Anika Aldamuy Denise
Anika Aldamuy Denise writes powerful nonfiction about Latina luminaries including Pura Belpré and Rita Moreno; bouncy bilingual read-alouds like Gato Guapo; and heartwarming tales of friendship and family such as The Love Letter and Baking Day at Grandma’s.
Anika’s debut picture book biography, Planting Stories, The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, received a 2020 Pura Belpré Award Author Honor, NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor for Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction, and the Arnold Adoff Poetry Award for Early Readers. Planting Stories was also named a Best Children’s Book of 2019 by Smithsonian Magazine, School Library Journal, New York Public Library, Los Angeles Public Library, Chicago Public Library, Bank Street College of Education, and the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature.
Anika's follow-up title, A Girl Named Rosita: The Story of Rita Moreno: Actor, Singer, Dancer, Trailblazer!, received a starred review from School Library Journal and was an American Library Association 2022 RISE Feminist Book Project selection. Her latest picture book biography, Phenomenal AOC, The Roots and Rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez received a starred review from Booklist and was recently awarded a Pura Belpré Honor for illustration. In addition to writing, Anika is a frequent speaker in elementary schools, high schools, and universities—as well as organizations like SCBWI, The Writing Barn, and The Writers Loft of Massachusetts, where she leads workshops in creative writing and diversity in kids’ literature.
Raised in Queens, New York, Anika now lives in Rhode Island with her husband and three daughters. To learn more about Anika’s books, visit her website anikadenise.com.