#WomenReadWomen2019 Books Features Genre Non-fiction Wednesday Nonfiction Picture Books Reading Themes

[Nonfiction Wednesday] Seeds of Stories: The Remarkable Life of Pura Belpré

Grow where you are planted.

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Fats here.

We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2019 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, when we can.

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“Grow where you are planted.” This has been the theme of my life lately and I’m glad I’ve read about someone who lived her life in a similar way. Her name was Pura Belpré. Grow she did and became an influential librarian and storyteller. Check out the new juvenile non-fiction book about her!


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Planting Stories

The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

Written by Anika Aldamuy Denise
Illustrated by Paola Escobar
Published by HarperCollins (2019)
ISBN-13: 9780062748683
Copy provided by Norwalk Public Library.
Book photos by me.

From the dust jacket: 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.

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Planting Stories tells the story of Pura Belpré. Did you know? Pura originally planned to pursue teaching in her hometown in Puerto Rico. Her life was transformed when she seized the opportunity to apply for bilingual assistant at the New York Public Library.

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Photo courtesy of NPR.

Pura brought seeds of stories that were inspired by her grandmother’s storytelling. These seeds were first planted in the children’s room during story hour. Later, Pura published her first book, Pérez y Martina, which was about a cockroach named Martina and her mouse suitor named Pérez. With the publication of her book and a few others mentioned in Planting Stories, Pura was able to spread her story seeds throughout the land.

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Photo courtesy of NPR.

In reading about Pura’s story, I’d like to think that Pura herself was a seed. She bloomed and grew where she was planted. She took advantage of the opportunity presented to her and nurtured her job to share beautiful stories to children.


2019 Pura Belpre Award Winners

3 comments on “[Nonfiction Wednesday] Seeds of Stories: The Remarkable Life of Pura Belpré

  1. lindabaie

    I know of this book and there are many holds, may need to purchase it. Thanks for the very good peek into it, Fats. She was an amazing woman who did so much for children’s lit. I enjoyed that early picture!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fats Suela

      I think it would be a great addition to your shelf, Linda! I love how the author mixed some Spanish phrases in the story. I wished she included a glossary but I thought I picked up the meaning of most of them. The illustrations in the book are wonderful. I think this is Paola Escobar’s first illustrated book for children but I could be wrong. Enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just read Planting Stories last night! Such a good story. Such a well done book–text and illustrations.

    Like

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