Planting Stories (Hardcover)
The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
HarperCollins, 9780062748683, 40pp.
Publication Date: January 15, 2019
*Indie Next List Pick*
*Junior Library Guild Selection*
“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)
An inspiring picture book biography of storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, who championed bilingual literature.
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 by Paola Escobar’s elegant and exuberant illustrations and Anika Aldamuy Denise’s lyrical text, this gorgeous book is perfect for the pioneers in your life.
Informative backmatter and suggested further reading included.
A Spanish-language edition, Sembrando historias: Pura Belpré: bibliotecaria y narradora de cuentos, is also available.
About the Author
Anika Aldamuy Denise, the author of Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, first heard the stories of Pura Belpré from her títi Rose, who, like Pura’s family, enjoyed sharing the treasured folklore of Puerto Rico. Today, Anika is the celebrated author of several other picture books, including Starring Carmen!; Lights, Camera, Carmen!; and Monster Trucks. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Rhode Island. Visit her online at www.anikadenise.com.
Paola Escobar, the illustrator of Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, 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.
Praise For Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré…
— School Library Journal (starred review)
“[A] delightfully informative title.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“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.”
“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’s descriptive language moves between English and Spanish seamlessly, without italics used or translations needed, and portrays a lively Pura…Expressive digital illustrations in earthy colors portray warm and radiant characters.”
— The Horn Book
“Excellent read-aloud… will likely inspire young readers to create their own tales to share with others.”
— Shelf Awareness