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Books Open the World

A Little About Myself

Biography of Author Alma Flor Ada


  • Alma Flor Ada grew up in Cuba where she liked reading and the outdoors.  She especially enjoyed mixing the two atop a big tree with one of her favorites.
  • Mrs. Ada’s grandmother taught her to read at the young age of three.
  • Her uncles and grandmother were excellent storytellers who inspired Ada to tell her own stories.  The Unicorn West became her very own “made-up story”.
  •  Interestingly, rabbits often “pop up” in Ada’s books because she once rescued a group of them from a flood and they won her heart forever.  Examples are evident in Dear Peter Rabbit.
  • In addition to writing children’s books, Alma Flor Ada contributes to her community as a mentor to classroom teachers and a professor at the University of San Francisco.
  • My Name is Maria Isabela is especially touching as Ada has struggled her entire life to be called by her given name of “Alma Flor”.  She often connects with those children whose names are often mispronounced or changed for convenient purposes.
  • Ada’s book The Golden Coin was written out of her respect for migrant workers in the fields working to harvest food in the heat of the sun.
  • Alma Flor Ada is bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English.  She says:


“Knowing two languages has made the world richer for me.” 


She also believes that all children should be given the opportunity of learning two or more languages at a young age when it is easily attainable.  Ada also says of her belief:



 “[It] is for that reason I am    delighted   that most of my books are published both in English and in Spanish.”    “And it makes me even happier that my own daughter, Rosalma Zubizarreta, has done many of the translation of my books.”


        Ada attributes her success as children’s author to the constant support of her family members.  In addition to her grandmother’s inspiration and her daughters help with the translation of her books, Ada also expresses immense gratitude to her son, Alfonso Zubizarreta and his wife Denia Zamperlini, for the dedication to the distribution of her books through Ray Vance, Ada’s nephew, creatively assists her with the “upkeep” of her wonderful website which you can peruse at





I Love Saturdays, y domingo


Jordi’s Star


With Love, Little Red Hen


My Name is Maria Isabel, Me Llamo Maria Isabel


Pio Peep!


The Lizard and the Sun

Links to Useful Website

Alma Flor Ada’s Publishing Company

Website for lessons using Alma Flor Ada’s books$95

Project through Denver Public Schools utilizing Ada’s books

Link to website for a language arts lesson collaboratively done with author Rafe Martin

Link to website for folktale writing lesson with Half-Chicken

Website with additional links for a study of weather to accompany Ada’s Half-Chicken 

Experience it with me!!!