I’m Anna, a children’s author, NFEC-Certified Financial Educator (CFEI), and café-con-leche fanatic.

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My Journey

family | Puerto Rico | LOVE

I was born and raised on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean. I grew up in a multicultural home, surrounded by family and music. My Titi Provi & Tío Chago’s country home in Corozal was my favorite place in the world. It was a humble house, but one where the love for family, home-cooked food, and melodies always flowed in abundance.

I remember spending countless hours walking around the countryside, picking fruit straight from the trees, visiting cousins, and learning to cook typical Puerto Rican dishes. It’s also where my love for nature and stories was born.

That’s me in the pink dress (fashion trends were quite different back in the day), with my parents and siblings. 

That’s also me in my mommy’s arms. It was taken many years ago at my Titi Provi & Tío Chago’s country home in Corozal, Puerto Rico. 

It was a humble place where the love for family, home-cooked food, and music always flowed in abundance. 

It was actually my grandfather, Barnet, who encouraged me to write those stories down. He was my biggest cheerleader.

learn about my book

Chicken & Frog Bookshop - Brentwood, Essex


Storytelling with Anna Orenstein-Cardona - Discover Children's Story Centre in London


BOOK READING & CHAT JARDIN Botánico - University of Puerto Rico






Places I've Visited

past events

Through the Years

education | jobs | the future

When I was in high school, I was very active in bringing all kinds of stories to life through English Forensics competitions; which combine acting with public speaking. I was pretty good at it and won a few awards (check out my proud parents).

Later on, I went to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Originally, I wanted to be a doctor, but ended up working for a very long time in the world of finance, in both New York and London. 

Even though that job was full of numbers, it also involved some dramatic arts (just like back in high school). That’s me doing multiple trades with clients!

Now, I empower others with financial education and write children's books.

Resources For the Classroom



This guide offers activities to help teachers integrate The Tree of Hope into the classroom.

That’s me, sitting under the real-life Tree Of Hope in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Tree of Hope


The jagüey blanco, also known as a banyan tree, of the San Juan Gate is one of the most beloved trees in the city of Old San Juan, located on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. Due to its sheer size, magnificence, and location. 

For over a century, it stood proudly next to the tall red gateway known as the San Juan Gate, or the Puerta de San Juan. 

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made its devastating landfall in Puerto Rico. It was the worst natural disaster on record to hit the island, causing widespread flooding and a complete collapse of the island’s electrical grid and water systems. People were sadly left without running water and in complete darkness for months. 

It also destroyed much of the island’s nature, including the magnificent jagüey blanco, which was uprooted and fell into the sea.

The Tree Of Hope is inspired by the tree’s miraculous rescue and regrowth; a reminder of the power of community and the importance of never giving up.

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pdf about the book

book reviews

“The Tree of Hope is a delightful and moving tale, told with great charm and vigour. It’s message is – as the title suggests – one of hope, courage, resourcefulness, and endurance. The illustrations and text work beautifully together to tell and important and inspiring story.”

- Anthony McGowan

English Author & 2020 CILIP Carnegie Medal for Lark

"...this meaningful story evades didacticism and links the tree’s resilience with the fortitude of Puerto Ricans determined to rebuild their lives. People are pictured with different skin tones, reflecting the diversity of Puerto Rico."

Kirkus Reviews

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"A powerful debut picture book about community, the determination of the Puerto Rican people, and a majestic and resilient tree. Purchase for all picture book collections."

- School Library Journal

My Author Journey

a little note to share

As a child, one of my greatest joys was visiting Old San Juan and sitting under the jagüey blanco with a piragua (snow cone) in hand. When I learned about the tree’s fall, I felt like I had lost a childhood friend. The history of its recovery is nothing short of a miracle and I knew that this beautiful and inspiring story had to be shared with the world.

I still love piraguas by the way!

That’s how the dream to publish my picture book became a reality!

I did my research, visited the tree, interviewed neighbors in Old San Juan, and wrote my story. I then tried to get it published…Oh boy, that was no easy feat! In fact, publishing can be a very loooong journey for many authors. 

As time passed by, I wrote other stories, but something in me always knew that The Tree Of Hope had to be told.

In 2020, I found out about a wonderful organization called #LatinxPitch, which helps give Latinx creators a platform to be seen & heard by the publishing world. Lucky for me, I pitched The Tree Of Hope and found my wonderful editor, Naomi Krueger from Beaming Books.

I want to thank #LatinxPitch for providing Latinx creators a platform to be seen and heard & to Naomi Krueger and Beaming Books for championing this story. 

Friends, The Tree Of Hope is a love letter to my country and to the indomitable spirit of the Puerto Rican people. I hope it inspires you to find strength during difficult times and serve as a reminder that together, we are always stronger!


the tree of hope is available at any of the below links

Fun Facts About


Aside from teaching and writing, I love to read, travel, cook and spend time with my husband and our two cats. 

these are our two fun & crazy cats (who love to appear in all my Zoom calls), so if we do a virtual classroom visit or interview, you can expect them to show up too!

That’s me in Antarctica, where I got to learn a lot of very cool things and spend time with penguins.

(I even brought my country’s flag with me on the trip). 

book reviews

"The Tree of Hope is a beautiful story of resilience, not only of a beloved, ancient tree, but of a proud community as well. This is the kind of book the world needs right now."

- matt de la peña

Newberry Medal Winner and New York Times bestselling author

"Uplifting. In this story el Jagüey Blanco stands in for the indomitable spirit and resilience of the Puerto Rican people.”

- Lulu Delacre

Pura Belpré Honoree and New York Times bestselling illustrator

“This story reminds us that by working together, we can all make a change in our communities and help our planet.”

- Chitra Soundar

Indian-born British award-winning author 



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Copyright Anna Orenstein-Cardona 2022 | Designed By Coffee and Flow Creative

As well as a children’s author, I am also a NFEC-Certified Financial Educator (CFEI). By clicking the link below, you will be directed to my blog specifically dedicated to my journey as an author.

My Children's Writing Journey

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