The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate.
2015 Author Award Winner
I Lived on Butterfly Hill
, written by Marjorie Agosín, illustrated by Lee White and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division
When warships appear, in “I Lived on Butterfly Hill,” Celeste’s idyllic life is shattered. As people disappear, Celeste’s parents go into hiding, and she is sent into exile. When she returns home, she works to reunite people she loves and to move her country forward. Lyrically written by acclaimed poet, Marjorie Agosín, this Chilean story offers a refreshing perspective on resiliency. “I Lived on Butterfly Hill” was illustrated by Lee White and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.
“With her poet’s eye, Marjorie Agosín gives this tale of exile and return an epic feel,” said Wadham. “Though she is a refugee, Celeste learns she belongs anywhere there are things she loves.”
2015 Illustrator Award Winner
, illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales and published by Roaring Brook Press, a Neal Porter Book.
“Viva Frida” uses rich, vibrant color photographs and minimal evocative text to beautifully portray the unique imagination and creativity of an iconic Latina artist. Morales blends a wide variety of mediums - stop-motion puppets, acrylic paints and digital manipulation - to create a whimsical picture book that will inspire your artistic sensibilities. The book was written by Yuyi Morales and published by Roaring Brook Press, a Neal Porter Book.
“It’s Yuyi, what more can you say?” said Pura Belpré Award Committee Chair Tim Wadham. “Her multi-media illustrations take the reader on a journey straight into Frida Kahlo’s artist’s heart and creative soul.
2015 Author Honor Book
Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes
, written by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Raúl Colón and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Juan Felipe Herrera celebrates the lives of 20 Hispanic people who up to now have been in the shadows to many despite their significant contributions to American society. These poignant biographical sketches succinctly present the essence of each hero’s life and legacy to the future generations of their culture.
2015 Illustrator Honor Books
Little Roja Riding Hood
, illustrated Susan Guevara, written by Susan Middleton Elya and published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Susan Guevara’s illustrations are a visual treat full of suspense and humor adding a spin to the classic fairy tale. Her use of details, such as the three blind mice and the little duendes, and the texture of warm colors give readers glimpses into a contemporary Hispanic family.
Green Is a Chile Pepper
, illustrated by John Parra, written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong and published by Chronicle Books LLC
Parra's vibrant folk art is the perfect complement to the text. The images depict diverse characters of all ages. Parra's wonderful illustrations portray many Hispanic cultural traditions. They have a sense of energy and liveliness, which gives a feeling of being at a fiesta celebrating colors and culture.
Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family's Fight for Desegregation
, illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.
Using his signature style of illustration, Duncan Tonatiuh tells the story of the Mendez family’s struggle for equal education. His digitally enhanced illustrations and his use of period detail convey the historical setting, linking this landmark case against injustice to a long campaign for human rights.
Members of the 2015 Pura Belpré Award Committee are: Chair Tim Wadham, Puyallup (Wash.) Public Library; Dr. Ramona Caponegro, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Mich.; Maria Cotto, Pawtucket (R.I.) Public Library; Iris N. Ilagan, La Canada Flintridge (Calif.) Public Library; Louise Lareau, New York Public Library; Maria E. Rodriguez, Dallas (Texas) Independent School District; and Victor Lynn Schill, Fairbanks Branch Library, Houston, Texas.
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