Short (68 words):
Alexandra Alessandri is the Colombian-American author of Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela! (Albert Whitman) and the forthcoming Isabel and Her Colores go to School (Sleeping Bear Press, 2021). She is also an Associate Professor of English at Broward College and a poet, with some of her work appearing in The Acentos Review, Rio Grande Review, Atlanta Review, and YARN. Alexandra lives in Florida with her husband and son.
Slightly Longer (129 words):
Alexandra Peñaloza Alessandri is a Colombian-American poet, children’s author, and Associate Professor of English at Broward College. She received her BA and MA degrees in English from Florida International University, as well as a Certificate of Fiction from UCLA Extension. Her poetry has appeared in The Acentos Review, Rio Grande Review, YARN, and Atlanta Review, where her poem “Inheritance” was a Finalist in the 2017 International Poetry Competition. She is the author of Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela! (Albert Whitman, 2020) and Isabel and Her Colores Go to School (Sleeping Bear Press, 2021).
When not writing or teaching, Alexandra spends her time daydreaming, relearning the piano, and planning the next great adventure with her family. She lives in Florida with her husband, son, and hairless pup, dreaming of Colombia.
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Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela!
Ava’s excited to say goodbye to el Año Viejo–but will her shyness keep her from joining in the celebration?
Ava Gabriela is visiting her extended family in Colombia for the holidays. She’s excited to take part in family traditions such as making buñuelos, but being around all her loud relatives in an unfamiliar place makes Ava shy and quiet. How will Ava find her voice before she misses out on all the New Year’s fun?
Written by Alexandra Alessandri
Illustrated by Addy Rivera Sonda
On sale now:
Albert Whitman & Company
Jacketed Hardcover with Matte Lamination
Teacher’s Guide: Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela! has a teacher’s guide & activity kit!
Praise for Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela!
“This gentle family story lets readers know that shyness is nothing to worry about.”–Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW. Read the full review here.
“The book’s vibrant colors reflect the story’s celebratory mood, and the cartoon illustrations cushion Ava’s struggle with anxiety.”–Booklist. Read the full review here.
“This warm #OwnVoices look at Colombian traditions, including wearing yellow underwear and eating grapes for good luck, is both universal and deeply personal.”–School Library Journal. Read review here.
“The illustrations are bright and colorful, perfect for the lush farm setting of the story.”–Kristin Guay, Youth Services Book Review: Starred review! Read the full review here.
“…a great example of an #ownvoices diverse book that celebrates Colombian culture through a story that all readers can relate to.”–Sarah Bickel, Youth Services Book Review: Starred review! Read the full review here.