Bilingual Picture Books in English and Spanish: Hispanic Heritage
These bilingual picture books offer stories, poems, songs, and more in English and Spanish, often side by side or within the same volume. Most are written and/or illustrated by Latinx authors and they highlight diverse cultural traditions, stories, and perspectives, making them great additions to classroom or school library collections.
Angels Ride Bikes and Other Fall Poems
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
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.
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.
Meet Abuela and Isabela, who tell each other stories while Abuela braids and unbraids Isabela's hair every day. When Isabela discovers Abuela can't read, she finds a wonderful way to help her grandmother. Lovely illustrations bring Isabela and Abuela to life in this heartwarming book about the importance of passing down traditions across generations.
Call Me Tree/Llámame árbol
In this spare, lyrically written story, we join a child on a journey of self-discovery. Finding a way to grow from the inside out, just like a tree, the child develops as an individual comfortable in the natural world and in relationships with others. Maya Christina Gonzalez once again combines her talents as an artist and a storyteller to craft a gentle, empowering story about belonging, connecting with nature, and becoming your fullest self. Young readers will be inspired to dream and reach, reach and dream . . . and to be as free and unique as trees.
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.
Finding the Music / En pos de la música
When Reyna accidentally breaks Abuelito's vihuela — a small guitar-like instrument — she ventures out into the neighborhood determined to find someone who can help her repair it. No one can fix the vihuela, but along the way Reyna gathers stories and mementos of Abuelito and his music. Still determined, Reyna visits the music store, where the owner gives her a recording of Abuelito's music and promises that they can fix the vihuela together.
From the Bellybutton of the Moon and other Summer Poems
The poet remembers summers growing up in Mexico in poems presented in both English and Spanish. Readers meet his family and join them in the everyday joys of the sunny season. Illustrations are as colorful and evocative as the words.
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.
Half-Chicken: A Folk Tale in English and Spanish
Do you know why a weather vane has a little rooster on the top, spinning around to tell us which way the wind is blowing? Here is the answer in this old story about Half-Chicken, who has one eye, one leg, and one wing. His adventures take him far and wide until he's carried straight to the top, in this lively retelling — in Spanish and English — of a traditional folktale.
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.
Iguanas in the Snow and Other Winter Poems
Francisco X. Alarcón describes in this book many of his winter experiences growing up in the city of San Francisco, California. He has taken many of his childhood experiences to create fun, creative poems. Bilingual text.
Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems
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.
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.
Luca’s Bridge/El Puente de Luca
Luca has never lived outside the U.S., but when his parents receive a letter in the mail, the family must pack up and leave home for a strange land. Together in their car, Luca, his brother Paco, and their parents head across the border to Mexico where his parents were born. Luca doesn’t understand why he must leave the only home he’s ever known, his friends, and his school. He struggles through lonely and disorienting times ― reflected both in Real’s delicate, symbolic illustrations and through Llanos’ description of his dreams ― and leans on music, memory, and familial love for support.
Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match
Meet Marisol McDonald, a spunky young girl with fiery red hair and brown skin who wears green polka dots with purple stripes, mixes English and Spanish, and eats peanut butter and jelly burritos. Everyone tells her she doesn't match, until one day she tries matching — and discovers that it makes her miserable. At the end of the day, however, her teacher shares a special secret with her and lets her know she likes Marisol for who she is: a creative, bilingual Peruvian-Scottish-American!
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.
My Tata's Remedies
Aaron, who lives in the American Southwest, has asked his grandfather Tata to teach him about the healing remedies he uses. Tata is a neighbor and family elder. People come to him all the time for his soothing solutions and for his compassionate touch and gentle wisdom. Tata knows how to use herbs, teas, and plants to help each one. His wife, Grandmother Nana, is there too, bringing delicious food and humor to help Tata's patients heal. An herbal remedies glossary at the end of the book includes useful information about each plant, plus botanically correct drawings.
My Very Own Room
Product Description: The young Mexican American girl at the center of this charming book loves her family — five younger brothers, her two parents, and several visiting relatives — but in such a crowded house, she can never seem to find a moment alone. Told in both English and Spanish, this boldly illustrated title based on the author's childhood delivers the inspiring story of a California family that pulled together to give a young girl her own corner of the world.
Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People
Neftali always loved nature and words. This fondness allowed Neftali — better known as Pablo Neruda — to create poetry in a "voice [that] was heard across nations and ocean." Rich language and lush illustrations that incorporate words in Spanish and English are sure to enthuse young writers while introducing this Nobel-winning poet.
