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Teachers who work with English as a Second Language learners will find ESL/ESOL/ELL/EFL reading/writing skill-building children's books, stories, activities, ideas, strategies to help PreK-3, 4-8, and 9-12 students learn to read.

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Books for Kids

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. If you choose to buy a book over the Internet, part of the sale will support this project. Thank you!

2006 Booklist

Download the handout version of the 2006 booklist to take to the store or library.

Ages 0-3

El Gato Leo Comes to Play: A First Spanish Story El Gato Leo Comes to Play: A First Spanish Story By: Opal Dunn Age Level: 0-3 Reading Level: Pre-Reader

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.

Hanukkah: A Counting Book in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish Hanukkah: A Counting Book in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish By: Emily Sper Age Level: 0-3 Reading Level: Pre-Reader

The Festival of Lights, or Hanukkah, celebrates the rededication of the Jewish temple after a group of ancient heroes defended their right to worship as they wished. This handsome little counting book honors the most joyful of Jewish holidays, and teaches readers how to count from one to eight in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish.

Happy Birthday, I'm 1 Happy Birthday, I'm 1 By: Matteo Faglia Age Level: 0-3 Reading Level: Pre-Reader

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.)

I Love My Daddy Because … I Love My Daddy Because … By: Laurel Porter Gaylord Illustrated by: Ashley Wolff Age Level: 0-3 Reading Level: Pre-Reader

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 I Went Walking/Salí de paseo By: Sue Williams Illustrated by: Julie Vivas Age Level: 0-3 Reading Level: Pre-Reader

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.

My Grandma My Grandma By: Ginger Foglesong Guy Illustrated by: Vivi Escriva Age Level: 0-3 Reading Level: Pre-Reader

It is time to visit Grandma! First a taxi, then an airplane, one more bus — and there she is! This book for young readers uses very simple bilingual text to follow the journey from home to Grandma’s front yard, telling the story with colorful illustrations. Children will enjoy poring over the detailed artwork, and readers will feel a glow when everyone is finally juntos — together.

Ages 3-6

¡Marimba!: Animales from A to Z ¡Marimba!: Animales from A to Z By: Pat Mora Illustrated by: Doug Cushman Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Find out what the animals in the zoo do once it's closed for the night in this lively, rhyming alphabet book. Jaunty illustrations add humor and meaning to words presented in two languages.

¡Yum! ¡Mmmm! ¡Qué Rico! ¡Yum! ¡Mmmm! ¡Qué Rico! By: Pat Mora Illustrated by: Rafael López Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

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.

A Walk With Grandpa A Walk With Grandpa By: Sharon Solomon Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

As Daniela walks in the woods with her grandfather, they play a game in which they express how much they love each other. Children may wish to continue the game on their own with their family members after finishing the story! Colorful illustrations bring Daniela and her grandpa — as well as the surrounding forest, wildlife, and nearby wetlands — to life. Bilingual text.

Benny Benny By: Sieb Posthuma Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Pre-Reader

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.

Book Fiesta! Book Fiesta! By: Pat Mora Illustrated by: Rafael López Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Even though there's a special day called Children's Day/Book Day, children and books can be celebrated everyday and in any place as is demonstrated in this vibrant book. Energetic illustrations show a wide range of children and animals playing, reading, and just plain having fun with each other and with books.

Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book By: Jeanette Winter Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Pre-Reader

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.

Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English By: Alma Flor Ada Illustrated by: Simon Silva Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Using the alphabet as a pattern, paintings and brief poems explore rural life in Mexico presented first in Spanish and followed by English. From A to Z, brilliant illustrations and fluid poems evoke the plants, and more and the emotional impact on the lives of farm workers.

Hello Ocean / Hola Mar Hello Ocean / Hola Mar By: Pam Muñoz Ryan Illustrated by: Mark Astrella Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

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.

How Will We Get to the Beach? How Will We Get to the Beach? By: Brigitte Luciani Illustrated by: Eve Tharlet Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Ever resourceful Roxanne determines the best way to get to the beach when her car won't start. Only one way, however, will allow her to take all of her treasures including, of course, the baby! Humor and myriad concepts abound in this engaging and attractive tale told in two languages.

