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.
“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!
The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
Written by Anika Aldamuy Denise
Illustrated by Paola Escobar
Published by HarperCollins (2019)
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.
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.
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.
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.