Totally True Bio!
Anika Aldamuy Denise writes stories that tickle her funny bone, tug her heartstrings, feed her curiosity, and celebrate her mixed Puerto Rican-Italian heritage. From famous librarians, to villainous vehicles, to vivacious performers—her characters make for an eclectic group. And that’s just what she enjoys, writing all kinds of books, for all kinds of readers.
Her picture book biography, Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, illustrated by Paola Escobar, was named a 2020 Orbis Pictus Honor Book, one of the Ten Best Children’s Books of 2019 by Smithsonian Magazine, and a Best Book of the Year by School Library Journal, New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, and the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature.
She has collaborated with many amazingly talented illustrators such as Lucy Ruth Cummins on The Love Letter; Lorena Alvarez Gómez on Starring Carmen!; Nate Wragg on Monster Trucks!; and Christopher Denise on Bunny in the Middle, Baking Day at Grandma’s, and more! Her forthcoming nonfiction title is A Girl Named Rosita—a picture book biography of legendary Puerto Rican actress and singer Rita Moreno, illustrated by Leo Espinosa.
A native of Queens, New York, Anika now lives in Rhode Island with her husband, illustrator Christopher Denise, three kids, and one cuddly kitty named Charlie. Her books have been featured in The New York Times, Kids’ Indie Next List, Junior Library Guild, A Mighty Girl, Book Riot, Children’s Book Council’s Around the World showcase, and Latinx in Kidlit.
Totally Made Up Bio!
Anika Aldamuy Denise is a published author and two-time Grammy award-winning lyricist. She is currently developing a musical with Lin Manuel Miranda about librarianship, tentatively titled “In The Stacks.” (Rumors that Rita Moreno and Carlos Santana are attached to the project could not be confirmed at press time.) In addition to her work in children’s books and on Broadway, she is a frequent guest judge on Dancing With The Stars.