Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré


Author: Anika Aldamuy Denise

Illustrator: Paila Escobar

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.