The Storyteller's Candle / La velita de los cuentos
By Lucía González
Illustrated by Lulu Delacre
The winter of 1929 feels especially cold to cousins Hildamar and Santiago—they arrived in New York City from sunny Puerto Rico only months before. Their island home feels very far away indeed, especially with Three Kings’ Day rapidly approaching.
But then a magical thing happened. A visitor appears in their class, a gifted storyteller and librarian by the name of Pura Belpré. She opens the children’s eyes to the public library and its potential to be the living, breathing heart of the community. The library, after all, belongs to everyone—whether you speak Spanish, English, or both.
The award-winning team of Lucía González and Lulu Delacre have crafted an homage to Pura Belpré, New York City’s first Latina librarian. Through her vision and dedication, the warmth of Puerto Rico came to the island of Manhattan in a most unexpected way.
Check out the lesson and read aloud of The Storyteller's Candle in Spanish included in the Hamilton Cast Read Along Project from The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Hamilton Cast Read Alongs is a program that features Hamilton cast members reading award-winning children’s books followed by a discussion of the history behind the story led by Gilder Lehrman master teachers.
Download a poster featuring The Storyteller's Candle and celebrating all librarians.
Teach how to compare and contrast using The Storyteller's Candle.
Check out the book discussion and activity guide created by Jenni Arvin and Sylvia Garcia with Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo, provided by the University of Alabama School of Library and Informational Studies.
Learn more about Pura Belpré’s life and contributions to children’s literature and Puerto Rican culture in the United States with Pura Belpré Lights the Storyteller’s Candle: Reframing the Legacy of a Legend and What it Means for the Fields of Latino/a Studies and Children’s Literature by Marilisa Jiménez-García in CENTRO Journal.
About the Creators
is an award-winning author, storyteller and children’s librarian. Born in Cuba, Lucía is a dynamic bilingual performer celebrated for her storytelling technique. Lucía performs string stories, puppetry and anecdotes about growing up in Cuba and coming to America, and about the legends of various Latino cultures. A recipient of the Pura Belpré Honor Medal, Lucía lives in Miami, Florida with her family, friends, and two cats.
is the author and illustrator of many award-winning children's books, as well as a nonfiction novel for teens. Winner of several Pura Belpré Award Honors, Delacre has been named a Maryland Woman in the Arts and served as a juror for the 2003 National Book Awards. A native of Puerto Rico, Delacre lives with her husband in Silver Spring, Maryland. For more information about Lulu Delacre visit luludelacre.com.