The Hispanic community has a profound and positive influence within the United States. It’s a beautiful culture, and there is so much to learn about it.
Here is a list of books ranging from early readers to upper elementary that can help you introduce the Hispanic heritage and language to your children.
Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales :: early reader level :: This simple and beautifully illustrated picture book can introduce your children to the artist Frida Kahlo.
This book is also bilingual and incorporates some of her artwork into the illustrations.
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Bebé Goes Shopping by Susan Middleton Elya :: early reader level :: This bright picture book follows a mischievous baby’s adventure at the supermarket with his mother. This book teaches simple Spanish words and phrases and has bright, unique artwork. It includes a Spanish to English glossary.
The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanos by Duncan Tonatiuh :: early reader level :: This book shares the Mexican legend of two volcanoes. It follows Princess Izta and her warrior love, Popoca, as they find each other, are betrayed, and ultimately become the Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl volcanoes.
Elena’s Serenade by Campbell Geeslin :: early reader level :: This book follows the journey of a little girl who wishes to become a glassblower in Monterrey, Mexico. She meets helpful animals and finds a way to show her father that she has a magical gift and can achieve her dream.
Day of The Dead by Tony Johnston :: elementary level :: This bilingual, bright and bold picture book shares Day of The Dead traditions. It follows a family as the make preparations to honor their loved ones who have passed on. This is a simple read but does a great job explaining the traditions of Day of the Dead.
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Grandma’s Chocolate by Mara Price :: early elementary reader level :: This is a sweet, bilingual picture book about a girl learning about her ancestry from her grandmother who is visiting from Mexico. The grandmother shares the history of chocolate and touches on the Olmecs, Mayans, and Aztecs.
Growing Up With Tamales by Gwendolyn Zepeda :: early elementary reader level :: A girl looks forward to growing up and gaining more responsibility in making tamales as Christmas tradition in this bilingual book. This is a sweet story of siblings and teaches the Hispanic holiday tradition of tamale making.
Nino Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales :: early elementary level/read aloud :: This simple, bright, and lighthearted story follows a creative boy as he wrestles great opponents and even his little sisters. It is a great introduction to lucha libre, which is Mexican-style professional wrestling.
Dreamers by Yuyi Morales :: mid-elementary level:: This books is a stunning work of art that shares the story of a mother and child as they migrate to America. This book includes the real-life story of the author’s journey to America and how she found the power of books and art.
The Fiesta Dress: A Quinceañera Tale by Caren McNelly McCormack :: early reader level :: A little sister gets overlooked as her older sister prepares for her quinceañera, the celebration of turning 15 years old. This book introduces readers to simple Spanish words while also teaching the tradition of quinceañeras.
Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera :: upper-elementary level :: This is a collection of Hispanic and Latino American people who have made wonderful accomplishments in arts, politics, and science and have struggled with discrimination. The book features Rita Moreno, Luis W. Alvarez, and Cesar Chavez.