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. 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 from 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.Two medals shall be awarded biennially at the Annual Conference of the American Library Association, one to a Latino author and one to a Latino illustrator, for creating outstanding original children's books that portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience.
The award-winning books must be
published in the United States or Puerto Rico.
Recipients of the Pura Belpré Medal must be residents or citizens of the United States or Puerto Rico.
The committee in its deliberations is to consider only the books eligible for the award, as specified in the terms.
Fiction and nonfiction books for children published in Spanish, English, or bilingual format are eligible.
Honor books may be named.
If suitable candidates are not found, the awards will not be presented in that year.
Author of an outstanding children's book indicates the text of a book. It also implies that the committee shall consider all forms of writing--fiction, non-fiction, and poetry--that have the Latino cultural experience as a theme. Reprints and compilations are not eligible.
A "children's book" shall be a book for which children are a potential audience. The book must display respect for children's understandings, abilities, and appreciations. Children are defined as persons of ages up to and including fourteen, and books for this entire age range are to be considered.
A "children's picture book," as distinguished from other books with illustrations, is one that essentially provides the child with a visual experience. A picture book has a collective unity of story-line, theme, or concept, developed through the series of pictures of which the book is comprised.