Juana Martinez-Neal (she/her)

“My work is all about playing. Playing with materials, playing with ideas. And in the midst of playing, I found a life making books. It is my hope to pass that curiosity and playfulness to everyone I meet.”


Juana Martinez-Neal is the recipient of the 2020 Sibert Medal for Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story written by Kevin Noble Maillard, the 2019 Caldecott Honor for Alma and How She Got Her Name, and the 2018 Pura Belpré Medal for Illustration for La Princesa and the Pea written by Susan Middleton Elya. She is the New York Times-bestselling illustrator of Tomatoes for Neela written by Padma Lakshmi.

Juana is also the illustrator of and I Don’t Care (written by Julie Fogliano and co-illustrated with Molly Idle, Neal Porter Books), A Perfect Fit: How Lena “Lane” Bryant Changed the Shape of Fashion (written by Mara Rockliff, Clarion), Babymoon, and Swashby and the Sea. Her second picture book as author and illustrator Zonia’s Rain Forest is also available in Spanish as La Selva de Zonia (Candlewick Press). Alma, From Head to Toe/Alma, de pies a cabeza and Alma and Her Family/Alma y su familia, are two forthcoming bilingual board books.

Juana was born and raised in Lima, Peru. She is a daughter and granddaughter of artists now living in the woods in Connecticut.

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