Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela!

“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?”- Albert Whitman & Co. 2020
Written by Alexandra Alessandri/ Illustrated by Addy Rivera Sonda

Alexandra Alessandri writes in an adorable and honest way about what goes through kids’ minds and hearts when they feel shy in a particular situation or are generally shy.

Ava gets to this beautiful finca where her Abuelita lives, but she can’t find her voice. Throughout the book, she and we, the readers, discover more about her familia and so many different traditions. Some New Year’s traditions presented are baking bañuelos and making an Año Viejo doll. Readers will also learn about what to wear and eat for good luck.

There are many Spanish words and expressions, easily understandable through context clues or repetition of the same in English.  Also, Alexandra included a glossary in the end.

This is a book for all shy kids and the ones not so shy, so we can all  understand each other. FELIZ NEW YEAR, AVA GABRIELA!  Allows Colombian children to see themselves represented. Still, it is also a book for all Latinx kids and not Latinx kids, so we can all learn about this beautiful culture, and most importantly, we can all learn that in any culture and country, children go through similar feelings and struggles.

Readers will cheer for this sweet girl to find her voice and have fun.

Some of my favorite expressions in this book, filled with beautiful language, are:

  1. Ava’s heart thumped like Papá’s tambor.
  2. The word was whispery soft but tasted sweet like dulce de leche.
  3. Her voice grew wings and hummed like a colibrí.

And now, let’s talk about illustrations. 

The illustrations show Gabriela’s sweetness, the happiness of her family, the colors of their culture, and we can almost hear the words and the songs throughout the book. Great job, Addy Rivera Sonda. 

In summary, this book is so sweet! You will gobble it up!!! 

Now, I need to go get me some dulce de leche and buñuelos. 

Bio Author – Alexandra Alessandri is a Colombian American poet, children’s author, and Associate Professor of English at Broward College. Her poetry has appeared in The Acentos Review, Rio Grande Review, Atlanta Review, and YARN. Her debut Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela! releases October 1, 2020, from Albert Whitman & Company, followed by Isabel and Her Colores Go to School in fall 2021 from Sleeping Bear Press. Alexandra lives in Florida with her husband and son. 
Twitter: @apalessandri
Instagram: @apalessandri
Website: alexandraalessandri.com

Bio Illustrator –

Addy Rivera Sonda is a Mexican illustrator who loves color and nature. When not drawing, she explores ways to live a more sustainable life. Addy hopes her stores and art can build empathy and lead to a more inclusive world. She currently lives in California. Find her website at addyriversonda.wixsite.com/portfolio.

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/addy_rivera/?hl=en

Order this book

Add to Goodreads
Uncorrected Proofs available through Edelweiss+

On sale: 10.01.2020
Available for Pre-order Now! Enter the pre-order giveaway here.
Signed and personalized copies available from Books & Books here. Leave a note for personalization info in the order comments field at Alexandra’s website..

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