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

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  247 ratings  ·  90 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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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  247 ratings  ·  90 reviews


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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
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
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.
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.
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.
MimiY
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.
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."
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
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, unlike
...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 en
...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
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
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
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 ban
...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 revo
...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 ban
...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
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
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
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
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
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
Denisse
May 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Dianne J.
Jul 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Mindy Oakley
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This story is a beautiful description of Celia Cruz's life. It starts with her childhood in Havana, Cuba and continues with the challenges that Celia faced growing up. It ends with Celia in New York City and tells of how she became known all over the world for her creation of salsa music. This book only briefly touches on the challenges Celia faced growing up, but could be a starting point for other discussions on the obstacles individuals face based on the color of their skin. If the different ...more
JJ Jones
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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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