Anika Aldamuy Denise writes stories that tickle her funny bone, tug her heartstrings, feed her curiosity, and celebrate her bicultural Puerto Rican-Italian heritage.
Her picture book biography, Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, illustrated by Paola Escobar, received a 2020 Pura Belpré Author Honor, an NCTE 2020 Orbis Pictus Honor for Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction, and was named one of the Best Children’s Books of 2019 by Smithsonian Magazine, School Library Journal, New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, Los Angeles Public Library, and the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature. The Spanish edition, Sembrando historias: Pura Belpré: bibliotecaria y narradora de cuentos, received the Bank Street College of Education Best Spanish Language Picture Book Silver Medal and is on the 2020-2021 Tejas Star Reading List.
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 daughters, 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.