Pura Belpré Honor winner Anika Aldamuy Denise (Planting Stories) and New York Times bestselling illustrator Leo Espinosa (Islandborn) tell the story of Rita Moreno, the Puerto Rican superstar best known for her Oscar-winning performance in the original West Side Story film, in this gorgeous picture book biography.
When young Rosita moved from Puerto Rico to the mainland United States, she didn’t know what to expect—but she knew she loved to sing and dance. Working to overcome the language barrier and bullying she experienced in a strange new country, Rita eventually made her way to Hollywood with a dream to be a star. There, she fought to be seen and heard and eventually reached the pinnacle of success, landing her iconic role in West Side Story and, finally, winning her groundbreaking Oscar.
Brought to life by Leo Espinosa’s bold and vibrant illustrations and Anika Aldamuy Denise’s lyrical text, this gorgeous tribute to the life and career of the first Latinx person to have earned an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award will inspire little dreamers everywhere.
Informative author’s note and timeline also included.
A Spanish-language edition is also available.
Praise for Anika Aldamuy Denise:
“[Anika’s] lyrical text, sprinkled like fairy dust with Spanish words, begs to be read aloud.”—New York Times Book Review on Planting Stories
About the Author
Anika Aldamuy Denise is the celebrated author of many picture books, including The Love Letter; Pura Belpré Honor-winning Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré; Starring Carmen!; Lights, Camera, Carmen!; and Monster Trucks. She lives in Rhode Island with her family. Visit Anika online at www.anikadenise.com.
Leo Espinosa is an award-winning illustrator and designer from Bogotá, Colombia, whose picture books include the New York Times bestselling and Pura Belpré Honor book IslandBorn by Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Díaz, Goldfish on Vacation by Sally Lloyd-Jones, and Jackrabbit McCabe and the Electric Telegraph by Lucy Margaret Rozier. Leo lives with his family in Salt Lake City, Utah. Visit him at www.studioespinosa.com.
Espinosa’s illustrations are as vibrant as the character he portrays....An inspiring account of a woman who followed her dreams.
— Kirkus Reviews
An inspirational title for young elementary children. This energetic, illustrated biography honors her determined spirit with colorful exuberance.
— School Library Journal (starred review)
Leo Espinosa’s illustrations are lively and animate....And the book is a positive, compelling look at the only Latinx performer to have earned a Peabody, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award.
— Boston Globe
This upbeat picture book biography…[is] for listeners who twirl and swish their voluminous skirts while singing into their hairbrushes.
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Denise and Espinosa, both Pura Belpré Award Honorees, have created a motivating and touching story of a talented and determined Latinx woman.
— Shelf Awareness
[An] engaging narrative.
— Horn Book Magazine