Pura Belpré Award by the Numbers

The Award

  • The Pura Belpré Award (PBA) has been awarded on 20 occasions: every other year from 1996 to 2008, and annually since then.
  • Each year, there is a Medal winner in the categories of Children’s Narrative, Youth Illustration, and (as of 2021) Young Adult Narrative. Honor Books may also be named.


Belpré on Belpré


The Most Balanced


Lucky Names

  • 3 Martínez: Floyd Martínez, Juana Martinez-Neal, Victor Martinez
  • 3 González: Lucía M. González, Maya Christina Gonzalez, Raúl Gonzalez
  • 3 Carmen: Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, Carmen Agra Deedy, Carmen Lomas Garza


“La Familia Belpré”

  • The Belpré “family” currently has 77 members who have received any type of PBA recognition, for narrative or illustration, medal or honor.
  • 134 awards (medal or honor) have been conferred on 125 titles.


En español

  • 23 titles are bilingual. 1 title has received recognition (2010 narrative honor) for its Spanish text and it is the only one recognized that is completely in Spanish: Federico García Lorca by Georgina Lázaro, illus. by Enrique S. Moreiro (Lectorum/Scholastic).


Doubly Honored

  • 3 individuals have been recognized as both author and illustrator:
    • Yuyi Morales: 1 honor for narrative; and 6 medals and 2 honors for illustration (tied for most recognized)
    • Duncan Tonatiuh: 2 honors for narrative; and 1 medal and 6 honors for illustration (tied for most recognized)
    • George Ancona: 1 honor for narrative and 2 honors for illustration
  • 3 authors have received both medals and honors: Margarita Engle, Meg Medina, Pam Muñoz Ryan
  • 8 illustrators have received both medals and honors: Raúl Colón, David Diaz, Carmen Lomas Garza, Raúl Gonzalez, Susan Guevara, Rafael López, Yuyi Morales, Duncan Tonatiuh
  • 9 titles have received double distinction, for both the author and illustrator, beginning with The Bossy Gallito / El gallo de bodas: A Traditional Cuban Folktale, by Lucía M. González, illus. by Lulu Delacre (Scholastic, 1994) – 1996 narrative and illustration honors


Picture-Book Biographies

  • 25 winners have been picture-book biographies, with the most popular subject being Frida Kahlo:
  • In addition, there have been 2 each about Diego Rivera and César Chávez



“Heavy Medals”

  • 41 books and 28 individuals (17 for author and 11 for illustrator) have received a PBA gold medal:
    • Yuyi Morales has received the most medals (6)
    • Margarita Engle and Rafael López follow with 3 medals each
    • Julia Alvarez, Raúl Gonzalez, Susan Guevara, and Pam Muñoz Ryan were awarded 2 medals each


Awards Overlap


From the May/June 2021 special issue of The Horn Book Magazine: The Pura Belpré Award at 25.

Alicia K. Long and Sujei Lugo

Alicia K. Long teaches multicultural materials for children and young adults at the University of South Florida–School of Information. A children’s librarian at the Boston Public Library, Connolly Branch, Sujei Lugo is a doctoral candidate in Library and Information Science
at Simmons University, focused on anti-racism. Both are longtime REFORMA members.

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