Denise, Anika Aldamuy. Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré. Paola Escobar, Illus. Biog. HarperCollins, 01/2019. pp. $17.99. 978-0-06-274868-3. OUTSTANDING. GRADES K-3.
This picture book biography of noted librarian Pura Belpré begins in Puerto Rico as she leaves for New York, describing her work with Spanish-speaking children and her promotion of folklore, puppetry, and storytelling. The writing is lively, weaving Spanish words into the narrative in context: “But the library needs libros for its shelves. How can more children read Perez y Martina and other cuentos de Puerto Rico?” The artwork is equally pleasing with digitally-created colorful illustrations that are reminiscent of the work of Disney cartoonist Mary Blair. Back matter includes more information on Belpré’s life and achievements, including lists of books and other research materials. A great read-aloud for National Library Week or Día de los Libros/Día de los Niños.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University, iSchool