Lulu Delacre

Meet Lulu



 At the Condado Beach, PR 

At the Condado Beach, PR 

I create my books out of love and the conviction that they are sorely needed, and I’ve seen them succeed. I’ve measured their success in the proud smiles of many Latino children as they join hands with their schoolmates and myself, in the game song of Arroz con Leche. Or as we all sing vejigante chants behind paper masks when recreating a carnaval. For when these Latino children feel their classmate’s enjoyment of their own language and heritage, they know acceptance. They may even glimpse the value of retaining their parent’s traditions and tongue as they embrace new ones.

I was born in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, the middle child in a family of three daughters. My parents are from Argentina. Growing up in the island was a fun filled experience, where climbing up a tamarindo tree with a friend to eat its fruit, was as commonplace as hunting for tiny brown lizards. I used to gently open their mouths and hang them from my earlobes as earrings!


My earliest recollections of drawing--I must have been five then--go back to my grandmother’s house. My grandma, Elena, was from Uruguay. She baby-sat my sister and me, in the second floor apartment of and old pink house, while my parents taught at the University of Puerto Rico. She would give me white sheets of paper in which I would draw as I lay on the floor of her bedroom and listened to the classical records she played. I don’t remember her ever throwing away one of my pictures. She kept them neatly piled in a corner of her closet.

I had my first formal art training when I was ten, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where we lived for a
year while my father was on sabbatical. There, one of my mother’s friends, a fine artist and teacher, encouraged me to join one of her painting classes. She was the first of several instructors who taught me to draw from real life and with whom I discovered the immense joy of being able to create.

At the time I entered the Fine Arts department of the University of Puerto Rico I knew I wanted a career in art. Later on I was accepted into L’Ecole Supérieure d’Arts Graphiques, in Paris, France.
By the time I did my thesis, an audio-visual project illustrating Saint Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals, I knew I wanted to become an illustrator of children’s books. I dreamed of creating books inspired by my heritage, books that celebrate the rich folklore and colorful traditions I was nurtured with as a child, books in English and in Spanish.

Being an author/ illustrator is the most challenging and rewarding work I’ve ever done. I strive to achieve a high standard in both text and art, a draining task and times. So with each new book I eagerly await the moment when I can see the many parts come together in a cohesive whole. 

I delight in creating books that portray my own culture with authenticity in both words and pictures. And if painting Latinos true to their own beauty, fosters respect; or if sharing some of their stories builds bridges among children, I want to keep on doing it. Because for me, that is the true measure of success. ¡Viva nuestra herencia!



Latest Release


Acclaimed author and Pura Belpré Award honoree Lulu Delacre’s beautifully illustrated collection of twelve short stories is a groundbreaking look at the diverse Latinos who live in the United States.

In this book, you will meet many young Latinos living in the United States, from a young girl whose day at her father’s burrito truck surprises her to two sisters working together to change the older sister’s immigration status, and more.

Turn the pages to experience life through the eyes of these boys and girls whose families originally hail from many different countries; see their hardships, celebrate their victories, and come away with a better understanding of what it means to be Latino in the U.S. today.



Click on an image below to download

 ©Paul Morigi/HMH

©Paul Morigi/HMH

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From idea to bound book

Heritage as source of inspiration 

Research: key for GREAT fiction, non-fiction AND ART

Every book is a journey 

Not All Art is Created Equal: Choosing a Style to Enhance a Manuscript


Short Bio

Three-time Pura Belpré Award honoree Lulu Delacre has been writing and illustrating children's books since 1980. The New York Times Bestselling artist was born and raised in Puerto Rico to Argentinean parents. Delacre says her Latino heritage and her life experiences inform her work. Her 39 titles include Arroz con Leche: Popular Songs and Rhymes from Latin America, a Horn Book Fanfare Book in print for almost 30 years. Her bilingual picture book ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! Descubriendo el bosque nublado; Olinguito, from A to Z! Unveiling the Cloud Forest  and her story collection  Us, in Progress: Short Stories About Young Latinos have received multiple starred reviews and awards. Her latest work is the art of Turning Pages by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Delacre has lectured internationally and served as a juror for the National Book Awards. She has exhibited at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art; The Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators in New York; the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico and the Zimmerli Art Museum; among other venues. Most recently Reading is Fundamental has honored her with a Champion of Children’s Literacy Award. For more visit her at

