September 15 marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage month, which celebrates citizens with ancestors from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. This month, take time with your kids to learn about the culture, contributions, and experiences of our state’s largest minority population, through these great children’s books.
by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams Books for Young Readers, September 3, 2019)
Although born in the United States, José de la Luz Sáenz experienced prejudice because of his Mexican heritage, but volunteered to fight when World War I began. Based partially on Luz’s diary kept during the war, this book tells the true story of this Mexican-American war hero.
by Yuyi Morales (Neal Porter Books 2018)
Author and illustrator Yuyi Morales came to the United States from Mexico in 1994 with little more than her infant son and her dreams. Dreamers explores the themes of creating a home in a new place and the gifts that immigrants bring with them, and includes an essay about Morales’ own experience. Also available in a Spanish language edition, Soñadores.
by Yamile Saied Méndez; illustrated by Jaime Kim
(HarperCollins Children’s Books 2019)
A young girl isn’t sure how to reply when people ask where she is really from. She asks her abuelo, who offers a different kind of answer: from the brown river…the warm blue oceans…hurricanes and dark storms, he says, as the reader views illustrations of various landscapes. A Spanish-language edition, ¿De dónde eres?, is also available.
by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell; illustrated by Rafael López
(HMH Books for Young Readers 2016)
Available in Spanish as Quizás algo hermoso and recommended by Spanish-speaking professionals at the Denver Public Library, this book tells the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, an idea of Rafael and Candice López. The story shows how art can revive a community.
by Adam Rubin; illustrated by Crash McCreery
(Dial Books 2018)
The Dragons Love Tacos author retells the folktale of El Chupacabras—the goatsucker—in equal parts English and Spanish. Each sentence is half-Spanish/half-English followed by a repetition of the same line translated the other way around, to represent both languages equally.
by Ben Gundersheimer; illustrated by Marcos Almada Rivero
(Nancy Paulsen 2019)
This bilingual book tells the story of the Monarch butterfly’s annual journey from Canada to Mexico, with an author’s note of how butterflies are important in nature. With simple text such as “Sixty miles or more a day/We will see you on your way,” the book serves as a starting point to discuss more about environmental concerns or immigration with kids.
Librarians and book experts also recommend:
- ¡No! by Marta Altés
- Duermevela by Juan Muñoz-Tébar; illustrated by Ramón París
- ¿Qué está pasando allá arriba? by Jazmin Villagrán
- Somos como las nubes by Jorge Argueta and Alfonso Ruano
- La Princesa and the Pea by Susan Middleton Elya, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
- Gathering The Sun by Alma Flor Ada; illustrated by Simón Silva
- A Day’s Work by Eve Bunting; illustrated by Ronald Himler
- Soccer Star by Mina Javaherbin; illustrated by Renato Alarcão
- My Name Is/Me Llamo Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz by Monica Brown; illustrated by Rafael López
- What Can You Do With A Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla; illustrated by Magaly Morales
- Doña Flor by Pat Mora, illustrated by Raul Colón
- Esos zapatos by Maribeth Boelts; illustrated by Noah Z. Jones
- Abuela by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Elisa Kleven
- What Can You Do with a Rebozo? by Carmen Tafolla; illustrated by Amy Cordova
- A Perfect Season for Dreaming by Benjamin Alire Sáenz; illustrated by Esau Andrade Valencia
- Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina; illustrated by Angela Dominguez
- Yes, We Can! by Diana Cohn; illustrated by Francisco Delgado
- Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown, illustrated by John Parra
- The Secret Footprints by Julia Alvarez, illustrated by Fabian Negrin
- Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Edel Rodriguez
- Yes! We Are Latinos by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy; illustrated by David Diaz
- Round Is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Greenfield Thong; illustrated by John Parra
- Baby Happy Baby Sad/Bebé Feliz Bebé Triste by Leslie Patricelli
- Los calzoncillos maléficos by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown
- Buen día, buenas noches by Margaret Wise Brown; illustrated by Loren Long
- ¡Qué aburrido! by Michael Ian Black; illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi