April 30 is El día de los niños/El día de los libros also known as Children’s Day/Book Day. This celebration was established by children’s author Pat Mora to help children and their families of all backgrounds and cultures understand the importance of literacy. To celebrate this day, Mamiverse presents to you a roundup of books that will not only foster a love of reading, but help your kids speak Spanish too! As Charlemagne said, “To have another language is to possess a second soul.” So here are 8 books that will help your kid learn to speak Spanish.
FOR Pre-K-4 GRADES:
1. First Words (Bilingual Bright Baby) / Primeras Palabras (Bebe Listo) (Spanish Edition) by Roger Priddy (Dec 10, 2007). This is a beautiful and colorful book for the youngest, from a collection by illustrator Robert Priddy, a graduate of Berkshire College of Art and Design. His books are innovative and imaginative and over 300 million copies have been sold of his 200-plus titles.
Read Related: Best Bilingual Books for Preschoolers
2. El Desierto es Mi Madre (The Desert is My Mother) by Pat Mora, illustrated by Daniel Lechon. Arte Publico Press, 1994. Pat Mora is the author of this poetic book that celebrates the relationship between nature and people. It describes in two languages the desert as being a spiritual, lively and comforting place. This is the first picture book of the imprint Piñata Books, and is a must for bilingual families.
3. Pelitos (Hairs) by Sandra Cisneros, illustrated by Terry Ybáñez, Translation by Liliana Valenzuela. Dragonfly, 1997. The renowned author of The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros, penned this children´s book that received Parent Magazine´s recognition as Best Children´s Book of the Year. Written in two languages, it will delight the little ones!
4. En Mi Familia (In My Family) by Carmen Lomas Garza, Children’s Book Press, 1996. Carmen Loma Garza is the best-selling author of Family Pictures. In her colorful bilingual books Garza depicts the Mexican-American community and family she grew up with in Kingsville, Texas. Perfect for diverse families.
5. A Carcajadas Yo Vuelo/Laughing Out Loud I Fly: Poems in English and Spanish by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Karen Barbour. HarperCollins, 1998. Juan Felipe Herrera is a leading contemporary Chicano poet. He writes in English and Spanish about growing up as a bicultural and bilingual. Something that will resonate with both Latino parents and children.
6. Momentos Mágicos/Magic Moments by Olga Loya. Translation by Carmen Lizardi-Rivera. August House Publishing, 1997. Olga Loyola exquisitely explains to children the Latin American culture of magical moments that include tales of the supernatural. These are sixteen stories that will delight middle graders.
7. Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young & Latino in the United States by Laurie Marie Carlson, Henry Holt and Co., 2010. In this compilation, poets write about what it´s like to be a young Latino growing up in America. Kids will enjoy reading about the authors´ dreams, their struggles and environment.
8. Hermanas/ Sisters by Gary Paulsen, Gulliver Books, 1994. This is a bilingual book about two young girls, Rosa and Traci, one of them an undocumented immigrant from Mexico City, the other from the suburbs in Houston. The differences between both cultures is discussed and bicultural readers will enjoy seeing their own struggles voiced in this enchanting tale.