Many notable writers, authors, and scholars that have passed on are still prominent to people today because they began a trend, left a legacy behind or took a stand in order for change to happen. These people and many more come to mind including Mark Twain, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Charles Dickens. This month, many organizations celebrate the legacy of Pura Belpre, a children’s storyteller and visionary.
About Pura Belpre
Pura Belrpre was an advocate for bilingual literacy and creating diverse programming centering the Latino culture. Additionally, she was the first Puerto Rican librarian to work for the New York Public Library back in 1921. Her goal was to make sure that the children understood the stories about their community and did this through story telling.
Pura Belpre Award
The Pura Belpre Award was established in 1996 and is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. More information about the award and the requirements can be found here.
Book by and about Pura Belpre
The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos by Lucia Gonzalez and Lulu Delacre is about cousins Hildamar and Santiago just moved to New York from their native Puerto Rico. At school, librarian Pura Belpre visits the class so that the children understand what library means to a community. This book is a tribute to Belpre and her impact on New York City.
Pérez and Martina by Pura Belpre has become a classic of children’s literature and is a Puerto Rican folktale.