Follow along with our narrator as he passes through his busy neighborhood in search of the Paletero Man. But when he finally catches up with him, our narrator’s pockets are empty. Oh no! What happened to his dinero? It will take the help of the entire community to get the tasty treat now. Includes an author’s note from Lucky Diaz and a link to a live version of the Lucky Band’s popular song that inspired the book. Translated by Dr. Carmen Tafolla.
Poems to Dream Together
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.
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.
René Has Two Last Names
"René, a new student from El Salvador, doesn't understand why his second last name is missing from his desk's name label. Adding it results in a name so long that his classmates make fun of it by comparing it to that of a dinosaur…When his teacher assigns the students the project of creating a family tree, René is determined to show his classmates and teacher why he has two last names and the importance of his dos apellidos." — School Library Journal
Side by Side: The Story of Dolores Huerta and César Chávez
Many years ago in California, an energetic young Girl Scout named Dolores worked to raise money for soldiers fighting in World War II. A thoughtful young boy named Cesar worked in the fields to help his family put food on the table. As young adults, these two extraordinary individuals would meet and spend the rest of their lives working tirelessly on behalf of migrant workers and children through nonviolent struggle — side by side.
Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx
This bilingual picture book tells the story of Sotomayor's childhood in the Bronx, her time at Princeton, and her confirmation on the Supreme Court, with a special focus on her mother's unwavering support throughout her life. Lovely illustrations capture the warmth and joy of Sotomayor's family and story. Note: The biography includes a discussion of the racial undertones of her nomination and confirmation hearing.
Super Cilantro Girl/La Superniña del Cilantro
What happens when a small girl suddenly starts turning green, as green as a cilantro leaf, and grows to be fifty feet tall? She becomes Super Cilantro Girl, and can overcome all obstacles, that's what! Esmeralda Sinfronteras is the winning super-hero in this effervescent tale about a child who flies huge distances and scales tall walls in order to rescue her mom. Award-winning writer Juan Felipe Herrera taps into the wellsprings of his imagination to address and transform the concerns many first-generation children have about national borders and immigrant status.
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.
Sweet Memories /Dulces recuerdos
Kathleen Contreras follows up her debut picture book Braids/Trencitas with a loving portrait of a young boy and his grandfather, who share memories and their love of paletas, the delicious popsicles that originated in Michoacan, Mexico.
That Girl on TV Could Be Me!: The Journey of a Latina News Anchor
Growing up near Sacramento, CA, little Leticia dreams of being a TV newscaster. But no one on TV looks like her. This shy, small-town girl overcomes barriers, like her fear of public speaking, to become the first in her hardworking Mexican family to attend college. Then, starting as an intern, she climbs the ladder, travels to different cities, and reports on a rainbow of stories. Eventually can she land her dream job... to work at her hometown Channel 3?
The Remembering Day / El día de los muertos
Long, long, long ago, Bella and her grandmother Mamá Alma admired their vegetable garden. They liked gardening together. They grew sunflowers and lilies too, and chatted with lizards and hummingbirds. They walked around the flowers and vegetables holding hands, something they had done frequently since Bella was a baby. As her grandmother aged, Bella helped her to walk. "Every year, I need your help more and more," said Mamá Alma.
The Storyteller's Candle
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.
Tito Puente, Mambo King
Tito Puente was born to be a musician. He grew up to become the Mamba King to whose music people danced the mambo, rumba and cha-cha. Rhythmic language and animated illustrations briefly present Tito's life and the impact of music throughout.
What Can You Do With a Paleta? /¿Qué Puedes Hacer con una Paleta?
Product Description: As she strolls through her barrio, a young girl introduces readers to the frozen, fruit-flavored treat that thrills Mexican and Mexican-American children. Create a masterpiece, make tough choices (strawberry or coconut?), or cool off on a warm summer's day — there's so much to do with a paleta!
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
¡Vámonos! Lets Go!
From their window on the bus, a girl and a boy see a fire truck that goes woo-ooo-ooo, also known as a camión de bomberos--uuuah uuuah uuuah. They see a train, an ambulance and an airplane too! With this rollicking adaptation of "The Wheels on the Bus," young people can sing out the names of their favorite vehicles and the sounds they make -- in both English and Spanish.
¡Yum! ¡Mmmm! ¡Qué Rico!
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.
See more great related resources and videos in our Multicultural Literature section!