¡Mira, Look!: Planting Stories: The Life of the Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

Queridos lectores,

For this week, we chose a very special book that came out this year, “Planting Stories: The Life of the Historian and Librarian Pura Belpré.” This story is the result of a beautiful collaboration between American author Anika Aldamuy Denise and Colombian illustrator Paola Escobar, and it is also available in Spanish. For some of you the name Pura Belpré sounds familiar, whether it is because
you read her stories that talk about Puerto Rico’s folklore and oral tradition, or because of the prestigious award named in her honor. Organized since 1996 by the American Library Association, the prestigious Pura Belpré award is given annually to Latinx authors and illustrator.

Resultado de imagen para pura belpre award


Pura Belpré was the first Puerto Rican librarian at the New York public library. This book tells us her inspirational story, and the way in which she planted in New York the seeds of all the stories she heard on the island where she grew up. These stories were told to her “under the shade of a Tamarind tree, in Puerto Rico.” The seeds she plants in the library are an extension of this tree, transplanted in New York City and for all the boys and girls who wanted to hear these stories. Belpré wrote the first book on Puerto Rico’s folktales for the city’s public library. She saw the importance of having access to books in our maternal language and to having representation of our own culture and imagery.

The detailed and colorful illustrations show us this rich world in which
Belpré lived. The 1920s in New York City is shown in detail, building our understanding of this place she went to visit temporarily and where she decided to stay permanently given the opportunities and the promise of the American dream.

Belpré was not only an author but also a storyteller. She would tell and perform Puerto Rico’s stories to children at the library and travel to different places to tell them. Children and families came to the library to hear her bilingual folktales represented with puppets on a stage. This tradition had an impact other storytellers who then continued to create a rich imaginary world for kids at the NY library.

We recommend this wonderful book not only because of her inspirational story, but also because of how important it is to know who she was, where she came from, and the everlasting impact she had in her community.

“The seeds she has planted, the roots that grew shoots into the open air of possibility, have become a lush landscape into which she steps, as though she has never left.”

  • For more information on her prestigious award and to the list of authors and illustrators who have won it, visit the Pura Belpré Award website.
  • To dive into a bit of her legacy among the world of children’s literature, visit the Latinx in Kid Lit blog, which ran a series of commemorative posts in 2016 when the award celebrated its 20th year.
  • Finally, to bring Belpré a bit more to life, check out this trailer for a documentary created by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies.

Nos vemos pronto,

Carolina


Citation: The above image was done by Paola Escobar, and is from the book Planting Stories: The Life of the Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré.

March 30th| Week in Review

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¡Hola a todos! I am glad for another interesting Women’s History Month. Though we think the focus on women should continue throughout the year, here are a few “last minute” resources you might add to the WHM list, along with some other tidbits we came across.

–  Just as we are preparing to host Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña here at the University of New Mexico, Latinxs in Kid Lit has shared their review of Quintero’s and Peñas’s latest collaboration, a graphic novel on The Life of Graciela Iturbide. “It’s no small order to synthesize a lifetime of artistic growth and achievement, but this book delivers, thanks to the wonderful collaborative work of Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña, who are impressive artists in their own right, with rich futures in their respective fields.”

– Lee & Low shared their forthcoming Spring Paperbacks favorite titles, including one that made us super excited – a Spanish translation of our beloved book, Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. El verano de las mariposas is almost here!

 – Want a quick literary moment for your day? La Bloga shared an inspiring and hilarious story, “Cruising with Nayto,” that features Dr. Alvaro Huerta, an assistant professor of Urban and Regional Planning as well as Ethnic and Women’s Studies, at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona.

– Check out Padma’s Book blog piece on “I is for Inclusion,” where blogger and author Padma Venjatraman discusses how to create a “more inclusive and comfortable atmosphere before, during, and after author visits/events.”

– Other sources about Women’s History month that are at once outstanding, inspiring, and refreshing are pieces that highlight the original Pura Belpré, including how Afro-Latina Pura Belpré gave children the precious love of books and stories and how NYC’s First Puerto Rican Librarian Brought Spanish To The Shelves.

— For another lit moment, here are 10 Books by Latina Authors You Should Read During Women’s History Month.

— And here are five female writers and the women who inspired them.

– We offer our congrats to Jacqueline Woodson for winning the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award– the world’s prestigious and largest award for children’s writing. Outstanding!

– Our local libraries made the news here for recognizing the one and only Rudolfo Anaya. Our North Valley Library has been renamed as the  Rudolfo Anaya North Valley Library. Dean Smith-the director of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Public Library System emphasized that renaming the library is a tradition “where we honor authors who have made major contributions to the literary canon of New Mexico.” Truth be told, though, Anaya’s impact goes far beyond NM. He’s a legend no matter where you are or what you read!

– Finally, with Easter celebrations upon us, here is Hip Latinas’s list of Semana Santa Traditions from Spanish-Speaking Countries.

Abrazos,
Alin Badillo


Image: Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City. Reprinted from Flickr user Lul_piquee under CC©.

WWW: Día de los niños booklist!

Poster from American Library Association can be found at http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=3357

Poster from American Library Association can be found at dia.ala.org

Tuesday, April 30, is El día de los niños.

El día was nearly three-quarters of a century old in Mexico, when, in 1996, it was appropriated in the United States and coupled with the name “El día de los libros” to promote the celebration of literacy.

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¡Mira Look!: Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia

Every once and a while we come across truly wonderful and inspiring people who see a need that requires fulfilling and figure out how to do that. Often times their stories are covered up by those who deserve less attention. But! Sometimes, when the stars align, their stories become wonderful books, videos and inspirations. Meet: Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia by Jeanette Winter and the real life heroes who inspired her tale: Luis Soriano Boroquez, his burros Alfa and Beto, and their amazing traveling library! That’s right: traveling library, soak up that goodness for a second.

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WWW: INFOdocket

Today’s WWW highlights a compilation site where you can find information you need on the library world from around the world. INFOdocket, “offers information industry news, useful websites, search tips and tools…and occasional commentary.” What’s better? It’s free.

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