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The Children's Book Podcast

Mar 7, 2023

Nonieqa Ramos shares Beauty Woke, a powerful story of pride and community, told with bold lyricism and the heart of a fairy tale, and readers looking for a next-generation Sleeping Beauty will fall in love with the vivid art and lyrical text.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Beauty Woke by Nonieqa Ramos; illustrated by Paola Escobar

Page Length: 32 pages

Ages 4 to 7, Grades P to 3

Beauty Woke is a powerful story of pride and community, told with bold lyricism and the heart of a fairy tale, and readers looking for a next-generation Sleeping Beauty will fall in love with the vivid art and lyrical text.

Beauty is a Puerto Rican girl loved and admired by her family and community. At first, she's awake to their beauty, and her own--a proud Boricua of Taíno and African descent.

But as she grows older, she sees how people who look like her are treated badly, and she forgets what makes her special. So her community bands together to help remind her of her beautiful heritage.


(6:50) “You are loved. You are adored. There are teachers who love and adore you. There are so many people out there who think you matter. You're special. And you do [matter].”

(8:58) “What do we do when we know that the child is going to experience hurtful things? We prepare them. We say to them that, “No matter what you hear, if anybody says something mean about your skin color or that you're from, you know, from Puerto Rico or Cuba or wherever it is, or that's your LGBT, that's all false. That's not true. That's all lies. The truth is your beauty.” 

(10:49) “[Being woke] means to appreciate the beauty of where you come from, your history, the beauty of who you can become. All of the parts of you. All of the parts of you, no matter what it is that is out there or that's going to confuse you and try to make you think otherwise.”

(13:05) “Sometimes when we create something, we can change something that's sad or that makes us feel helpless into something good.”

(14:30) “There are so many adults who have never, ever, ever gotten to experience a picture book that not only represented, you know, what they look like, what they sounded like, which is absolutely vital. But also, you know, what they were going through. And validating them and saying, “Yes, that's real. What you went through is real.And,” for example, “if you're hearing hurtful words, I'm sorry that happened.” And “This is a process of healing for you.” 

(20:38) “t's a great opportunity to just really be a hundred percent loving who we are as humans.”

(25:22) “I would like to ask, have you hugged yourself today? Have you talked to yourself today and said something kind to you? How are you going to take care of your mind and your body and your heart today? That's what I want you to ask. ”



  1. What can you recall from the telling of Sleeping Beauty you first heard? In what ways does NoNieqa’s Beauty Woke sound similar? In what ways does the story differ?

  2. How would you describe your roots? What place do you most associate with home? What feelings come to mind when you think of this place?

  3. What is one flag with which you associate strongly? Maybe it’s a flag that represents your favorite sports team, or your Scout troop, or you state or country, or part of your identity. How would you describe this flag? What makes it significant to you?

  4. How might you reimagine a different fairy tale so that it told your story? What elements of the fairy tale feel similar to your story? What parallels might you draw?


This podcast episode of The Children’s Book Podcast was written, edited, and produced by Matthew Winner. For a full transcript of this episode, visit

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Fellow teachers and librarians, want a way to explore building a stronger culture of reading in our communities? In The Reading Culture podcast, Beanstack co-founder Jordan Bookey hosts conversations that dive into beloved authors' personal journeys and insights into motivating young people to read. And I am a big fan! Check out the Reading Culture Podcast with Jordan Bookey, from Beanstack. Available wherever podcasts are found.


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