inside: authentic Spanish books for children.
Reading to our children is one of the most important things we can do as parents. And if you’re raising bilingual kids, good Spanish books are a must! Although I love our stash of illustrated books in Spanish and English, I love finding original titles in Spanish, written by native authors.
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As a non-native Spanish speaker, and I’m raising bilingual children, I love knowing that these books will expose my children to that authentic voice and culture that I can’t always provide. we can curl up with a good book, and all of us choose the rich language together.
Although many English translations are excellent, some are not. Authentic Spanish picture books tend to have a more lyrical and natural feel. It’s not always easy to find authentic Spanish titles, but with a lot of research, I’ve found some treasures here. Many books listed here are bilingual, but you’ll see that they were first in Spanish, by a native author.
Because this is such an extensive list of children’s titles in Spanish, I’ve divided it into sections. you can grab a coffee or tea and browse, or click on a heading below to go directly to that section.
- authentic poetry/music in Spanish
- alphabet books in Spanish
- image of fiction in Spanish books
- folk tales, classics and legends in Spanish
- books about Latino celebrations
- Illustrated books with immigration themes
- Spanish books on culture and geography
- biographies in Spanish for children
Authentic books in Spanish for children
For more book lists and suggestions, be sure to check out my page on children’s books in Spanish.
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If you want to take this list to the library or print it out and save it for later, you can also get it as a free download.
authentic poetry/music in Spanish for children
1. Pío Peep!: Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes – This is just our favorite collection of traditional Spanish rhymes and illustrations, and an essential piece for all Spanish children’s libraries. the English translations are also beautifully arranged.
2. colors and other Latin American folk songs for childrenn – from the beloved children’s singer José Luis Oroczo, here you will find the best songs, sleights of hand and rhymes in Spanish.
3. arrorro, mi nino: a sweet collection of lullabies and bedtime rhymes, collected from 14 different countries.
4. mama goose: a Latin nursery treasure: This is a collection of 68 rhymes, jump rope songs, finger plays, proverbs, riddles, birthday songs and more that They can accompany Pío Peep, by the same author and illustrator. authentic books in Spanish
5.little chickies / los pollitos: Perfect for little hands, this board book with a flip-up flap of songs recounts the beloved song Los Pollitos Say.
6.little elephants/little elephants – from the same song series, this board book is a sweet introduction to the classic song the elephants swayed.
7. muu, moo!: animal rhymes – another flowery soul treasure ada y f. isabel campoy, this collection presents animal rhymes and poetry, both traditional and original by the authors.
8. Everything is Song: Poetic Anthology – with all the original poetry, this delicious collection is organized by topics that will be useful for teachers, especially (numbers, vowels, food, nature, etc. )authentic books in Spanish
9. Arroz con Leche: Popular Songs and Rhythms from Latin America – This is another collection of Latin American rhymes and songs for children, with wonderful illustrations for children.
10. mice / little mice: Another sweet singing board book, introducing babies to the five little gray tailed mice finger play.
11. in colors – this board book is a gentle introduction to the traditional song. Although the text is bilingual, this is from the Lil Libros series, which features authentic Spanish picture books for children.
12. chumba la cachumba – an old song about skeletons coming out of their graves at certain times during the night. my amazon picks.
alphabet books in spanish
1. abc de guatemala: This is just one book in a delightful series that introduces different Spanish-speaking countries through the alphabet.
2.my first alphabet: designed for young pre-readers to learn about the alphabet and its sounds, with a page for each letter.
3. Abcs of Mexican Folk Art in English and Spanish: The beautiful and bold illustrations in this board book feature one animal per letter of the alphabet, in the style of traditional folk art.
4. from a to z peru – from another wonderful series that talks about Latin American countries through ABC in Spanish. authentic books in Spanish
5. olinguito, from a to z! – an introduction to the alphabet, in the context of a cloud forest in the Andes.
6. el abecedario de don hilario – this is an authentic traditional Spanish book for the alphabet.
7. picking up the sun: an alphabet in spanish and english – narrated through poetry and the alphabet, this beautiful book invites us to the daily life of farm workers.
8. everyone to the corner! A Mexican Food Alphabet: Learn the Spanish alphabet through an exploration of Mexican food and cuisine. authentic books in Spanish
fiction books in Spanish for children
1. Market Street Last Stop: CJ wonders why he and his grandmother ride the bus instead of having a car, or why they get off at the last stop, the “dirty part of the city”. Grandma’s beautiful responses, along with the award-winning illustrations, make this book a must-read for children.
