Book Review of Beauty Woke

A Puerto Rican family welcomes a beautiful baby girl named Beauty. As Beauty grows up, her big familia teaches her to be proud of her heritage. Beauty is a Boricua with Taíno Indian and African ancestors, so her Abuela encourages her to “stay onyx, stay gold.” But one day, Beauty hears the news saying hurtful words about other Hispanics. When it is time for the familia to go to the Puerto Rican parade, Beauty wants nothing to do with it. Mami calls the whole familia about the emergencia, and everyone comes to help Beauty remember that her heritage is beautiful.

Beauty Woke, written by NoNieqa Ramos, is an ode to Puerto Ricans of Taíno Indian and African heritage and the power of the Puerto Rican community. It empowers children to feel proud of their roots in a world that can be cruel to Hispanics/Latinx and people of color. Paola Escobar’s illustrations are vibrant, gorgeous, and impactful. The colorful Puerto Rican flag in different styles features prominently throughout the story, showing Puerto Ricans’ pride.

I highly recommend Beauty Woke to parents, educators, and librarians. It can be a positive tool for children who have negative feelings about their heritage because of bullies in the news, school, or the neighborhood.


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