Reviews for Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpre

by Anika Aldamuy Denise

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A warm introduction to Pura Belpr, the first Puerto Rican librarian in the New York Public Library.In 1921, Belpr left her island home of Puerto Rico for New York City. There, she started work as a bilingual assistant in the public library. But where were the stories of her native land? "How lucky for the library that Pura has story seeds ready to plant and grow." Eventually, not only did Belpr hold a popular bilingual story program, but also, finding there were no books available for children in Spanish, she wrote them. Traveling "from branch to branch, classroom to classroom, to churches and community centers," Belpr planted "her story seeds in the hearts and minds of children new to this island who wish to remember la lengua y los colores of home." Belpr's story is told in rhythmic language with a good dose of (unitalicized) Spanish sprinkled throughout. Escobar's vibrant illustrations are filled with details that help bring to life the story of this remarkable librarian. Belpr is portrayed with light brown skin. A closing note explains that today, the American Library Association honors her by presenting an annual award that bears her name to a Latinx writer and illustrator whose works celebrate the Latino cultural experience. Read together with The Storyteller's Candle / La velita de los cuentos, by Luca Gonzlez and illustrated by Lulu Delacre (2008).In Belpr, children will find an affirmation of the importance of seeing their own culture in books. (bibliography, further reading) (Picture book/biography. 4-9) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

As a bilingual assistant at Nueva York's public library in 1921, Pura Belpri retells the folk stories of her native Puerto Rico at storytimes and eventually writes them down for publication. Descriptive language moves between English and Spanish seamlessly. Both text and expressive, warm illustrations carry the metaphor of planting seeds, so that readers see the seeds of Belpri's stories bloom as the biographical details unfold. Also available in Spanish. Reading list. Bib. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.