2.Lucía’s light – the youngest of a family of fireflies, Lucia is too small to shine like the others – until one night in the dark forest.
3. juan bobo seeks work – a funny book about a famous Puerto Rican folk hero who goes out looking for a job.
4. raúl y la iguana – raul finds an iguana and wants to have it as a pet – but is it a good idea? my amazon picks
5. alma and how she got her number-alma has many names and she wonders why, until her dad sits down to tell her the story behind all of her names.
6. the golden cage: a boy looks for the perfect gift for his grandmother.
7. rainbow weaver-ixchel tries to learn the long family tradition of weaving on her own, when her mother is too busy to teach her.
8. long live the turtle! – the journey of a mother sea turtle, who crosses the ocean to lay her eggs on a distant beach. my amazon picks.
9. the kite-a mother and her children discover that making and flying a kite is not so easy!
10.the yellow flamboyant tree – by the famous author geogrina lázaro, this classic tells about a walk in bloom and a child who discovers it.
11. little night – a sweet bedtime story about the quest for the night.
12.Instructions for the hippo to sleep alone– what if you had a pet like a hippo and it wanted to sleep in your bed? this funny story is a nice way to talk about being old enough to sleep in your own bed. my amazon picks.
13. I wish I had… – a rhyming text story about silly things animals can do.
14. mango, grandmother, and me-when my grandmother comes to live with her family, she discovers that they speak different languages. slowly, each one begins to learn a little Spanish and English, with the help of a pet parrot.
15. my dad is the best – in a faraway land, animals tell why their dad is the best, in this heartwarming story about fathers and sons.
16. coco: miguel and the great harmony – the author of newberry matt de la peña brings us an original story based on the characters from the movie coco. my amazon picks.
17. Dahlia’s Wonderful Hair: This imaginative tale begins with Dahlia waking up one morning with her hair standing on end and ends as a celebration of nature through the eyes of a young girl.
18. Sunday Market-A girl and her father go to the market on a Sunday, only to find that a ferocious bull has entered the market!
19. daughter – a book written for parents and their animated daughters, with wonderful illustrations.
20. marisol mcdonald doesn’t match: marisol delights in unusual combinations that not everyone understands: a peanut butter and jelly burrito, for example, or her red hair and brown skin. this is a delightful book for children who come from a mix of heritages. Spanish children’s fiction
folk tales, classics and & legends
1. the lizard and the sun – once in ancient mexico, the sun disappeared. all animals must search the land for her, but only one small animal did not give up.
2. tales that our grandmothers told– a collection of 12 classic folktales from tradition and the Spanish-speaking world.
3. the wedding rooster – In this popular Cuban tale, a rooster gets dirty on the way to a wedding and asks for everyone’s help to clean himself again.
4. The Magical Dogs of the Volcanoes – The Magical Dogs of the Volcanoes appear where people tell stories in El Salvador, and this is an original children’s story about them. my amazon picks
5. little mouse perez, postman– in the Hispanic tradition, perez the mouse visits children when they lose their first tooth.
6. Uncle Nacho’s Hat-When Uncle Nacho gets a new hat, he wants to get rid of the old one. But he won’t walk away! (Nicaragua)
7. Of Gold and Emeralds: Myths, Legends, and Folktales from Latin America – Another beautiful anthology of classic tales from Latin America, from award-winning illustrator and author Lulu Dalcre.
8. how they say the sea was made – how the ocean was made, from an ancient Taíno myth. my amazon picks
9. the golden flower: a taino myth from puerto rico – a retelling of an indigenous creation myth, about the birth of puerto rico.
10. maria had a little llama – an endearing story of mary had a little lamb, set in the Andes mountains.
11. The Hummingbird King: A Guatemalan Legend – A Guatemalan legend about a young chief who transforms into a quetzal.
12. the secret of the llama: a Peruvian legend – a Peruvian narration of the story of the great flood, in which a llama saves the people. my amazon picks
related: Christmas books in Spanish for children
authentic Spanish children’s books about traditions
1. ana’s tamales-ana and her family make tamales every year for christmas. Over the years, even as Ana gets older, her older sister continues to do the hardest parts. will ana one day be in charge?
2. the spirit of uncle fernando: a boy remembers his favorite uncle while preparing for the day of the dead with his favorite uncle.
3. Manuela’s bread bus-Manuela is an Ecuadorian Indian who is preparing typical meals with her mother to celebrate the Day of the Dead. (includes recipes).
