Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bilingual Spanish Picture Books for Children, Grades K-3

The books listed below are perfect for children, grades K-3, whose heritage emanates from any of the Spanish-speaking cultures of the Western Hemisphere or for any youngster looking for a really fun and vibrant picture book. The list below includes several bilingual materials as well as materials in English that incorporate the Spanish language, while accurately representing these cultures. Hispanics are often underrepresented in libraries and I believe it is important that we serve this growing population in public libraries across America. In addition to the bilingual materials listed below, the Naperville Public Library also has a growing number of Spanish children's books within our World Language Collection located in the Children's Department at each branch! Many libraries across the the U.S. are growing their bilingual collections too and these titles are ones that should definitely be included!

 Easy Fiction
This imaginative picture book features a playful Latina girl, with her cleft chin, beauty mark, and wide, brown, almond-shaped eyes, who tries to find color and beauty in her childhood world of the California Mojave Desert. This bilingual, multicultural, color-concept story is perfect for any young Spanish-speaking girl looking for a beautifully illustrated story with a touch of magical realism.

  Mora, Pat. Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children's Day/Book Day / Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros. New York, NY: Rayo, 2009. Print.
In this bilingual English and Spanish picture book, children read aloud in various settings to celebrate ¡El dîa de los niños!/¡El dîa de los libros! (Children’s Day/Book Day). This vibrant story written by award-winning author, Pat Mora, features a happy assortment of multicultural children, adults, and friendly critters with facts about Mexico's annual celebration that encourages literacy among children.

Pérez, Amada Irma. My Very Own Room / Mi propio cuartito. San Francisco: Children's Book Press, 2000. Print.
This colorful story, translated in English and Spanish, is of a young Mexican American girl that feels very crowded in her home with 5 brothers and with the help of her family, the resourceful girl realizes her dream of having a space of her own to read and to think. This story depicts the family life and culture of many Mexican American children with its delightful story that is bound to be very relatable to children living in small spaces.

Tafolla, Carmen. What Can You Do With a Paleta? / ¿Qué Puedes Pacer Con Una Paleta?. Bilingual Edition. Berkeley, California: Tricycle Press, 2009. Print.
This award-winning bilingual picture book features a young Mexican American girl that celebrates the paleta, an icy fruit popsicle, and the many roles it plays in her lively barrio. This simultaneous dual-language edition presents a parallel Spanish translation that accompanies the English text while offering an appealing introduction to a yummy aspect of Latino culture.

J Nonfiction

Brown, Monica, and Raúl Colón. My Name is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel García Márquez = Me llamo Gabito: la vida de Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Flagstaff, Ariz.: Luna Rising, 2007. Print.
This story is an introduction to the life and work of the Nobel prize-winning Colombian author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and describes how the things that surrounded him inspired his imagination and his desire to become a storyteller. This bilingual biographical picture book is a very interesting description of what childhood was like for the imaginative young boy growing up in Aracataca, Colombia.
 Emert, Phyllis Raybin. Sonia Sotomayor: a judge grows in the Bronx = Sonia Sotomayor: la juez que crecio en el Bronx. Detroit, MI: Lucent Books, 2011. Print.
A biography of the first Puerto Rican Supreme Court justice emphasizes how she overcame a childhood of poverty in the South Bronx through her own and her mother's hard work and determination.  The Spanish translation of this story makes the book accessible to Latino families, where Sotomayor’s story can inspire children of all ethnic, racial, and economic backgrounds to work hard and pursue educational and professional success.

Morales, Yuyi. Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2003. Print.
Skeleton Senor Calavera arrives at Grandma Beetle's door, ready to take her to the next life, but after helping her count in English and Spanish as she makes her birthday preparations, he changes his mind. This story is the perfect introduction to counting in both English and in Spanish and is a spirited tribute to the rich traditions of Mexican culture, including the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead.

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