Celebrate Reading in Two Languages: A Bilingual Booklist

Books make wonderful memories – especially when you share them with someone you care about! Take a look at the young people in your life, then find a book to share – perhaps as a gift or reading aloud to (or along with) them this season and all year long. The memories will last long after the covers of the book are closed.

Some of the books on this list are bilingual, meaning that you will find both English and Spanish within the same book. Other titles are originally in English, and have a Spanish translation available. The links to Amazon.com provide more information about each book.

 

Benny

Age Level: 3-6

Benny is a white dog with black ears and a red collar who can't find his favorite bone. In fact, Benny can't smell anything! But after a visit to the doctor and a bit of loving care from his mom, Benny recovers from what readers will recognize as a nose-stuffing cold. Lighthearted illustrations capture Benny's expression as his "sniff machine" recovers.

Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book

Don Pedro and his family make skeletons for el Día de los Muertos celebration in Mexico City. When the papier-mache Calaveras go to market on fiesta day, each skeleton acts out a letter of the alphabet. Richly toned illustrations in an appealing folk art style introduce the alphabet — from ángel to zapatero. This handsome book concludes with an alphabet glossary and a brief explanation of the Spanish alphabet.

El Gato Leo Comes to Play: A First Spanish Story

Leo, a small blue cat, speaks only Spanish. He responds to simple directions (such as "Ven. Come. Ven aquí. Come here.") in Spanish with the English equivalent found by lifting the flap. This playful book concludes with a guide to Spanish pronunciation.

Happy Birthday, I'm 1

Age Level: 0-3

Rabbit celebrates turning one year old with a cake, a candle and family. Bright, bold illustrations focus on birthday basics for a one year old, leaving space for a photo and other notes to remember the event. (Comparable books for 2, 3 and 4 year olds are also available from the publisher.)

Hello Ocean / Hola Mar

A child narrates her visit to the ocean, inviting readers to explore it with her. She experiences the sea with all of her senses through realistic illustrations and lyrical language in this gently rhyming tale.

I Love My Daddy Because …

In this celebration of dads, heartwarming illustrations of baby animals and their fathers remind us of the many reasons why dads are so special.

I Went Walking/Salí de paseo

On a walk, a young child sees a variety of animals from a black cat to a brown horse and more – which the reader discovers are following the child! Gleeful, jewel-toned illustrations on sturdy, open pages are ideal for sharing with the youngest child who will catch on to the repetition in Spanish, English or both.

Lupe Vargas and Her Super Best Friend / Lupe Vargas y su super mejor amiga

Age Level: 6-9

Each day of the week best friends Lupe and Mariza make up games and stories as they play, sometimes to the chagrin of their irritable neighbor. One day the friends have a tiff; could this be the end of their friendship? Even Mrs. Ramirez is relieved when the girls make up in their distinctive,imaginative way. Jaunty illustrations further enliven this story told in two languages.

Moony Luna

Five-year-old Luna is afraid she'll find monsters at her new school until a kind teacher and her new classmates show her that she has nothing to fear in this touching bilingual story.

My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz

Illustrated by: Rafael López

The beautiful artwork of this award-winning picture book about salsa queen Celia Cruz practically jumps off the page, and conveys the spirit and rhythmic energy of her music. Learn about Cruz's childhood in Havana and her entry into the world of salsa music from vibrant illustrations and text presented in English and Spanish.

Quinito, Day and Night

Author Ina Cumpiano and illustrator José Ramírez have teamed up once again to bring young readers an engaging story about young Quinito, his family, and his daily activities. The bilingual story shows how opposites (early/late, sunny/rainy, messy/neat) play an important part of Quinito's life through charming text and vibrant illustrations. Ideal for young children learning new English and Spanish vocabulary.

Sol a Sol: Bilingual Poems/Sol a sol: Poemas bilingües

Everyday activities, from sun-up to sun-down — sol a sol — are presented in a series of short poems presented in Spanish and English. Richly hued paintings sweep across the pages adding movement and verve to the simple fluid language.

Super Oscar

Since he forgets to distribute the lists for the neighborhood picnic, Oscar must launch into action. He shops, sets the table and whips up the food — in a most unusual way — for the best picnic ever! Colorful illustrations add imaginative detail and visual interest as well as a subtle nudge for exercise.

Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection

"Stories have delighted both children and adults for as long as there have been families and communities on Earth." So begins the informative introduction to the dozen takes which are presented here to charm another generation, ideal for reading independently or sharing aloud.

The Emerald Lizard: Fifteen Latin American Tales to Tell

Familiar tales as well as less known legends and myths from Latin American countries including Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Costa Rico and more are presented here in both Spanish and English, dotted with illustrations. Source notes are included, making this collection useful for storytellers and for reading aloud.

The Flag We Love

Illustrated by: Ralph Masiello
Age Level: 6-9

Read this book aloud to young readers to teach them about the United States flag, its history, and meaning. The short verse, historical tidbits, and realistic illustrations result in a brief, moving, and patriotic look at this American symbol. Spanish version available.

The Lost Ball/La pelota perdida

Two boys and their dogs look for the balls they have each lost in the park. Not only do they find them, they each find a friend. The text, in Spanish and English, appears in different colors along with crisply lined illustrations, allowing readers to follow Richard and Ricardo on their hunt. When the boys find their balls and discover their shared interests, they (and the colors) come together on a single page.

Who Hops?/¿Quién salta?

Birds and bats fly, but do rhinos? No! They eat grass and take baths but rhinos don't fly! And so different animals hop, slither, swim and crawl through the colorful pages of this playful book. Bold illustrations and bright backgrounds support the concepts and the humor in both English and Spanish.

¡Yum! ¡Mmmm! ¡Qué Rico!

By: Pat Mora
Illustrated by: Rafael López

Celebrate the native foods of the Americas — peanuts, blueberries, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and more — through haiku poetry and stunning artwork from award-winning illustrator Rafael López.