Bilingual Books for Young Children: Spanish
These bilingual books for young children in English and Spanish celebrate the gifts of being bilingual and bicultural. For more bilingual titles and information about raising/teaching bilingual children, see the resources below.
- Bilingual Books for Young Children: World Languages
- Bilingual Books: American Indian Heritage
- Bilingual Books: Asian Pacific American Heritage
- 50 Bilingual and Spanish/English Integrated Books (Children's Cooperative Book Center)
Related activities and tips
- Raising Bilingual Children
- The Importance of Home Language Series (Head Start)
- Helping Preschoolers Learn in Two Languages – also available in Spanish/Polish (Illinois Early Learning Project)
- Helping Your Child Learn in Two Languages – also available in Spanish/Polish (Illinois Early Learning Project)
Agua, Agüita/Water, Little Water
"My name / is Water / but everyone / calls me Little Water." In this beautiful, poetic ode to the life-giving force of water, award-winning children's book author Jorge Argueta describes in English, Spanish and Nahuat the life cycle of water from the perspective of one drop. With stunningly beautiful illustrations by Felipe Ugalde Alcántara that depict the mountains, rocks, vegetation and animals of the natural world, this poem about the importance of water reflects Argueta's indigenous roots and his appreciation for nature.
Animal Talk: Mexican Folk Art Animal Sounds in English and Spanish
Did you know that animals that live in one country don't always talk the same language as animals from somewhere else? Take a rooster, for instance. In English-speaking countries, he says cock-a-doodle-doo when he has a notion to announce himself or to greet the dawn. But in Spanish-speaking countries, he says ki-kiri-ki.
Arrorró, Mi Niño: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games
A beloved collection of traditional Latino baby games and lullabies from fourteen Spanish-speaking countries, complete with melodies for chanting and singing. Collected by Lulu Delacre, these rhymes and songs are available in English and Spanish.
Arroz con Leche
These traditional rhymes and songs from Latin America are presented in both English and Spanish. Gentle illustrations accompany the short verses, and show both cities and the countryside. Children and adults from Spanish-speaking backgrounds will recognize many of these fun songs and rhymes.
Product Description: This delightful poem teaches readers young and old how to make a heartwarming, tummy-filling black bean soup, from gathering the beans, onions, and garlic to taking little pebbles out of the beans to letting them simmer till the luscious smell indicates it's time for supper. Jorge Argueta's vivid poetic voice and Rafael Yockteng's vibrant illustrations make preparing this healthy and delicious Latino favorite an exciting, almost magical experience.
Cerca / Close
Mi cuarto está cerca de la cocina. My bedroom is close to the kitchen.
As she walks from her kitchen through a daisy-filled yard to the house next door, a little girl notices things that are close to each other — just as the little boy she goes to visit is close to her.
Dream with the las Latinitas
Meet the Latinitas, whose big dreams paved the way for your little feet! With gorgeous, hand-painted illustrations, Juliet Menéndez shines a spotlight on the power of childhood dreams. Companion to Las Latinitas.
Family Poems for Every Day of the Week/Poemas familiares para cada día de la semana
Children spend Sunday visiting their grandparents, play with school friends on Monday, daydream on Tuesday, eat popcorn at the local market on Wednesday, and more, until we arrive at Saturday, when they get to play nonstop all day. Along the way, we also learn how the names of the seven days came to be. Partly based on the real life experiences of Alarcón's own family, this festive, celebratory collection of poems highlights the daily life of children while also honoring the experiences of the poet's Latino family in the United States.
Galápagos Girl / Galapagueña
Valentina was born on an island formed by fire, surrounded by blue-green sea. As a Galapagueña, Valentina spends her days observing the natural world around her. She greets sea lions splashing on the shore, scampers over lava rocks with Sally-lightfoot crabs, and swims with manta rays. But Valentina also understands the fragility of this wondrous world, and she makes a solemn promise to protect the islands and her animal friends.
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.
Here Kitty, Kitty/¡Ven gatita, ven!
"The third title in Mora and Suárez's warm bilingual series, My Family/Mi familia, this joyful picture book tells a lively story of a young girl who gets a shy new kitten that hides and makes trouble. With English and Spanish text on each double-page spread, the line-and-watercolor pictures show the loving family as the kitten hides under the sofa, under sister's bed, in a flowerpot, until finally the soft friend snuggles up on the girl's lap.
I Have Feelings / Tengo Sentimientos
This bilingual book the world of emotions and helps children identify their own feelings through photographs that show what emotions look like on children's faces.
Let's Eat!/¡A comer!
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.
