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Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
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Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  966 ratings  ·  225 reviews
Follow la vida y 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 stories into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 4.42  · 
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 ·  966 ratings  ·  225 reviews

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Start your review of Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
Pura loved stories from her grandmother. She grew up in Puerto Rico and came to NYC where she became a librarian and storyteller. She even published her stories so the children would have them in the library. She toured the country telling children her story.

The artwork is very beautiful in this and full of color and life. You can tell that Pura had a vivacious energy about her. This is historically based and it’s a good story for a nonfiction book. I enjoyed getting to know this woman.

The kids
Lisa Vegan
5 stars for the book’s subject about a remarkable and inspiring woman and her story. 5 stars for the illustrations. 4-1/2 stars for the story = 5 stars from me.

I adore the illustrations. They’re wonderful. Gorgeous with a wonderful use of color and so many fun details to pore over. I loved all of them, including the end papers.

The story is good, very good. I particularly like how many Spanish words and phrases are included and in such a way that their English translations are clear or clear
To call Anika Aladamuy Denise's Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré a wonderful junior level picture book biography, while this is of course and indeed the truth, it is still in my opinion a bit of an understatement, as the combination of the author's words and Paola Escobar's accompanying illustrations are in fact (and of course also in my humble opinion) pure and utter perfection (presenting both the high and low points of Pura Belprė's life, her many ...more
Laura Harrison
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
The last few years have produced the most remarkable and exquisite children's literature biographies. Planting Stories is probably tied with The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown as my favorite. We are talking out of hundreds and hundreds of titles I have purchased and reviewed through the years. I haven't been this excited about a picture book since Dreamers by Yuyi Morales. Not only is the subject, Pura Belpre (heck-there is an esteemed children's literature award named after her), ...more
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
This is a truly delightful book celebrating the first Puerto Rican librarian who sowed "story seeds" in New York Public Library. Indeed, Pura Belpré authored and created a collection of Latinx storybooks for the Library, the first of their kind in America. I loved the language and the incorporation of some Spanish phrases and the pictures truly absorbed my interest.
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous illustrations with a compelling story. Loved it.
Castle Spooktacular
LOVED IT! I am such a sucker for stories about people who have paved the way for literacy, learning, and librarianship. This was a great account of a woman who helped diversify children's literature by publishing stories, curating puppetshows, and planting seeds of change during the 1920s and beyond. Best of all, the illustrations were absolutely dreamy, detailed, and downright gorgeous.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of picture book biography that belongs on any librarian’s shelves, not only because the illustrations (and endpapers!) are absolutely gorgeous, but because the story of Pura Belpre’s lasting impact on children’s librarianship and the Latinx community is both a wonder and an inspiration. My favorite picture book bio featuring a librarian to date!
Amy Layton
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
This book was recommended to me by a fellow librarian, and given that it was just published, our academic library didn't yet have it. And, considering our academic library serves a large community of library science students, I figured that we could get away with purchasing more resources about librarians. So we did!

PlantingStoriesis a beautiful, biographical tale about Pura Belpre who made space for herself and her culture in her library. The focus is more on her work as a librarian rather than
Rating: 5 Stars:
Planting Stories is a beautiful & heartwarming picture book that follows Pura Belpré when she moves from Puerto Rico to New York & continues to spread her love of stories!

Not only is the art detailed and magnificent, but it also brings Belpré's story to life!

Belpré is an avid storyteller who grew up sharing the tales her abuela told her! So, now in New York, she finds her love of stories taking her on a journey to become a librarian (the 1st bilingual assistant), bring
This picture book biography of Pura Belpré gave me a lot of feelings. I'd never heard of Belpré —the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City — until discovering this book, and I was living for her story.

In 1921, Belpré leaves San Juan to attend her sister's wedding in New York. She decided to stay and eventually gets a job at the New York Public Library (a dreeeeeeam) because they are searching for a bilingual assistant and she speaks Spanish, French and English. Noticing the lack of
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Once in a while, I come across a children's picture book that needs to be shared. This time, my friend, Donna, shared a copy of Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré. Author Anika Aldamuy Denise's flowing language goes hand-in-hand with the beautiful illustrations by Paola Escobar. This is the gorgeous story of Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City, a storyteller, and the woman for whom the Pura Belpré Award was named, an award given to ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Pura Belpré Fans / Readers Looking for Engaging Picture-Book Biographies
Author Anika Aldamuy Denise and illustrator Paola Escobar explore the life of celebrated storyteller, librarian and author Pura Belpré in this lovely new picture-book biography. The first Puerto Rican to work at the New York Public Library, Belpré hosted storytelling sessions in which she shared the folklore of her native island with young children, eventually going on to publish many of those tales. The Pura Belpré Award, which is given by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), ...more
Chance Lee
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story about a woman important to libraries, children's literature, and the art of storytelling. And my god the illustrations are electrifyingly good.
Mariya Ortiz
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's a children's book about a children's librarian... uummmm, You had me at hello. What I didn't expect was that it would be lyrical and so beautifully written that I would want to read it again and again just to appreciate the craft of the writing. The poetic texts sings in harmony with the luminescent art of the book. ...more
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing

