Azúuuucar! -Remembering Celia Cruz

Last night, I read to my six-year old, a bilingual children storybook-biography series of significant man and women of Latin America.  Our favorite book of the series was: My Name Is Celia: The Life Of Celia Cruz/Me llamo Celia: La vida de Celia Cruz,” written by Monica Brown and illustrated by Rafael Lopez.


Celia Cruz was a Cuban-born singer known as “La Reina de la Salsa” (The Queen of Salsa Music). Her music was well-known in all Latin-America for being vibrant, happy and kind of magic, because everyone agreed that her songs make you want to dance.


The book does a great job describing her charisma and fun personality seen on stage and in her flamboyant attire. But, the story of her life also brought many first-time questions from my girl about issues like racism and events like the Cuban revolution.

“What is communist?” 

“Why did they make people want to leave their home? asked many times a confused six-year old.

After finishing our colorful and engaging book, I invited my girl to listen my favorite song from Celia Cruz, “La vida es un carnaval” It is a fun and vibrant song, just like Celia was. My daughter showed special interest in the sound of the instruments more than in the lyrics, and since the lyrics of that particular song are a great reminder that life is a carnival and we need to find joy regardless of the hard things, we listened the song for a second chance. It made us want to dance!!



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