Let's Work: Mexican Folk Art Trabajos in English and Spanish
Cynthia Weill scores again with an early concept book that bring every kind of job to life, including the work of the dedicated palm weavers of Flavio Gallardo’s workshop, whose miniature palm weavings illustrate this playful book, teaching children words for work in two languages. The weavers live in the village of Chigmecatitlán in the Mixteca part of the Mexican state of Puebla. With tremendous skill and patience, the artisans of this region practice palm weaving, a craft with a long and rich history in Mexico.
Lucha Libre: Anatomy / Anatomia
Lil' Libros baby board books uses a simple one word/one image per page format to introduce the littlest readers to first concepts such as numbers and colors. This title about lucha libre focuses on parts of the body.
Maria Had a Little Llama/Maria Tenia una Llama Pequena
Mary's little lamb is well known, but Maria lives in Peru and has a fleecy llama. The well-known cadence in English and Spanish and fresh illustrations present the familiar in a lively new setting.
Marisol McDonald and the Clash Bash
Product Description: Fans of Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match/Marisol McDonald no combina won't be surprised to see the girl of many styles struggling to decide on a theme for her eighth birthday party! As if that weren't hard enough, Marisol is faced with the prospect of not being able to see her abuelita, who lives in Peru, on her special day. Her friends are in for a huge surprise when they turn up for world's most eclectic clash bash while Marisol happily gets her wish granted to see her abuelita.
My Colors, My World
Product Description: Little Maya longs to find brilliant, beautiful, inspiring color in her world…but Maya's world, the Mojave Desert, seems to be filled with nothing but sand. With the help of a feathered friend, she searches everywhere to discover color in her world. In the brilliant purple of her mother's flowers, the cool green of a cactus, the hot pink sunset, and the shiny black of Papi's hair, Maya finally finds what she was looking for. Also available as a board book.
My Grandma/Mi Abuelita
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.
My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz
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.
My Name Is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel García Márquez
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.
My Name Is Gabriela: The Life of Gabriela Mistral
"My name is Gabriela Mistral. It is a name I chose myself because I like the sound of it." With these words, Monica Brown introduces us to the Chilean poet and author who, in 1945, became the first Latin American writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. The lyrical text and exquisite illustrations bring Gabriela's childhood and talent to life for young readers.
New Words, New Friends
New Words, New Friends is a storybook resource for teachers, librarians and parents to teach young children who speak different languages how to learn and play together. This heartwarming story of friendship that grows under the guidance of a nurturing and mindful teacher is the backdrop for an intentional social story on building communication skills for children in culturally and linguistically diverse preschools, story hours, or child care programs.
Nosotros Means Us: Un cuento bilingüe
As a mother holds her toddler, they muse over the way their love would translate if they were different animals. But no matter how they change, they will always be “us.” This bilingual story is a timeless ode to the unshakable bond between parent and child.
Sweet Dreams/Dulces sueños
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. This title is part of the My Family/Mi Familia series.
Ten Little Birds / Diez Pajaritos
Count to 10 and back again with Latin Grammy Award-winning children's musical duo 123 Andrés in this bilingual board book! The popular song from 123 Andrés' Latin Grammy Award-winning album is cleverly and beautifully brought to life in this bright, bouncy board book! Each of the 10 birds is given a fun and silly personality, and children will love to follow along as each flies away — and escapes a lurking kitty!
Water Rolls, Water Rises/El agua rueda, el agua sube
Here is a poetic ode to the beauty of the natural world as expressed by the movement and moods of water on Earth. With every evocative verse, we visit one of fourteen different water landscapes and cultural areas around the world, each stunningly illustrated with a breathtaking view of a place of natural beauty and conveying a sense of the drama, joy, power, serenity, grandeur, or peacefulness of water.
What Can You Do With a Rebozo? / ¿Qué puedes hacer con un rebozo?
Product Description: In a playful celebration of a vibrant culture, a young girl and her family show all the things they do in their daily lives with a rebozo, a traditional Mexican woven shawl. Lively prose and rich illustrations honor a warm and colorful cultural icon.
Wiggling Pockets/Los bolsillos saltarines
"In this fourth offering from Mora's bilingual easy-reader series My Family/Mi familia, beginning readers follow the excitement as a young boy sneaks four frolicking frogs into the kitchen via his overall pockets. Chaos ensues when frogs begin leaping into the sink, on Abuelita's lap, on Tina's head, and in Mama's pie. The simple text is perfectly complemented by soft, expressive, watercolor illustrations comprised of simple lines and details."— REFORMA News
¡Pío Peep! Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes
Rhymes from Spanish speaking countries are presented in Spanish and recreated in English to form a bilingual collection, with attention to the sounds and patterns of both languages. Vivid illustrations complete this appealing book.
See more great related resources and videos in our Multicultural Literature section!