Synopses & Reviews
Celebrate the power of storytelling in this gorgeous and lyrical picture book biography of Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City.
An Indie Next List Pick!
“An appealing tribute and successful remedy to the lack of titles about the groundbreaking librarian…a must-have for all libraries.” – School Library Journal (starred review)
A gorgeous and lyrical picture book biography of Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City.
When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy.
Brought to colorful life with Paola Escobar’s fresh, exuberant, and elegant illustrations and Anika Aldamuy Denise’s lyrical text, this portrait of the influential librarian, author, and puppeteer reminds us of the power of storytelling and the extraordinary woman who opened doors and championed bilingual literature.
Includes an author’s note that gives context to Pura’s achievements, which forever influenced educators’ roles as teachers, storytellers, and active members of the community. There’s also a selected bibliography, further reading, and more.
“This lush and colorful book celebrates Belpré’s life and legacy, and encourages young storytellers to keep sharing their tales with the world.” A Mighty Girl
“Belpré’s story is told in rhythmic language with a good dose of Spanish sprinkled throughout. Escobar’s vibrant illustrations are filled with details that help bring to life the story of this remarkable librarian.” Kirkus Reviews
“Denise plants an idea of her own — that telling stories is a crucial activity for keeping culture alive.” Publishers Weekly
“Denise and Escobar pay tribute to the legacy of librarian Pura Belpré in this vibrant picture-book biography…Planting Stories is a glossy immigration tale of dreams coming true, and the lyrical language lends itself to being read aloud.” Booklist
About the Author
Anika Aldamuy Denise first heard the stories of Pura Belpré from her titi Rose, who, like Pura’s family, enjoyed sharing the treasured folklore of Puerto Rico. Today, Anika is the celebrated author of several picture books, including Starring Carmen!; Lights, Camera, Carmen!; and Monster Trucks. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Rhode Island.
Paola Escobar grew up traveling from town to town in Colombia. From a very young age she liked to draw the stories her grandmother Clara told about her ancestors, the countryside, and animals. Today, Paola is an illustrator who is passionate about telling stories of her own, having published with SM Spain, Planeta, Norma, and more. She lives very happily in Bogotá, Colombia, with her husband and their dog, Flora.