Pura Belpré Award

About the Pura Belpré Award
The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented 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.

The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented 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 the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking (REFORMA), an ALA affiliate.

The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. As a children's librarian, storyteller, and author, she enriched the lives of Puerto Rican children in the U.S.A. through her pioneering work of preserving and disseminating Puerto Rican folklore.

It is now an annual award.  It was a biennial award from its inaugural year in 1996 through 2008. 

Administered by:

Association for Library Service to Children logo

Illustrator Award

2015 Winner(s)

Viva Frida

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.


2015 Honor(s)

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


Little Roja Riding Hood
llustrated 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.


Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and 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.


Author Award

2015 Winner(s)

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.


2015 Honor(s)

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.