N is just starting to get into the idea of chapter books, though most nights he won’t let us leave without finishing the whole book (sort of defeating the purpose…). In any case, I like the new, more challenging vocabulary and the opportunity for more complicated plots afforded by beginner chapter books. These could also be a fun idea for older people who are learning Spanish, but aren’t quite ready for adult vocabulary.
Before we get into the list, I recognize that these are all translations of popular Spanish series, so if you have any suggestions for original Spanish chapter books, please do share–we would love to read them!
La princesa de negro introduces a pretty, perfect in pink princess who has a secret, butt-kicking identity as la princesa de negro. N loves when she puts a monster in its place and really enjoys being in on the secret of her double identity as the princess maneuvers between her superhero-esque self and her ‘real’ identity.
This is part of Scholastic’s Branches series, for newly independent readers, which I’ve found also work well as beginner chapter books for the younger set like our 4 year old, in part because of the great balance between text and context clue-filled illustrations. You’ll note that quite a few of the series in this post are from the Branches series–I’ve found it to be a high quality line of books! We have a couple of the Diario de una lechuza series and generally our son likes the “subtle” humor and interesting plot lines.
I remember my sister reading the Captain Underpants series when she was younger and it appears to have aged well–it is still a huge hit! Much like its sister series, Las Aventuras del superbebe pañal (below), its humor hits that silly sweet spot that young kids love. Plus I like that there are a ton of books and options in the series because it has been around for so long.
We are all familiar with this classic, although I should warn you that the story opens on the discussion of pig slaughter, which I was NOT prepared for and about which I had completely forgotten. In any case, I love that this classic is available in Spanish and eventually, when I’m feeling brave enough, I’ll read it cover to cover with the kids.
This series follows the ever-entertaining Judy Moody, with the first book focusing on her first day of third grade. I think some of this humor might be over my 4 year old’s head, but it’s the kind of book I think he’ll enjoy more and more the older he gets.
The Stink series is by the same author and illustrator duo as the Judy Moody series, these books follow Judy’s younger brother, Stink.
Yet another classic book that has been translated to Spanish! Are you sensing a theme here? Basically, the most Spanish chapter books I’ve been able to find are those that have done exceedingly well in English. Although I love original content, I also like that our kids won’t be ‘missing out’ on the books their peers are enjoying just because I have an obsession with buying books in our minority languages. This classic book includes lots of surprisingly deep and philosophical moments that the adult readers may enjoy as well.
Another classic book that I was so happy to find in Spanish. Ramona la chinche follows the adventures and travesuras of Ramona Quimby as she starts kindergarten. It’s a relatable, cute story with a bunch of other options in the series if your kids fall in love with the character.
This is Newbery Medal–winning author Beverly Cleary’s first book (her name may sound familiar from the Ramona Quimby series, and the characters actually coexist in the same universe!). Henry Huggins is just an average boy who encounters a sweet, mischievous puppy in yet another book that you may have read as a child (was anyone else a total child-book lover/nerd like me?).
And that’s that!
Have your kids enjoyed any easy reader or beginner chapter books you’d like to share?