4. Piñatas and Paper Flowers: Fiestas de las Américas en Inglés y Español – a bilingual summary of the festivities that children celebrate throughout the Americas. my amazon picks
5.the birthday book / las mañanitas: Introduce the traditional Spanish birthday song with this flip-up flap board book.
6. The Three Kings are Coming! – An introduction to the Christmas tradition of the Three Kings, from a child’s perspective.
7. what a lot of tamales! -While Maria’s family is preparing tamales for Christmas Eve, she accidentally loses her mother’s ring in the dough. the kids decide that the only way to find it is to eat all the tamales!
8.what things my grandmother says! – a short story about her day, which turns out to be a delightful introduction to classic sayings in Spanish. authentic illustrated books in Spanish
Illustrated books in Spanish related to immigration
1. La Frontera: El Viaje con Papa: A boy and his father make the difficult journey from Mexico to cross the border into the United States, where they hope to make a new life.
2. xochitl, la nina de las flores-xochitl missed her garden in el salvador, and starts a nursery with her family to sell the flowers on the street.
3. from north to south-josé and her father go to mexico to visit her mother after she had to return to mexico. this book covers a very difficult topic with a sweet book, perfect for children.
4. Dreamers: Caldecott-winning artist Yuyi Morales tells the story of leaving her childhood home in Mexico to make a new life in the United States, when she was a child. my amazon picks
related: peru books for children
authentic Spanish books for children about culture & geography
1.on the wings of the condor– stories about the history and culture of Spanish-speaking places, for children.
2. Grandma’s Chocolate-When Grandma visits from Mexico, she always brings stories and treasures from her travels, sharing the rich traditions and customs of Mexico.
3. waiting for the biblioburro – a true story of a teacher and librarian who created a mobile library on two donkeys to travel through the mountains and bring books to the children of rural Colombia.
4. the island -rosalba embarks on an imaginary trip to the Caribbean with her grandmother, who takes her on a journey through old stories and places on the island. my amazon picks
5. my island and I – a beautiful introduction in Spanish for children to the biodiversity of the island, through an exploration of Puerto Rico.
6. Flight of the Quetzal: Learn about the land, places and animals found in Latin America, through the eyes of the quetzal and with beautiful illustrations.
7. family pictures – an introduction to Mexican-American culture, through the daily life of the author’s family.
8. Jaguar Eyes: Learn about pre-Columbian civilizations in Latin America, written in a way kids understand and enjoy. my amazon picks
9. the diminutive Ñusta-a little Inca princess tries to save her town from a terrible drought, introducing us to Inca culture and history along the way.
10.what can you do with a rebozo? – learn about the traditional Mexican shawl as a girl plays with one and imagines all the things she can do with one.
11. cuauhtémoc: forms – forms – for very young readers, this is a board book that teaches forms through the context of the city of tenochtitlan, along with cuauhtémoc, the last aztec emperor.
12.one more day and other stories – indigenous tales about animals now in danger of extinction throughout south america.
13. Where’s the Coqui? – An exploration of the lands and animals of Latin America and the Caribbean, guided by a little frog, the coqui. my amazon picks
note: maguaré is also an amazing online resource for authentic online Spanish children’s books! my amazon picks
Authentic free downloadable Spanish illustrated books for children
biographies in Spanish for children
1.anti princesses 1: frida kahlo for girls and boys – a colorful combination of illustrations and photographs that explore the life of frida kahlo, for children.
2. Viva Frida: A Caldecott honor book that introduces young readers to one of the most famous artists, Frida Kahlo.
3.Meet Pablo Neruda: Learn about the famous poet and politician, including a look at his playful childhood.
4. turning pages: the story of my life – an autobiography written by sonia sotomayor, the first Latina in the united states. supreme court.my amazon picks
5. Tito Puente, King of the Mambo – A colorful summary of the life of musician Tito Puente.
6. My name is Celia: Young readers can learn the life story of Celia Cruz in this vibrant picture book.
7. my name is gabito-the life of renowned author gabriel garcía marquez, told through images taken from his own works.
8. guadalupe: first words – very young readers can also learn about famous Hispanic characters! this is just a biography in board book format, available in the lil’ books series. my amazon picks
9. violet vine for girls and boys
10. Side by side, the story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez: Discover the two important people who fought for the rights of farmworkers and how their early life led them to the work of a lifetime.
11. Meet Gabriela Mistral: She learns how a quiet girl grew up to become the first Latin American writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.
12.my name is gabriela: another beautiful and inspiring look at the childhood and life of gabriela mistral. my amazon picks
What other children’s books in authentic Spanish do you love? let me know in the comments below!