Reading List: Embracing Spanish! Bilingual Books for Kids


The United States is filled with many cultures and languages, all residing together beneath one flag. One of the most common languages spoken after English is Spanish, and many families speak both languages in one home. Books that are bilingual English/Spanish have emerged in recent years to support children learning both Spanish and English, no matter what the primary language spoken in their household happens to be. This book list includes a selection of noteworthy bilingual titles that are geared toward readers ages 4-7. From folklore to friendship, the books listed here showcase Spanish and English together in a delightfully accessible way.
Contributed by: Mary Lanni




0140562265 Abuela
By: Arthur Dorros
Illustrated by: Eliza Kleven

Somersaulting in midair, resting in the sky on a chair-shaped cloud… A little girl and her grandmother, her abuela, soar in this adventure of the imagination as they fly around New York City. In English, with Spanish words and phrases woven into the story, includes a glossary.
llMlJkmNLLHmJKlK Book Fiesta! Celebrate Children’s Day
By: Pat Mora
Illustrated by: Rafael Lopez

Children read aloud in various settings to celebrate El día de los niños, or Children’s Day, in this bilingual story. Includes facts about Mexico’s annual celebration of children and the book fiestas that are often included.
9781558857896 Dalia’s Wondrous Hair
By: Laura Lacámara

In this whimsical bilingual picture book, Dalia’s hair becomes a magical force of nature, a life-giving cocoon. Author and illustrator Laura Lacámara once again delight children ages 4-9 with her vibrant illustrations and an imaginative story about a girl’s fanciful encounters with nature.
0375861440 Doña Flor
By: Pat Mora
Illustrated by: Raúl Colón

Doña Flor, a giant lady with a big heart, sets off to protect her neighbors from what they think is a dangerous animal but soon discovers the tiny secret behind the huge noise.
9781452102030 Green is a Chile Pepper
By: Roseanne Thong
Illustrated by: John Parra

Children discover a world of colors all around them. Many of the featured objects are Latino in origin, but all are universal in appeal. A short glossary explains the cultural significance of the colored objects featured in this book.
0763684538 Mango, Abuela, and Me
By: Meg Medina
Illustrated by: Angela Dominguez

Mia’s abuela has left her sunny house with parrots and palm trees to live with Mia and her parents in the city. The night she arrives, Mia tries to share her favorite book with Abuela before they go to sleep and discovers that Abuela can’t read the words inside. So, while they cook, Mia helps Abuela learn English (“Dough. Masa”), and Mia learns some Spanish too, but it’s still hard for Abuela to learn the words she needs to tell Mia all her stories. Then Mia sees a parrot in the pet-shop window and has the perfecto idea for how to help them all communicate a little better. An endearing tale from an award-winning duo that speaks loud and clear about learning new things and the love that bonds family members.
9780805093339 Maria Had a Little Llama
By: Angela Dominguez

In this bilingual version of the classic rhyme set in Peru, Maria takes her llama to school one day.
1632896680 Not a Bean
By: Claudia Guadalupe Martínez
Illustrated by: Laura Gonzalez

With Spanish vocabulary and a clever counting concept, this poetic story shares the life cycle of a Mexican jumping bean. This curious jumping insect is actually a seedpod from a shrub called yerba de la flecha, into which a caterpillar burrows, living inside the pod until it builds a cocoon and breaks out as a moth. Perfect for preschoolers and pre-readers, this creative picture book explores the Mexican jumping bean’s daily life and eventual transformation and escape from the pod.
9781620142714 Our Celebración!
By: Susan Middleton Elya
Illustrated by: Ana Aranda

It’s a sunny summer day. Come join the crowd headed for the parade! Marvel at the people riding motorcycles, bicycles, tricycles, and unicycles. Duck out of the way as firefighters spray water on hot spectators. Clap to the music as bands of musicians playing clarinetes, saxophones, flautas, trumpets, and drums march by. Feast on lemonade, watermelon, tacos, and ice cream. Wave to the corn princess as her float passes by. Then, take cover when a quick rain shower comes, followed by a bright rainbow. Back in the town plaza as night falls, marvel at the sparkling fireworks that end the day’s festivities. Pop, pop, pop! ¡Bón, bón, bón!
With engaging text and imaginative, whimsical illustrations, Our Celebración! is the perfect way to enjoy a summer day—and learn some Spanish too.
0399251561 La Princesa and the Pea
By: Susan Middleton Elya
Illustrated by: Juana Martinez-Neal

A rhyming, Latino twist on a classic fairy tale in which a queen places a pea under a young lady’s mattress to see if she is truly a princess. Incorporates Spanish words, includes a glossary, and features artwork inspired by the culture of Peru.
9780892393749 Rainbow Weaver
By: Linda Elovitz Marshall
Illustrated by: Elisa Chavarri

Ixchel wants to follow in the long tradition of weaving on backstrap looms, just as her mother, grandmother, and most Mayan women have done for more than two thousand years. But Ixchel’s mother is too busy preparing her weavings for the market. Disappointed, Ixchel first tries weaving with blades of grass, and then with bits of wool, but no one would want to buy the results. As she walks around her village, Ixchel finds it littered with colorful plastic bags. There is nowhere to put all the bags, so they just keep accumulating. Suddenly, Ixchel has an idea! She collects and washes the plastic bags. Then she cuts each bag into thin strips. Sitting at her loom, Ixchel weaves the plastic strips into a colorful fabric that looks like a beautiful rainbow—just like the weavings of Mayan women before her.
9781582463988 Waiting for the Biblioburro
By: Monica Brown
Illustrated by: John Parra

When a man brings to a remote village two burros, Alfa and Beto, loaded with books the children can borrow, Ana’s excitement leads her to write a book of her own as she waits for the BiblioBurro to return. Includes a glossary of Spanish terms and a note on the true story of Columbia’s BiblioBurro and mobile libraries in other countries.


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