I don’t know about y’all, but at our house, we’re book people. I grew up with a love of reading and have done my best to encourage the same in my kids. It must be working because they each have amassed quite the collection! We have books on a wide range of topics, but one of my favorite subjects is Hispanic heritage! Books and reading are a wonderful way to introduce my children to our history, culture, and the Spanish language! And I can’t wait to share our favorite Hispanic heritage children’s books so that you can share them with your own family!
Hispanic Heritage Children’s Books
We have built up quite a collection of Hispanic Heritage children’s books over the years! Thankfully my mom even saved some from my own childhood. It’s been so fun to pass on to my children books that I grew up reading myself! And of course I’ve only added to our growing collection! (This is the point when my husband would start calling me a book nerd. Well, guilty as charged. 😂)
if you’re looking to introduce and to celebrate Hispanic culture with your children, these Hispanic Heritage book recommendations are a great place to start. All of my suggestions include some Spanish words or phrases sprinkled throughout the text, but are written for English speakers and readers. They are all easily read whether or not you have any Spanish language background or knowledge. Many even include a glossary and additional context in the back for further learning opportunities!
Pepe and the Parade by Tracey Kyle: What I love about this book is that a multitude of Hispanic cultures are shared and celebrated! Pepe joins his family as he attends his first Hispanic Day parade! From Mexican to Puerto Rican to Dominican to Cuban and more cultures are all represented in the celebrations. The book also includes a Spanish-to-English glossary with a pronunciation guide in the back!
Round is a Tortilla by Roseanne Thong: A wonderful, easy read about shapes through the lens of a Hispanic child! Follow a young girl as she explores the shapes all around her: round tortillas, square ventanas (windows), triangle slices of sandía (watermelon) and more! I love the rhyme and rhythm of this story! It also includes a glossary of Spanish language words used along with detailed descriptions! (If you love Round is a Tortilla, be sure to also check out Green is a Chile Pepper and One is a Piñata! by the same author and illustrator! They are all equally as wonderful!)
What Can You Do with a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla: Tafolla transports you directly into the midst of a Latino neighborhood with her beautiful and artful descriptions. Follow as children use their imagination to think of all the things they can do with their favorite summertime treat: a paleta (popsicle)! This bilingual version also contains the full Spanish language translation!
Día de los Muertos by Roseanne Thong: This read is a great, kid-friendly introduction to Day of the Dead celebrations! The artwork is vibrant and colorful, and Thong’s perfectly crafted rhymes will keep your children enthralled! Like her other books, Día de los Muertos contains a Spanish glossary in the back! (If you want more information on celebrating, I also share our Día de los Muertos ofrenda here!)
Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal: A sweet story, sharing how Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela, a name she finds way too long, got her name! Even though she starts off believing it never fits, she soon learns the history of her namesakes. Having the connection to her family history makes it a perfect fit for Alma!
Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto: I love that the backdrop of this story includes one of my all-time favorite traditions: tamales on Christmas Eve. Maria joins in on the family tradition by helping to prepare the tamales. But along the way, Maria accidentally loses her mother’s ring, and she’s pretty sure it’s hidden within one of the 24 tamales they prepared. The story is not only cute but it’s also a very relatable read!
Tortillitas papa Mamá by Margo Griego: This bilingual book features Latin American nursery rhymes. It’s one I grew up reading, so of course I had to include it! Although it does contain full English translation, only the Spanish versions rhyme. For that reason, it may be better suited for those with some Spanish knowledge!
Green is a Chile Pepper by Roseanne Thong: Created by the same author as Round as a Tortilla and Día de los Muertos, this book follows Hispanic children as they find colors all around them! Red is salsa and ribbons, yellow is masa and stars, and blue is the “endless sky above.” If you love this series as much as we do, also check out One is a Piñata! Like with her other books, I love that Thong includes a glossary of Spanish language words along with detailed descriptions!
Where are you From? by Yamile Saied Méndez: A little girl is constantly asked where she’s from, and she isn’t sure how to respond. Her abuelo (grandfather) gives her unexpected answers that change her perspective. His response teaches her about heritage and familial pride. This is a book that really hit close to home as a Hispanic women who has often been asked this same question. (Also available in a Spanish language version!)
The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola: This book is another favorite from my childhood! Learn the tale of how the Poinsettia (or Flor de Nochebuena) came to be. This is a great one to share with your family around Christmastime or anytime!
Abuela by Arthur Dorros: Abuela is a sweet, imaginative story of Rosalba and grandmother flying over New York City! Join as they marvel at the sites from above. The text is sprinkled with short Spanish words and phrases with plenty of context so that even those with zero Spanish language knowledge will easily understand!
Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown: A kid-friendly introduction to world famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. The book focuses on Kahlo’s love of animals and compares her beloved pets to her own personality traits. Due to the longer text, I’d recommend this for slightly older elementary-aged children.
If you’re looking for even more suggestions, be sure to stick around for my Spanish language and bilingual book recommendations!