Kitten's First Full Moon Kitten's First Full Moon By: Kevin Henkes Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Pre-Reader

When Kitten sees her first full moon, she thinks there's a little bowl of milk in the sky. But try as she might, she just can't seem to reach it. Disappointed, she returns home, only to find a bowl of milk waiting for her. "Lucky Kitten!" Expressive illustrations in shades of black, white, and gray are carefully placed to show movement and motion during Kitten's nighttime adventure.

Let's Eat! Let's Eat! By: Pat Mora Illustrated by: Maribel Suarez Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A Hispanic family's preparation for dinner is presented in easy words in both Spanish and English. Warm illustrations depict an affectionate family enjoying their daily routine. This is the first book in Pat Mora's My Family/Mi Familia series, a four-book collection of easy-read bilingual books.

Lewis Cardinal's First Winter Lewis Cardinal's First Winter By: Amy Crane Johnson Illustrated by: Robb Mommaerts Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Lewis Cardinal is worried as his friends get ready for winter. They all seem so busy, and he has nothing to do — plus, it's beginning to look like he will be all alone throughout the winter! Soon he learns that he will have plenty of friends with him, however, and he begins to understand what hibernation and migration are all about. Lovely illustrations bring Luis and his friends to life.

Moony Luna Moony Luna By: Jorge Argueta Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

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.

N Is for Navidad N Is for Navidad By: Susan Middleton Elya & Merry Banks Illustrated by: Joe Cepeda Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Join a Latino celebration of Christmas from A to Z, enjoying the sights and symbols of the holiday. Spanish words and additional explanations conclude this energetic book with animated illustrations.

Quinito's Neighborhood Quinito's Neighborhood By: Ina Cumpiano Illustrated by: José Ramírez Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Young Quinito takes us on a tour of his neighborhood, where his relatives and friends are doing important jobs and helping each other. Children and grown-ups will appreciate the community spirit pervading the text, as well as the colorful pictures of Quinito's neighborhood. Ideal for young children learning new English and Spanish vocabulary.

Quinito, Day and Night Quinito, Day and Night By: Ina Cumpiano Illustrated by: José Ramírez Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

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.

Super Oscar Super Oscar By: Oscar De La Hoya & Mark Shulman Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Pre-Reader

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.

Sweet Dreams (My Family/Mi Familia series) Sweet Dreams (My Family/Mi Familia series) By: Pat Mora Illustrated by: Maribel Suarez Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Pre-Reader

It's bedtime, and Grandma has come to tuck everyone in. One by one, she kisses her grandchildren good-night in a loving refrain that reminds them of all the other friends who are closing their eyes and falling asleep. The soothing text and gentle drawings make this the perfect way to end a busy day. Bilingual text.

The Bakery Lady The Bakery Lady By: Pat Mora Illustrated by: Pablo Torecilla Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Monica enjoys spending time at her grandparents' bakery not only because of sweet treats but because they have a special relationship. The story, told in both Spanish and English, is imbued with details about Mexican traditions.

The Bus for Us The Bus for Us By: Suzanne Bloom Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Tess can't wait for the school bus to arrive! "Is this bus for us, Gus?" she continues to ask as a taxi, ice cream truck, and fire engine pass by. The repetition of questions and answers throughout the story will make this a great read-aloud for young students and English language learners. Colorful watercolor illustrations complement the text. Bilingual edition available.

The Park Our Town Built The Park Our Town Built By: Diane Gonzales Bertrand Illustrated by: Tanja Bauerle Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Pre-Reader

In the style of "The House That Jack Built," Diane Gonzales Bertrand offers a lively picture book that tells the story of a community coming together to build a park for the town. The story highlights key vocabulary words in English and Spanish with matching pictures, making it an excellent read-aloud choice for young children learning comprehension and predicting skills in either language.

Who Hops?/¿Quién salta? Who Hops?/¿Quién salta? By: Katie Davis Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Pre-Reader

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.