More times than readers can count, they find answers in books to questions they haven't yet asked. Several years ago, in attendance at a storytelling class, it was suggested to begin and close a storytelling event with a candle or lamp. When the lamp is lit, the magic of storytelling starts. After the final tale is told, the flame is extinguished.

Listeners are asked to make three wishes; one for someone anywhere in the world who needs it, one for someone they love (including pets) and the final
Katie Lawrence
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This was just wonderful! A perfect book to read at the beginning of a Belpré unit but also a wonderful biography about using your strengths, storytelling, culture and language to make a difference in your community. I loved the illustrations and learning about Pura Belpré. Made me proud to be a part of the profession!
Jillian Heise
A beautiful book with a beautiful story from about the life of Pura Belpre.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-ya
(3.5) I loved learning about Pura Belpré and her passion for sharing Puerto Rican stories with her community, and while the illustrations were lovely, they seemed a little flat to me on the page.
I didn't know there were biographies about librarians, much less (or specifically) the first Puerto Rican librarian! This book meant a lot to me.
The fantastic story behind the wonderful and talented Puerto Rican native storyteller and librarian, Pura Belpré
Rachel Green
As a librarian in NYC, I couldn't help but love this beautifully illustrated picture book of Pura Belpre!
Ann Santori
I always love me a picture book bio, but man is this astounding. The illustrations are brilliantly done in this warm, folk art style of the 1950s and 60s and the text is well researched and executed. Uplifting, informative book that everyone, but especially librarians, should read!
Alex  Baugh
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
After hearing Anika Aldamuy Denise speak about one of her heroes, Pura Belpré, at the Bank Street Latinx Mini-Conference last week, I knew I had to read her book. And what better place to do that than the place where Pura Belpré had such an immense impact - the NYPL.

Pura Belpré first arrived in New York in 1921, leaving her native Puerto Rico for what she thought would be a to visit to celebrate her sister's wedding, but she decided to stay. Her first job was in the garment factory, but she left
Alyssa Gudenburr
A great picture book about the librarian Pura Belpre! There are several Spanish words sprinkled into the story. I really enjoyed reading this book and it would make a great read aloud for elementary children.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: want-hard-copy
This does a really good job of highlighting the thread of stories through Belpré's life.

The illustrations are so full of color, and all the settings (Puerto Rico, New York, the garment factory vs the library) feel different in terms of color/shades. When Belpré returns to the library at the end, it's so warm!

Spanish is used throughout the text here in a really natural way, and it's not italicized (yay!). It's perfect for a book about Pura Belpré.

Unsurprisingly, this would pair well with The
J.D. Spero
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
By keeping alive the stories of her homeland, Pura Belpre touched the lives of so many. Well researched and from the heart, Denise plants seeds of her own with this inspiring story of an immigrant's gift to America's canon of multicultural storytelling. Escobar’s illustrations are elegant and as lush and vibrant as the language they bring to life. An important addition to ALL libraries—in town, in school, and at home.
This is genuinely everything I wanted from a picture book about Pura Belpre. The illustrations are breathtaking, the story is engaging, and it's a really great introduction to the life of an incredible woman, as well as an incredible introduction to the magical world of libraries and storytelling.

Highly recommended!
Lisa Mcbroom
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: inspiring-books, nyc
Story of Pura Belpre who came from Puerto Rico to New York City and starts out at New York Public Library. Hence there she realizes there are no Puerto Rican stories so she becomes one of the top storytellers. Illustrations are colorful and bright!
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Warm, evocative photos and a well-told text of Belpre's life make this a picture book to delight youngsters, caregivers, and library staff alike!

Great for a longer read-to story (older preschool through first or second grade) or a read-alone for second graders.
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