We are raising our kids in a monocultural area, so exposing them to books in their heritage languages is one easy way to ensure they are surrounded by a variety of words and stories. I’ve struggled to find good original content in Spanish or about children who are raised speaking Spanish, so I thought I would share a few gems (with the caveat that one of the books below is a translation–but a good one! And another is currently only available in English, but the premise is too cute not to share.) (This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission from Amazon. It costs you nothing, but allows me to keep the page and all our recommendations coming!)
El cabello maravilloso de Dalia is by Cuban American author Laura Lacamara. Dalia wakes up one day to find her hair grown long, strong and luscious. She decides to grow something fabulous in her hair and what she does with it has my kids asking me to read this book over and over. I love this book, in part, because Dalia doesn’t succumb to the external pressure of what her neighbors think and continuously has her mom’s loving support. All of the characters are also female, which is fairly unique.
Marisol McDonald no combina Half-Peruvian, half-Scottish and with hair the color of fire, Marisol comes to realize she loves being her unique self in this sweet bilingual story. And the best part is, there are other Marisol books if your kids like her character.
¿Qué Puedes Hacer con una Paleta? This book is a cute introduction to Mexican culture and its bilingual text, like Marisol’s above, is nicely done. We follow the protagonist as she discovers there are no limits to what you can do with a paleta (a traditional Mexican popsicle treat).
Abuelita fue al mercado This Spanish translation of the English original teaches counting in a rhythmic, fun way, as Abuelita travels the world on a flying carpet in search of presents for her granddaughter. We love the illustrations and often find new, fun images that we hadn’t seen before. For a good 2 months N requested this book almost nightly and we couldn’t turn the page until he found each animal, bicycle, train, or what have you that he had found the night before.
Lucia the Luchadora. I’m hopeful that Lucia the Luchadora will eventually be published in Spanish, but for now here is the English version of this colorful tale about a little girl who finds out she comes from a line of Mexican lucha libre women and proves wrong the little boys in the park who told her that girls can’t be superheroes. Full disclosure: I haven’t don’t have the full book, but the illustrations and portions I’ve read are delightful. I will update this post once we receive our copy!