Ages 6-9

Angels Ride Bikes and Other Fall Poems Angels Ride Bikes and Other Fall Poems By: Francisco Alarcón Illustrated by: Maya Christina Gonzalez Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Celebrate city life, school, and family while sharing loss, earthquakes and even Ángeles del mar (sea angels) in vivid illustrations and short poems presented in both Spanish and English. Though some poems are distinctly southern Californian, all resonate with universally recognizable emotions.

Animal Poems of the Iguazú Animal Poems of the Iguazú By: Francisco Alarcón Illustrated by: Maya Christina Gonzalez Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Independent Reader

Inspired by a visit to the Iguazú National Park in South America, Francisco X. Alarcón celebrates its animals, skies, waterfalls, and more in these short and vibrant bilingual poems. Each page holds pulsating paintings that swirl and move, further vivifying each poem.

Calling the Doves Calling the Doves By: Juan Felipe Herrera Illustrated by: Elly Simmons Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Independent Reader

Product Description: Calling the Doves is poet Juan Felipe Herrera's story of his migrant farmworker childhood. In delightful and lyrical language, he recreates the joy of eating breakfast under the open sky, listening to Mexican songs in the little trailer house his father built, and celebrating with other families at a fiesta in the mountains. He remembers his mother singing songs and reciting poetry, and his father telling stories and calling the doves.

Gracias/Thanks Gracias/Thanks By: Pat Mora Illustrated by: John Parra Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

From the sun that wakens him to the cricket that serenades him to sleep, a young boy gives thanks for the many kinds of friends who help him throughout the day. Pat Mora's reflection on gratitude is filled with kindness and humor, brought to life by John Parra's heartwarming illustrations. Pat concludes the book with an author's note about the things she for which she feels grateful. Bilingual text.

Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems By: Francisco Alarcón Illustrated by: Maya Christina Gonzalez Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Vivid images combine with lively language to present a sunny season with its foods, fun and family in short poems in both English and Spanish.

Lupe Vargas and Her Super Best Friend / Lupe Vargas y su super mejor amiga Lupe Vargas and Her Super Best Friend / Lupe Vargas y su super mejor amiga By: Amy Costalas Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

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.

My Diary from Here to There My Diary from Here to There By: Amada Irma Pérez Illustrated by: Maya Christina Gonzalez Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

While the rest of the family proclaims excitement at their imminent move ("They have escalators to ride!" says one of her five brothers), Amada confides her fears to her journal: "Am I the only one who is scared of leaving our home, our beautiful country, and all the people we might never see again?" Amada Irma Pérez shares the story of her journey to the U.S. as a young girl and Maya Christina Gonzalez's fluid illustrations spill color across the page. Bilingual text.

My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz By: Monica Brown Illustrated by: Rafael López Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

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.

Nana's Big Surprise Nana's Big Surprise By: Amada Irma Pérez Illustrated by: Maya Christina Gonzalez Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Independent Reader

Nana has come to visit, but she is still sad after the death of her beloved husband. What can be done to make her feel better? Amada Irma Pérez's story is based on her memories of the unforgettable time when her grandmother came to stay with her family after her grandfather's death. Maya Christina Gonzalez's vibrant illustrations combine acrylic paintings, photos, fabrics, beads, and paper into textured collages. Bilingual text.

Poems to Dream Together Poems to Dream Together By: Francisco Alarcón Illustrated by: Paula Barragan Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Dreams are for the day and the night. Children dream for themselves as well as their community and their world. Short poems, richly imagined and vibrantly illustrated appear in English and Spanish and are firmly rooted in a child's experience.

Rafi and Rosi Rafi and Rosi By: Lulu Delacre Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Three short stories present three adventures shared by Rafi and Rosi, young tree frogs who live in Puerto Rico. Rosi knows that her older brother is magic; not only can he find things in the sand, he can also make the sea shine! But it is Rosi's magic that finds Rafi's lost pet hermit crab. Cheery, colorful illustrations enhance the humor of this engaging duo.

The Flag We Love The Flag We Love By: Pam Muñoz Ryan Illustrated by: Ralph Masiello Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

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.

