Girl Named Rosita (A Girl Named Rosita)

girl named rosita

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.---from the publisher

40 pages 978-0062877703 Ages 4-8

Keywords: biography, women, performing arts, Latina, Latinx, bullying, informational picture book, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, diversity, diverse books


“There are tons of great books coming out,” says Tildy Banker-Johnson, manager of Belmont Books in Belmont, Mass. Even so, if she could pick only one fall favorite, it would be Anika Aldamuy Denise and Leo Espinosa’s picture book A Girl Named Rosita (HarperCollins, Nov.), about Rita Moreno, the only Latinx person to win a Peabody, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. “Denise cites Moreno as her inspiration for life, and that really comes through,” Banker-Johnson adds.

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