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Planting stories : the life of librarian and storyteller Pura Belpré
2019
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A lyrical picture book portrait of New York City's first Puerto Rican librarian describes how Pura Belpré moved to America in 1921 and became an influential writer and puppeteer who is celebrated for championing bilingual literature. 50,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

Describes the life and accomplishments of Pura Belprâe, a Puerto Rican librarian who introduced the folk tales of her native island first to the children of New York and afterwards throughout the country. - (Baker & Taylor)

"From the author of MONSTER TRUCK and STARRING CARMEN comes a gorgeous and lyrical story about Pura Belprâe, a Puerto Rican librarian who changed the world"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

RECIPIENT OF THE PURA BELPRÉ HONOR 

* A Today Show's Best Kids' Books of 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.

&;Anika Aldamuy Denise&;s intimate telling captures the magical, folk-tale feeling of Belpré&;s own stories. Her lyrical text, sprinkled like fairy dust with Spanish words, begs to be read aloud, while Paola Escobar&;s stylishly detailed and warmly expressive illustrations capture the joy of sharing stories.&; &;New York Times Book Review

- (HARPERCOLL)

Flap Cover Text

FOLLOW LA VIDA Y EL LEGADO OF PURA BELPRÉ, THE FIRST PUERTO RICAN LIBRARIAN IN NEW YORK CITY

When she came to America in 1921, Pura 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.

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.

- (HARPERCOLL)

Large Cover Image
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Booklist Reviews

Denise and Escobar pay tribute to the legacy of librarian Pura Belpré in this vibrant picture-book biography. Adults familiar with Belpré's story will immediately compare this book to The Storyteller's Candle (2008), by Lucía González, but this version adds a contemporary feel through the brilliantly detailed, brightly colored, whimsical illustrations and smoothly integrated linguistic code-switching. Here readers watch as Pura arrives in New York in 1921, just for a visit, filled with the stories her abuela told her in Puerto Rico. She stays, however, and finds work as a seamstress but yearns to do something else. As luck would have it, her chance comes when the public library needs a bilingual assistant. Thus begins Pura Belpré's career as the storyteller with puppets and a candle, around whose feet children sat listening to stories of Puerto Rico, including ones Pura writes herself. Planting Stories is a glossy immigration tale of dreams coming true, and the lyrical language lends itself to being read aloud. Grades K-3. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews

K-Gr 3—A picture book biography of one of the most significant and inspiring figures in library history. Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City, initially arrived in Manhattan to attend her sister's wedding. Intrigued perhaps by the "hustle and bustle" of this "new island," she decided to stay, finding temporary work as a seamstress. Belpré truly found her calling when she took a position as a bilingual assistant (the text notes that was she was, in fact, trilingual) at a neighborhood library, and went on to transform library services through culturally diverse storytelling, published books, and targeted outreach. Denise sprinkles her lyrical verse with Spanish, and emphasizes Belpré's love of stories, plucking the title of the book from her desire "to be like Johnny Appleseed...plant my story seeds across the land." Escobar's warm illustrations enliven the subject and carry the motif by depicting Belpré in impeccably stylish outfits and accessories detailed with floral patterns. Because of the composition style, readers are given only brief depictions of significant moments in Belpré's personal and professional life, but Denise provides a detailed author's note, summarizing Belpré's lasting impact, and includes a great amount of back matter. VERDICT An appealing tribute and successful remedy to the lack of titles about the groundbreaking librarian. This book pairs nicely with Lucia Gonzalez's The Storyteller's Candle, and is a must-have for all libraries.—Jessica Agudelo, New York Public Library

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.

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