Hello! I’m a Latina author who writes books that plant seeds of inspiration in readers of all ages. These stories sprout from my heart and often feature people and characters bursting with spirit, pride, and moxie. Writing stories about pioneering librarian Pura Belpré, legendary actor and singer Rita Moreno, powerhouse politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and even the delightfully dapper Gato Guapo are part of how I celebrate and share my Puerto Rican heritage.
Some books I’ve written are the multi-award-winning Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré; Phenomenal AOC: The Roots and Rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; A Girl Named Rosita: The Story of Rita Moreno: Actor, Singer, Dancer, Trailblazer!; Gato Guapo; Starring Carmen!; and Lights, Camera, Carmen!. You can see a full list of my available titles here.
When I’m not tending words to sprout them into stories, I’m either traveling to schools to talk with students about creative writing, editing passages for educational reading programs, mentoring writers for organizations like Las Musas and We Need Diverse Books, or my favorite of all, hanging out at the beach with my family, here in Rhode Island.
I’m happy you stopped by. If you want to get in touch, hop over here and say hello!
Anika Aldamuy Denise writes books that plant seeds of inspiration in readers of all ages, many of which celebrate her Puerto Rican heritage. Her 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 awarded a Pura Belpré Honor for illustration.
In addition to writing, Anika frequently speaks at schools and in professional organizations, where she leads workshops in creative writing and representation in kids’ literature. She also mentors writers for Las Musas and We Need Diverse Books.
Raised in Queens, New York, Anika now lives in Rhode Island with her family. To learn more, visit anikadenise.com.
11 other little things…
(because why stop at 10?)
- I grew up in a mixed Nuyorican-Italian family.
- My favorite foods are pasteles and pasta.
- As a kid, I loved to roller skate and do gymnastics.
- I’m a city girl at heart, but I also love the Adirondack Mountains, where I spent summers with my Grandma Rose.
- I once visited the set of Sesame Street and knocked on Oscar the Grouch’s trash can.
- My first pet was a guinea pig named Ralph the Grouch. Or “Ralph” for short.
- I have two siblings who are much younger than me—and much taller.
- I can still do a cartwheel.
- I’m married to New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Christopher Denise.
- We live in a little house with three kids and one Royal tabby cat named Charlie.
- Our house is near a beach, where I often stroll and think up new story ideas.