celia Cruz picture book. I’m so happy the book is in bilingual so English and Spanish children can real about Celia Cruz life. The author takes you to a time when she was a little girl in Havana, Cuba. Her passion for music has brought people of all races together.
Joselyn Badillo
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
As I opened the text, I immediately acknowledged the bilingual formatting of the book. The English to Spanish translation was accurate, and refreshing. As a fan of Celia Cruz's story, and music, as well as the great-granddaughter of a Cuban immigrant, I was fairly interested in reading the book and determining its cultural and historical accuracy, as well as age appropriateness. I was pleasantly surprised with the book's representation of the vibrant and colorful Cuban culture, as well as its re ...more
Alexandria
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Andrew Jongeneel
My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz, written by Monica Brown, with a genre in multicultural biography, and illustrated by Rafael Lopez, is about a girl, Celia, who grew up in Havana, Cuba and was a very talented singer. Because her friends and family believe in her so much, she signs up for competitions. Unfortunately, upon Fidel Castros arrival of communism, Celia and her family escape to the United States. She still enters signing competitions, even though there is much racism against the ...more
Irma Dogic
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This biography of Celia Cruz’s life is portrayed in a children’s book and portrays a young Cuban girl named Celia. She shares her journey starting off on a small island and moving to America. She becomes a world renowned super star using her music and voice to bring happiness and joy to everyone. Celia grows up poor but throughout her life she tells herself that she would keep studying and singing no matter what. She explains her journey through the Cuban Revolution and her travels to Mexico and ...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.
Rina Lopez
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pictures-books
The My name is Celia is a book that tell the story of Celia Cruz. This books is for 5 - 8 years, and grade level Kindergarten - 3 grade. However, I find the preschooler can enjoy the colorful story, too. The book is been Multilingual, as it is in English and Spanish. The illustrations is colorful , and show the Hispanic culture. The book retell the story of Celia Cruz the Queen of Cuban of Salsa. Since she lived her beautiful Cuba , and when she move to New York.
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."
Margaret
Vibrant folk-art illustrations. English and Spanish text telling of the life of Celia Cruz, a Cuban-born Salsa singer who emigrated to the US after the revolution. Nice biography in the back of Ms Cruz. I can see reading this to a group, and it will be a nice addition to our school library. English learners can see both Spanish and English text and visa versa.
Mercedes Arroyo
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I found the book very entertaining. It is a biography that is written in both English and Spanish. The book is about Celia Cruz, the queen of salsa. It talked about when she was young and grew up to be a great singer and songwriter. As a young child, she faced difficulties and struggles from others who did not want her to become a singer. She pushed through the challenges and did what she believed in to become a great, well-known singer. The main character, Celia, is an agent of change because h ...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
Maribel Galvez
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 e
...more
Wendee Vezzetti
Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Elizabeth
I really liked the illustrations in this -- so full of energy.

I don't love the conceit of doing a biography in an "I" voice -- it feels, if not conceited, weird (see also The Amazing Discoveries of Ibn Sina ), though it felt less weird once I was past the first couple introductory pages and into the narrative.

In some ways, this book moves more quickly than Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa and takes a more skimming approach, but it still touches on poverty and racial discrimination-- and, unlik
...more
Arielle
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Cayla Caudillo
Oct 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: project-2
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
Veronica Diaz
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 band pl
...more
Bianca
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 band pl
...more
Viridiana
Nov 19, 2012 rated it liked it
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 revoluti
...more
Myhiah
Jul 14, 2013 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
Jessica Harden
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This colorfully illustrated picture book tells the story of Celia Cruz, from her fond childhood memories to her rise to fame. It is a fun story that I believe children will find interesting, because of the language used and captivating illustrations. The plot includes the influence her father, teacher, and friends had on her musical journey. The book provides a kid-friendly approach to this historical figure and can assist in discussion about aspirations, inspirations, overcoming obstacles, ect. ...more
Mikey Briccetti
Follow along as you read Celia Cruz’s life as she grew up to become the legendary Queen of Salsa! From singing her younger siblings to sleep to singing in cities like NYC and Miami, the Queen of Salsa brought her music, family and traditions where ever she sang. Celia Cruz broke all expectations set for her, broke boundaries society had, and shared her love of music where ever she went.

This book’s illustrations are absolutely beautiful, made in similar styles to that of pictures for folk tales.
...more
Gabriella Pugliese
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life-stories
Summary:

"My Name is Celia" is a bilingual book that depicts the life of a woman named Celia Cruz. The book tells the journey of how she becomes a well-known singer in her homeland of Cuba. After she becomes a singer in Cuba she then ventures off to New York City and Miami and invents the music of salsa.

Review:

This book is a wonderful book to read for a couple of different reasons. The first is that it is written in both English and in Spanish so if there are any ELL learners (Spanish Speaking)
...more
Cecilia
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 06, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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
Olivia
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
"My Name is Celia," tells the story of a young Cuban girl fulfilling her dream to share her music across the globe. I really enjoyed the art style of this story as the pictures felt like they jumping right off the page. I could tell how much music inspires Celia just by looking at the illustrations. My favorite aspect of this story though is how well this story shows the Cuban culture. Children, especially from Cuba, would be able to look up to Celia as a role model as she was still able to achi ...more
Myrza
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5360-summer-12
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
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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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