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books about hispanic culture

Books to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month in September with these great children's books.

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.

Courtesy of Abrams Books

Soldier for Equality: José de la Luz Sáenz and the Great War

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.

Courtesy of Holiday House


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.

Courtesy of HarperCollins

Where Are You From?

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.

Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood

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.

Courtesy of Penguin Random House

El Chupacabras

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.

Courtesy of Penguin Random House

Señorita Mariposa

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.

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