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Awards + honors

Click here for more info about Lulu in the Press

Author and Illustrator

Arroz con Leche: Popular Songs and Rhymes from Latin America
(In print since 1989!) A Horn Book Fanfare Book

Peter Cottontail’s Easter Book
American Bookseller Pick of the Lists

Nathan’s Balloon Adventure
Junior Library Guild Selection

Vejigante Masquerader
1993 Américas Book Award
American Bookseller Pick of the Lists
NCTE Notable Children’s Book in the Language Arts

Golden Tales
CCBC Choices. Américas Award Commended Title

Salsa Stories
CCBC Choices
IRA Notable Book for a Global Society
CBC Notable Children’s Book in the field of Social Studies
NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts
IRA Outstanding International Books
Américas Award Commended Title
Críticas Best Book of 2002
Crown Award Nominee

Rafi and Rosi
Rafi y Rosi
Junior Library Guild Selection

Rafi and Rosi: Carnival!
Rafi y Rosi: ¡Carnaval!

Junior Library Guild Selection

Rafi and Rosi: Pirates!
Rafi y Rosi: ¡Piratas!

Primer Premio Campoy-Ada
Top Early Chapter Book SLJ Fuse #8 Production
Top Bilingual Chapter Book SLJ Fuse #8 Production
Junior Library Guild Selection

Arrorró mi niño: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games
2006 Pura Belpré Honor for illustration
Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year
Collaborative Summer Library Program Early Literacy List

How Far Do You Love Me? 
Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year
Latinidad List Best Latino Book 

¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! Olinguito, from A to Z!
KIrkus Starred Review
School Library Journal Starred Review
Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Booklist Starred Review
 NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book for Outstanding Nonfiction
International Latino Book Award
John Burroughs Young Readers Riverby Award
ALA Notable for All Ages
NCTE Notable in the Language Arts
Kirkus Best Books
Washington Post Best Books
New York Public Libraries Best Books
Huffington Post Best Books, Honorable Mention
ALSC Summer Reading List
Horn Book Summer Reading List
Tejas Star Reading List
Kojo Nnamdi Show’s Winter Reading List
BookLinks Lasting Connections
Capitol Choices
Junior Library Guild Selection

Us, in Progress: Short Stories About Young Latinos
Kirkus Starred Review
Booklist Sarred Review
Kirkus Best Books
New York Public Library Best Books
Los Angeles Public Library Best Books
Malka Penn Award for Human Rights Honor Book
Booklist's Top 10 Diverse Fiction Books for Older and Middle Readers
Junior Library Guild Selection
CCBC Choices
CBC Notable in the field of Social Studies
2019 Rhode Island Latino Book Month List



Alicia Afterimage
Bank Street College Best Children’s Books of the Year
SSLI 2009 Honor Book
Flamingnet Top Choice Award
Bloomsbury Review 2008 Editor’s Favorite


The Bossy Gallito
1996 ALA Pura Belpré Honor for Illustration and Text
Américas Award Commended Title
American Bookseller Pick of the Lists
Aesop Accolade List
New York Public Library Best Book for Reading and Sharing

The Storyteller’s Candle
2008 ALA Pura Belpré Honor for Illustration and Text
Américas Honor Award
2009 ALA Notable
Jane Addams Honor Award
Skipping Stones Award
Latino Book Awards Honorable Mention
Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Turning Pages
New York Times Bestseller
School Library Journal Starred Review
2019 Rhode Island Latino Book Month List

Personal Honors

1997 Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators, Juror
1998 Maryland Woman in the Arts
2003 National Book Award, Juror
2018 Consultant for Pearson and the National Assessment Governing Board
2018 Reading is Fundamental Champion of Children's Literacy Award