The Lost Ball/La pelota perdida The Lost Ball/La pelota perdida By: Lynn Reiser Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

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. Reiser's Margaret and Margarita, Margarita y Margaret (Greenwillow, 1993) explores a similar theme as girls and their mothers meet and discover friendship despite speaking different languages.

The Storyteller's Candle The Storyteller's Candle By: Lucía González Illustrated by: Lulu Delacre Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Independent Reader

This is the story of librarian Pura Belpré, told through the eyes of two young children who are introduced to the library and its treasures just before Christmas. Lulu Delacre's lovely illustrations evoke New York City at the time of the Great Depression, as well as the close-knit and vibrant Puerto Rican community that was thriving in El Barrio during this time. Bilingual Spanish-English text.

Ages 9-12

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Charlie and the Chocolate Factory By: Roald Dahl Age Level: 9-12 Reading Level: Independent Reader

Charlie is a poor but admirable boy who finds one of five tickets that provide entry into Willie Wonka's fabulous factory. Ultimately, it is Charlie's ethical behavior that wins, saves his family and begins yet another adventure. Comic illustrations add movement and punctuate the humor in this modern fantasy classic.

Charlotte's Web Charlotte's Web By: E.B. White Age Level: 9-12 Reading Level: Independent Reader

An affectionate, sometimes bashful pig named Wilbur befriends a spider named Charlotte, who lives in the rafters above his pen. In this story of friendship, hardship, and the passing of time, E.B. White reminds us to open our eyes to the wonder and miracle found in the simplest of things.

My Name Is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel García Márquez My Name Is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel García Márquez By: Monica Brown Illustrated by: Raúl Colón Age Level: 9-12 Reading Level: Independent Reader

Monica Brown tells the story of young Gabriel García Márquez and provides children with an introduction to magical realism by showing how young Gabriel’s surroundings and imagination merged in fantastic ways, fostering his creativity and building the foundation for the legendary characters and stories he would later create. Raúl Colón brings these rich imaginings to life in vivid illustrations that complement the lyrical text. Pura Belpré Honor Award.

Sol a Sol: Bilingual Poems/Sol a sol: Poemas bilingües Sol a Sol: Bilingual Poems/Sol a sol: Poemas bilingües By: Lori Marie Carlson Age Level: 9-12 Reading Level: Independent Reader

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.

Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection By: Isabel Campoy & Alma Flor Ada Age Level: 9-12 Reading Level: Independent Reader

"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.

Ages 12+

Becoming Naomi León Becoming Naomi León By: Pam Muñoz Ryan Age Level: 9-12 Reading Level: Independent Reader

Naomi and her younger brother Owen have lived with their grandmother in a small trailer for many years, ever since they were abandoned by their mother. When Mom Terri Lynn suddenly returns, does she really have the kids' best interests at heart?

Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States By: Lori Marie Carlson Age Level: 14-16 Reading Level: Independent Reader

A collection of poems from an array of seasoned poets and young Latino authors describing their experiences in the United States. These poems depict the reality and hardships some young Latinos have experienced in their search for identity, as well as the joy of family gatherings surrounded by food, customs, and culture. Introduction by Oscar Hijuelos.

The Emerald Lizard: Fifteen Latin American Tales to Tell The Emerald Lizard: Fifteen Latin American Tales to Tell By: Pleasant DeSpain Age Level: Teen Reading Level: Independent Reader

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 Tree is Older Than You Are: A Bilingual Gathering of Poems and Stories from Mexico with Paintings by Mexican Artists The Tree is Older Than You Are: A Bilingual Gathering of Poems and Stories from Mexico with Paintings by Mexican Artists By: Naomi Nye Age Level: 9-12 Reading Level: Independent Reader

Art combines with poetry and short prose pieces all by creators from Mexico for a culturally specific but emotionally universal literary experience. Stories are everywhere; you simply need to find them. Perhaps as one poet suggests in "The Lemon Tree": "the tree/is older than you are/and you might find stories/in its branches."

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