Alma and How She Got Her Name

Alma and How She Got Her Name

eBook - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A 2019 Caldecott Honor BookWhat'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: [Place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], 2018.
ISBN: 9781536205305
Characteristics: 1 online resource

Related Resources


From Library Staff

When Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela asks her father why she has so many names, she hears the story of her name and learns about her grandparents.

Children's Fiction.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
IndyPL_ShellieR Apr 15, 2020

A dear book with charming illustrations that manages to be both delicate and strong at the same time. Alma, and her readers, are wrapped up in the beautiful vines and tendrils of family. Alma's connection to those elders she will never meet is forged through her father and her name and his relationship to them is also maintained through Alma and her name. And, even better, this book appeals to children, and not just sappy adults!

Margaret Mullin
Jun 29, 2019

I think this book will become a classic and used in classrooms as part of community-building activities; I'll definitely be pairing this with other books about names at the beginning of the school year. I love the bits of Peruvian culture that Juana incorporated into the illustrations, including all the Spanish book titles on the shelves in Alma's home. I also appreciated the scrapbook quality. The calm, reflective tone and look of this book provides a balance to some of the silly, vibrant books that will be on the YHBA list.

This book is perfect for my school where our students' names are drawn from so many different cultures. It's also perfect for a school where the names are drawn primarily from one culture - so readers get a glimpse into other worlds and places.

Two wishes for this book: That Juana Martinez-Neal had included her hyphenated -Neal in her note about her own name AND that she'd incorporated the Spanish words for grandmother, aunt, etc. in the text.

PimaLib_AnnieW Mar 26, 2019

This is one of my very favorites from 2018. A beautiful celebration of a child's relationship with her father, her name, and her ancestors. Highly recommend.

Mar 08, 2019

This is an amazing book with great pictures and a wonderful story of a family!!!!!!!

IndyPL_KatieB Feb 05, 2019

Alma Sofia Esperanza Jose Pura Candela has a very long name. In fact, it is too long if you ask her. Children and adults will enjoy hearing the story of how Alma got her name. The illustrations are simple but telling. I like how Spanish and English words are woven through the story in a seamless fashion. A lovely book that is well deserving of the Caldecott Honor Award in 2019.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings


Find it at KCLibrary

To Top