13 Children’s Books That Celebrate Latin Stories

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Each year, we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, celebrating the history, culture, and countless contributions made by countries such as Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and more. Get your kids involved in the festivities this year by adding some books celebrating Latin stories to your storytime rotation! From cardboard books for babies to award-winning coloring books for older kids, there’s no doubt that you’ll find many books that kids will love!

Nosotros Means Us: Un Cuento Bilingüe

Written and illustrated by Paloma Valdivia

If you enjoyed the classic children’s book The Runaway Bunny, you’ll love this beautiful bilingual story about how precious it is for a mom and her child to imagine themselves as various animals and show how precious their connection is. This coloring book’s unique illustrations are captivating and memorable, and the text is sweet and poetic, making Nosotros Means Us perfect for children under 5 years old and a great way to start building your baby’s bilingual vocabulary.

Abritta and me

Written by Leonarda Carranza, illustrated by Rafael Mayani

This insightful, empowering, and important children’s book is a must-have addition to any child’s home library. The author, Leonarda Carranza, deftly addresses the issue of racism and microaggressions through the experience of a small child who went out on errands with her grandmother (Abu Elita). The generational duo shows bravery, grace, and strength, while also telling readers that it’s wrong to treat others because of differences. It’s no wonder that Abritta & Me has won numerous awards, including being named one of the best books of 2022 by the Kirks and International Latino Book Awards.

Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You

Written by Sonia Sotomayor, illustrated by Rafael López

What do you get when you meet a Latino Supreme Court judge and an award-winning Latino artist? The answer is: Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s best-selling children’s book, Just Ask!, an Amazon teacher selection, celebrates the differences and different abilities of all of us that should be seen as special strength, not damage. Through fresh and vibrant illustrations, readers witness the children working together to build a community garden, each asking tough questions along the way.

Love

Written by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Loren Long

Get ready with tissues! This best-selling and award-winning picture book deftly embraces your heart, stirring all the love inside you with poetic prose and gorgeous illustrations. Here, readers can get a glimpse into the many ways we experience love in childhood and beyond. (Love is the first sound we hear; it’s the color of the night sky over a happy family; it’s an echo of summer laughter.) This gentle tale is sure to become a new classic.

Counting With / Contando Con Frida

Written by Patty Rodriguez & Ariana Stein, illustrated by Citlali Reyes

Part of Lil’ Libros’ bilingual board book series, Counting with Frida introduces the little ones to iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo…… Teach them how to count to 10 in both English and Spanish. Simple and sweet, each vivid illustration draws on Caro’s famous style and well-known work. Bonus: The length of this cardboard book is perfect for babies’ limited attention span!

Across the Bay

Written and illustrated by Carlos Aponte

With an old photograph and a full heart, a young boy named Calitos embarks on a journey through the downtown of Old San Juan in search of his dad. Across the Bay is not your typical closed-ended children’s book. Instead, it elegantly and honestly illustrates the true meaning of home and home, which is based on writer/illustrator Carlos Aponte’s own childhood in Puerto Rico. This engaging coloring book is perfect for kids between the ages of 3 and 7.

Cantora: Mercedes Sosa, Voice of Latin America

Written and illustrated by Melisa Fernández Nitscheoung

Invite your children into the world of the outstanding Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sousa, who has transformed her artistic talent into activism, with songs that speak to the true meaning of the fight against injustice in Latin America. In fact, her music was so powerful that she was forced into self-exile when her homeland was ruled by a military dictatorship. But that didn’t stop Sosa from dedicating her life to the voice of the voiceless. This bright and stunning book is designed to inspire and empower young readers (ages 4 and up) across the globe… Including your kids!

Where Are You From?

Written by Yamile Saied Méndez, illustrated by Jaime Kim

It’s easy to see why Where Are You From? has won so many prestigious book awards! Not only is the illustration engaging and heartwarming, but the storyline is also full of lyrical power. Here, a little girl who always answers the title questions but has no simple answers learns self-acceptance with the help of her beloved Abuelo (grandfather). It’s a great story for kids ages 4 and up, especially those who once felt like they didn’t belong. A Spanish version of De Dón de Eres, also available.

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!

Written by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

Don’t let this funny story about a singing bird fool you! The Rooster That Is Not Quiet is a wonderful picture book that skillfully teaches children about human rights and the consequences of oppression. This Amazon teacher’s selection game is aimed at kindergarten to second graders and takes place in a happy but noisy village in La Paz, where the mayor forbids loud singing in the streets… And then at home… But the rooster won’t stop, and when the mayor threatens the town’s favorite bird, a singing revolution begins!

My Dog Just Speaks Spanish

Written and illustrated by Andrea Cáceres

When Aurora arrived in the U.S. from Venezuela, she learned to speak English… But her beloved puppy, Nena, didn’t. This means that Nena doesn’t understand “sit”, “wait” or “treat”, but she certainly knows “siéntate”, “espera” and “postre”! My dog only speaks Spanish is also a fun tool to help young readers practice reading and learn English or Spanish terms!

Plátanos Are Love

Written by Alyssa Reynoso-Morris, illustrated by Mariyah Rahman

“Platanos is love,” Abuela says. “I thought they were food. But Abuera says they feed us in a variety of ways. It’s not just a delicious story about cooking plantains, it’s about tradition, community, and most importantly, the intergenerational love between the doting Abuera and her granddaughter. This joyful and lyrical coloring book is written for children ages 4 and up, full of Spanish words and warmth.

My Two Border Towns

Written by David Bowles, illustrated by, Erika Meza

Available in English and Spanish, this award-winning picture book tells the touching story of a father and son living on the U.S./Mexico border, and their tradition of going to their favorite place on the other side for the weekend. The two visited a cherished restaurant and enjoyed dessert… And they also gave much-needed supplies to friends seeking asylum. Bright watercolors and gentle text bring heavy realities into everyday life… And it’s perfect for kids aged 4 to 8 years.

Be Bold Be Brave! Chiquitos

Written by Naibe Reynoso, illustrated by Jone Leal

This is a bilingual board book version designed for the youngest “readers,” and the original version is Brave, Brave: 11 Latinos Who Made American History. In the book, your child will meet some famous Latino personalities, such as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, astronaut Alan Ochoa, famous singer Selena, Oscar winner Rita Moreno, and seven others. This is an ideal book for your child to meet countless Latinas who are contributing to the world!

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