Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, by Anika Aldamuy Denise and Paola Escobar

Written by Anika Aldamuy Denise, Illustrated by Paola Escobar


Pura Teresa Belpré: author, storyteller, and the first Puerto Rican librarian in NYC is the subject of this picture book biography. When she discovered there weren’t any Spanish books in the library, she wrote them herself. Incorporating folktales told by her grandmother, she used puppets for bilingual story time. As an advocate for the Latino community, she built bridges of literacy and social change. Now, each year, the American Library Association recognizes outstanding works of Latino writers and illustrators with the Pura Belpre Award.

Pura’s life story is interesting and well told. Interspersed with Spanish words, it was a bit of a challenge, but children will probably find it more of a puzzle to decipher, rather than a deterrent. The illustrations in this book are beautiful. It is a great addition to the picture book biography genre.

Review by Terrie Bishop, Academy Park Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 4-6

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
Written by Anika Aldamuy Denise, Illustrated by Paola Escobar
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers
32 pages
Release Date: January 15, 2019
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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