All images © Juana Martinez-Neal. Do not repost without permission.

Juana Martinez-Neal's work makes me want to jump inside the pages of the book. I want to dance, fly and swim alongside her beautifully illustrated characters. Born in Lima, Peru Juana has been an illustrator since the age of 16 and comes from a family of artists. What I love the most? Her multi-cultural approach. Take a look at "Abuelita". Is she not perfect? She reminds me of my grandmother. I can almost hear her voice and smell the aroma of food swirling around la cocina. I love when an artist can take me back home.

To see more work, Juana has a beautiful site and a fun blog. She's also on Facebook and Twitter.

Have a wonderful weekend!

("Poppy" from picture-book "Poppy's Best Day Ever" published by Nestle Latino, "Oh, diver!" from upcoming picture-book "Dana's Trip" published by Kalimat, "Kiss Good Night" from upcoming picture-book "The Night Before My Birthday Book" written by Joni Rubinstein)