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THE STORYTELLER’S CANDLE/LA VELITA DE LOS CUENTOS by Lucia González

THE STORYTELLER’S CANDLE/LA VELITA DE LOS CUENTOS

By Lucia González (Author) , Lulu Delacre (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-89239-222-3
Publisher: Children's Book Press

The first Puerto Rican librarian hired by the New York Public Library was Pura Belpré, still renowned for her storytelling and her books of folktales. Set in 1929, this bilingual story follows two Puerto Rican children who live in Manhattan’s El Barrio and discover their local branch library. Their immigrant parents can’t believe that the library cares about its Spanish-speaking community, but Hildamar and her cousin Santiago lead the way after an outreach visit to their school by the Puerto Rican-born librarian. They join in happily as Belpré organizes a special Three Kings’ Day event, complete with a play based on her famous story Pérez and Martina (published in book form in 1932). The evening ends with the blowing out of “the storyteller’s candle,” a New York Public Library tradition. González is a librarian, a bilingual storyteller and author, and the English and Spanish texts both read smoothly. The collage illustrations incorporate a sepia-toned oil-wash technique to give the pictures an older look. (author’s notes, glossary) (Picture book. 6-9)