Brainy Parenting

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

Author: Anika Aldamuy Denise

Illustrator: Paola Escobar

Published in 2019 by HarperCollins

Planting Stories tells the inspirational journey of esteemed storyteller, librarian, and pioneer for representation of bilingual literature, Pura Belpré. She initially came to America to attend her sister’s wedding in Manhattan. Captivated by life in New York City, she decided to stay. She found her passion when she accepted a job as a bilingual assistant at the library. Pura Belpré went on to transform the world of library services with her dedication to sharing culturally diverse literature and traditional folktales from her homeland of Puerto Rico.



Through music, dance, and handcrafted puppets, she planted seeds of her abuela’s stories in the hearts and minds of children and families all across the land. Elegant, lush illustrations capture the magic and joy of sharing stories. Planting Seeds includes a detailed note from the author and a bibliography with resources for learning more about the remarkable, artistic, trailblazing life and lasting legacy of Pura Belpré.

Additional Resources:

  • Author Anika Aldamuy Denise website
  • Meet author Anika Aldamuy Denise
  • Author Anika Aldamuy Denise biography
  • Planting Stories Teaching Guide PDF
  • Meet illustrator Paola Escobar
  • “Pura Belpré: Her Life and Legacy”
  • Pura Belpré Biographical Essay
  • Learn about the Pura Belpré Award
  • “How NYC’s First Puerto Rican Librarian Brought Spanish to the Shelves” from NPR
  • “Celebrating the City’s First Puerto Rican Librarian, Pura Belpré” from New York Public Library


This post appeared first on Samantha Cronin's Kid Lit Library.