Alma and Her Family/Alma y su familia

Candlewick. (Alma’s Words/Las palabras de Alma). Sept. 2023. 24p. Board. $8.99. ISBN 9780763693626. BL.
Toddler-PreS–The lovable title character of Caldecott Honor Book Alma and How She Got Her Name stars in her own concept board book series. With the same cozy art and fluid line, Martinez-Neal revisits Alma and her sweet family to introduce concepts in English and Spanish. In Alma and Her Family/Alma y su familia, the little girl presents her family, from her father to her pet bird, and shares how she likes to demonstrate her love for each of them. “I kiss my daddy./ Le doy un beso a mi papi. I squeeze my mommy./ Apachurro a mi mami.” In Alma, Head to Toe/Alma, de pies a cabeza (see ISBN 9781536228878), the toddler celebrates the parts of her body in both languages. She also explains how she uses them to explore her world. “Here are my arms, hands, and fingers./ Aquí están mis brazos, manos y dedos. Pajarito, you are as soft as a flower./ ¿Pajarito, eres tan suave como una flor,” she says as she caresses her pet bird. The glimpses of her plump body as she moves are dancelike and free. The English text appears first with black font; the Spanish text is blue. The mostly pink-white-black palette will attract little hands. Warmth exudes from each spread, and the cuddle-worthy heroine is full of so much joy. Readers will embrace these books with much enthusiasm, regardless of the language they understand.
VERDICT Every collection needs more Alma. These titles are a must-purchase.

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