10 Spanish-Language Children's Books Your Kids Will Want to Read With You
Growing up, I was fortunate to have my abuelitos as caretakers while my parents went to work. Every day my grandfather would pick me up from school and take me to his and my grandmother's house in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, the border city across from my hometown of El Paso, Texas. Although it was common for Spanish-speaking students to enroll in bilingual classes, my parents didn't want me to; they wanted me to fully absorb and understand the English language.
My grandfather, however, decided to take it upon himself to teach me how to read and write in Spanish and further embrace my cultural roots through music and literature. I have fond memories of him patiently showing me how to pronounce certain words while reading children's short stories or the newspaper and helping me write love letters to my mom.
As a mom-to-be, I can't help thinking about my daughter's bicultural upbringing, how I want her to be bilingual (perhaps trilingual, like her mama!), and love and appreciate her family's Mexican heritage. To that end, these are the books I plan to share with her because it's never too early to teach your little bookworm how to read in Spanish.
Teaching my baby girl about nature will be uniquely exciting with La Naturaleza ($22), which invites her to learn about la rana, el río, and el pájaro and listen to their sweet melodies. Learning about nature and wildlife through interactive sound effects will help awaken her curiosity about the earth's many wonders.
Contando con Frida
Bilingual book Contando con Frida ($10) will help me teach my daughter how to count in both English and Spanish à la Frida Kahlo. With this book from Lil' Libros, she'll learn two things at once: Spanish and about one of the world's most prominent Mexican painters. I already plan on getting her the rest of the collection, which includes books on El Chavo, Celia Cruz, Selena, Cantinflas, and many more.
Buenas Noches ($35) is a bedtime storybook that can be personalized with your child's name, which makes it extra special for little ones. I look forward to reading bedtime stories to my mini-me as a way to relax and create the right conditions for some sweet dreams. Hasta mañana!
365 Cuentos Clásicos, Rimas y Otras Historias
They say you can't go wrong with the classics and this book of cuentos is no exception. It chronicles the lives and adventures of some of the most memorable characters in children's literature — from La Caperucita Roja to La Cenicienta. Rediscover cuentos magicos that will charm and enlighten your little reader with 365 Cuentos Clásicos, Rimas y Otras Historias ($13).
Habbi Habbi Starter Set
This interactive Habbi Habbi Starter Set ($110) includes a reading wand and five books that introduce tiny learners to first words and phrases. By tapping on an image or set of words, they'll hear new phrases, sounds, and music, making learning entertaining and fun.
As a first-time mom, this sweet book makes me a little emotional. Hija ($15) depicts a mother and father, lovingly telling their daughter what she can expect from life every step of the way. It teaches parents as much as children to appreciate the little things and not rush life's more special moments.
¡Me Gusta Cómo Soy!
Teaching my daughter about self-love is as valuable to me as teaching her about the importance of showing love and compassion to others. This cute little book, ¡Me Gusta Cómo Soy! ($6), is a bilingual gem for that reason. I plan to read it to her regularly, like a mantra I hope she'll never forget.
Oso Pardo, Oso Pardo, ¿Qué Ves Ahí?
I grew up with the English version of Oso Pardo, Oso Pardo, ¿Qué Ves Ahí? ($9), but I plan to have the Spanish edition in my child's library. The illustrations are as bright and vivid as I remember them, and I hope she enjoys the music of the language— "brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?"—as much as I did when I was a kid.
¡Qué Cosas Dice Mi abuela!
Our abuelitas always hold a special place in our hearts, which is why I love ¡Qué Cosas Dice Mi Abuela! ($4). Through the narrator's grandmother, the book teaches young readers about manners and traditional Spanish-language sayings. The Mexican phrases my grandmother shared with me throughout my childhood are deeply instilled in me and I plan to share them with my daughter one day.