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*CCPL Staff picks are chosen by CCPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We’d love to hear your ideas too, so write to us and tell us what you’d recommend!*

The Pura Belpré Award is presented to a Latinex writer and illustrator whose work represents, affirms, and celebrates the LAtino cultural experience. It is named after Pura Belpré the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The following staff picklist has some of the Pura Belpre Award winning Picture books for children. In this Hipanic Heritage Month let’s celebrate our diversity by teaching our children about the Latino experience in the United States with these colorful vibrant books filled with hope and positive lessons.

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos

(From Hoopla) The fascinating Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, her dramatic works featuring bold and vibrant colors. Her work brought attention to Mexican and indigenous culture, and she is also renowned for her works celebrating the female form. Brown’s story recounts Frida’s beloved pets—two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat, and a fawn—and playfully considers how Frida embodied many wonderful characteristics of each animal.

Cosmos Catalogue
Hoopla- Audio Book
Hoopla – Read-a-loud
Overdrive – Audiobook

Danza!

Award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the story of Amalia Hernández, dancer and founder of El Ballet Folklórico de México.

Published in time for the 100th anniversary of Hernández’s birth, Danza! is the first picture book about the famous dancer and choreographer.

Danza! is a celebration of Hernández’s life and of the rich history of dance in Mexico. As a child, Amalia always thought she would grow up to be a teacher, until she saw a performance of dancers in her town square. She was fascinated by the way the dancers twirled and swayed, and she knew that someday she would be a dancer, too. She began to study many different types of dance, including ballet and modern, under some of the best teachers in the world. Hernández traveled throughout Mexico studying and learning regional dances. Soon she founded her own dance company, El Ballet Folklórico de México, where she integrated her knowledge of ballet and modern dance with folkloric dances. The group began to perform all over the country and soon all over the world, becoming an international sensation that still tours today.

Hoopla- Ebook
Cosmos Catalogue
DVD Cosmos Catalogue

Celia Cruz Queen of Salsa

(From Overdrive)This soulful biography of the salsa superstar begins with her childhood in Havana through her success in her own country, and on to her heartbreaking emigration from Cuba and into worldwide stardom. Her love for learning, her classical training, and her devotion to her birth country, are all presented in this lyrical tribute to a musical sensation.

Cosmos Catalogue
Overdrive- Sample

Separate is Never Equal

Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a ‘Whites only’ school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.

Cosmos Catalogue
Hoopla- Ebook
Hoopla- Ebook with Read Along
Hoopla- Movie
Hoopla- Audiobook
Overdrive- Audiobook
Overdrive- Ebook

Across the Bay

RECIPIENT OF THE PURA BELPRÉ ILLUSTRATOR HONOR

Author-illustrator Carlos Aponte takes readers on a journey to the heart of Puerto Rico in this enchanting picture book set in Old San Juan.

“A lively and honest story about filling voids and exploring what defines a family—as well as a love letter to a childhood home.”—Horn Book

Carlitos lives in a happy home with his mother, his abuela, and Coco the cat. Life in his hometown is cozy as can be, but the call of the capital city pulls Carlitos across the bay in search of his father. Jolly piragüeros, mischievous cats, and costumed musicians color this tale of love, family, and the true meaning of home.

Cosmos-Catalogue
Overdrive- Ebook(Sample)

Dreamers

(From Hoopla) In 1994, twenty-five-year-old Yuyi Morales traveled from her home in Yelapa, Mexico, to the San Francisco Bay Area with her two-month-old son, Kelly, in order to secure permanent residency in this country. Her passage was not easy, and she spoke no English whatsoever. But due in large measure to help and guidance provided by area children’s librarians, she learned English the same way her young son learned to read: through the picture books, they shared together. In spare, lyrical verse and with the vibrant images for which she has become legendary, Yuyi has created a lasting testament to the journeys, both physical and metaphorical, that she and Kelly have taken together in the intervening years. Beautiful and powerful at any time-but given particular urgency as the status of our own Dreamers becomes uncertain-this is a story that is both topical and timeless.

Cosmos – Catalogue
Hoopla- Movie (Ebook)
Hoopla-Audiobook
Overdrive- Audiobook
Overdrive- Ebook

Mi Papi Tiene Una Moto

(From Hoopla) When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she’s always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her. But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there. My Papi Has a Motorcycle is a young girl’s love letter to her hardworking dad and to memories of home that we hold close in the midst of change.

Cosmos-Catalogue
Hoopla – Movie
Hoopla- Audiobook
Hoopla – Movie (Spanish)

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

An inspiring picture book biography of storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, who championed bilingual literature.

When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré 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.

Brought to colorful life by Paola Escobar’s elegant and exuberant illustrations and Anika Aldamuy Denise’s lyrical text, this gorgeous book is perfect for the pioneers in your life.

Cosmos – Catalogue
Overdrive – Ebook (Sample)

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln

(From Hoopla) As a little girl, Teresa Carreño loved to let her hands dance across the beautiful keys of the piano. If she felt sad, music cheered her up, and when she was happy, the piano helped her share that joy. Soon she was writing her own songs and performing in grand cathedrals. Then a revolution in Venezuela forced her family to flee to the United States. Teresa felt lonely in this unfamiliar place, where few of the people she met spoke Spanish. Worst of all, there was fighting in her new home, too-the Civil War. Still, Teresa kept playing, and soon she grew famous as the talented Piano Girl who could play anything from a folk song to a sonata-so famous, in fact, that President Abraham Lincoln wanted her to play at the White House! Yet with the country torn apart by war, could Teresa’s music bring comfort to those who needed it most?

Cosmos-Catalog
Hoopla – Ebook
Hoopla- Read along
Hoopla- Audiobook