Our Place in the World: Children’s Illustrations by Juana Martinez-Neal
Award-winning children’s illustrator and author Juana Martinez-Neal creates books where children connect with their heritage and learn to be proud of their uniqueness, discovering their own place in the world. A multigenerational family bonds over traditions and recipes in Tomatoes for Neela (written by Padma Lakshmi, Viking Books for Young Readers, 2021). An Asháninka child shares the wonders, and peril, of her homeland in Zonia’s Rainforest / La selva de Zonia (Candlewick Press, 2021). A little girl learns about the family history behind her name in Alma and How She Got Her Name / Alma y cómo obtuvo su nombre (Candlewick Press, 2018). And the beloved character Alma returns in Martinez-Neal’s two newest publications, the bilingual board books, Alma, Head to Toe / Alma, de pies a cabeza (Candlewick Press, 2023) and Alma and Her Family / Alma y su familia (Candlewick Press, 2023). This exhibition features illustrations and preparatory works for these stories, showcasing Martinez-Neal’s extraordinary artistry and celebrating her remarkable ability to create immersive and engaging books for young audiences.
Our Place in the World features bilingual English/Spanish exhibition text.
Organized by Nicole Simpson, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings
This project is supported by PNC Grow Up Great.
Juana Martinez-Neal is the recipient of the 2019 Caldecott Honor for Alma and How She Got Her Name (Candlewick Press), her debut picture book as author-illustrator. She is also a New York Times bestselling illustrator recipient of the 2020 Robert F. Sibert Medal for Fry Bread: A Native American Story (Roaring Brook) and the 2018 Pura Belpré Medal for Illustration for La Princesa and the Pea (Putnam).
Juana was named to the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Honor list in 2014, and was awarded the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize in 2012. She was born in Lima, the capital of Peru, and now lives in Connecticut, with her husband and three children.