Toys and Books that Celebrate Hispanic Heritage and Latino Icons

Toys and Books that Celebrate Hispanic Heritage and Latino Icons

by Janny Perez September 19, 2018

It's Hispanic Heritage Month and as a Colombian mom raising a multicultural daughter, it's important to me that she grows up playing with toys that reflect the diverse world that we live in and that celebrate her Latino roots.  I've created a list of toys that celebrate important Hispanic icons, diversity, and that would be a great addition during this month or as an early Christmas gift for your child!  Check it out...

Hispanic Icons - Children's Books and Toys List

Celebrating Hispanic Icon Frida Kahlo - Mexico

Yes, she's the lady with the unibrow and female mustache, but Frida Kahlo is an icon for many reasons.  She was an artist that explored Mexican culture and is said to be an icon for women's feminism.  Here are some Frida Kahlo toys that inspire even the youngest and their creativity.

The Unemployed Philosophers Guild Frida Kahlo Little Thinker - 11" Plush Doll for Kids and Adults

Recommended Ages: 5+

Frida Kahlo Doll

Comes with a removable tag with a portrait, quotes, and achievements. 
Approximately 11" tall.  What a great way to celebrate this icon and teach your child about this Mexican icon.

 

The Unemployed Philosophers Guild Frida's Frocks and Smocks - Frida Kahlo Magnetic Dress Up Doll Play Set

Recommended Ages: 5+

Frida Kahlo Dress Up Game

My daughter loves to play with magnets and creating new looks.  This looks like a fun game to create looks even Frida herself would be proud of! Mix and Match Frida on your fridge.  Magnet set includes two sheets of accessories, measuring approximately 7.5" x 12" each. Dozens of pieces for nearly limitless options on your refrigerator, or any other magnetic surface. This set does not include a magnetic board.

 

 

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos

Recommended Ages: 3-7

Frida Kahlo Book

A great way to bundle your gift is to add a book so that your child can better comprehend the character that they are playing with.  If you're a John Parra fan then this book may be great for your collection.  In this book, "two well-known children's book creators present the life of iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo through the kid-friendly lens of her animal friends." -Shelley M. Diaz, School Library Journal

Book Type:  Hardcover

Language:  Available in English or Spanish

 

 

Celebrating Hispanic Icon Ellen Ochoa - Mexico

Dr. Ellen Ochoa is best known for becoming the first Hispanic woman to go into space.  She was also the Johnson's Space Center's first Hispanic director.  What a great role model for Hispanic girls and boys!  Here are some toys that will inspire your child's dreams of going into space!

American Girl - Luciana Vega - Luciana Doll & Book - American Girl of 2018

Recommended Ages: 7+

Luciana American Girl Latina Doll

Ok, so this one is a splurge and I'd recommend it for your older child, unless you buy it and save it for later as I've done with other collector dolls, or have abuela buy it ;).  I absolutely love that American Girl introduced this doll.  What an inspiration for young girls everywhere!

 

Aeromax Jr. Astronaut Suit with Embroidered Cap and NASA patches

Unisex Astronaut Dress Up ELlen Ochoa

Whether your child is girl or boy, this beats the typical princess and superhero stereotype of dressing up.  Available in multiple sizes and colors, this is a great addition for everyday dress up, Halloween, and celebrating Hispanic icon Ellen Ochoa.

 

Ellen Ochoa (Little Biographies of Big People)

Recommended Ages: 6+

Hispanic Icon Ellen Ochoa Book

Learn more about this Hispanic icon.  "There are few books that tell Ellen Ochoa's life story in an accessible, captivating way with age-appropriate language for young readers. Finally, here's a book that explores her barrier-breaking work as an astronaut and science administrator in a way that gives perspective about her struggle as a woman and Hispanic person in the world of science." -Amazon description

Book Type: Paperback

Pages: 24

Language: English

 

 

Celebrating Hispanic Icon Gabriel García Márquez - Colombia

Gabriel García Márquez was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, and journalist known to many as Gabo or Gabito.  He is said to be one of the most significant 20th century authors and one of the best in Spanish language.  He known throughout Latin America and the world.  This book and puppet will inspire even your smallest writer!

The Unemployed Philosophers Guild Gabriel Garcia Marquez Finger Puppet and Refrigerator Magnet - For Kids and Adults

Recommended Ages: 3+

Gabriel Garcia Marquez Hispanic Icon Doll

 Many kids love finger puppets.  On your finger it's a puppet, on your fridge it's a magnet!  Approximately 4" tall.  Comes with a removable tag with a portrait, quotes, and achievements.

 

 

My Name is Gabito / Me llamo Gabito: The Life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (English, Multilingual and Spanish Edition) 

Recommended ages: 4-7

Gabito Gabriel Garcia Marquez Book

"Can you imagine a shipwrecked sailor living on air and seaweed for eight days? Can you imagine a trail of yellow butterflies fluttering their wings to songs of love? Once, there was a little boy named Gabito who could. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is perhaps one of the most brilliant writers of our time. He is a tremendous figure, enormously talented, and unabashedly admired. This is his story, lovingly told, for children to enjoy. Using the imagery from his novels, Monica Brown traces the novelist's life in this creative nonfiction picture book from his childhood in Colombia to today. This is an inspiring story about an inspiring life, full of imagination and beauty. " - Amazon description.

Book Type: Hardcover

Pages: 32

Language:  Bilingual Spanish and English

  

Celebrating Hispanic Icon Gabriela Mistral - Chile

Gabriela Mistral (her pseudonym) was a Chilean poet, diplomat, teacher, and humanist.  She became the first Latin American to receive a Nobel Prize in literature.  Here are some toys and book that celebrate her life, role as a teacher, and her Chilean heritage.

Barbie Teacher Doll - Brunette

Recommended Ages: 3+

Gabriela Mistral Barbie

"Explore careers with Barbie dolls and play sets that have fun features!  The Barbie teacher doll comes with a toddler student and classroom set that covers lots of topics" -Amazon Description

I love toys that inspire children to make a difference and teachers can sometimes make the biggest impact (besides parents, of course).  And I love that she comes in a brunette version! 

 

 

Mattel Year 2011 Barbie Collector Pink Label "Barbie of the World" Series 12 Inch Doll - Barbie CHILE

Chilean Barbie Doll

What a beautiful doll, I wouldn't mind having one myself!  It's great that we can celebrate dolls from different countries and expose our children to the many different countries.  While there isn't a specific Gabriela Mistral doll (that I found) this one can open up a conversation about Chile and it's icons like Gabriela Mistral, Isabel Allende, or Violeta Parra.

 

My Name Is Gabriela/Me llamo Gabriela (Rise and Shine) (English, Multilingual and Spanish Edition)

Gabriela Mistral Book

"Gabriela Mistral loved words and sounds and stories. Born in Chile, she would grow to become the first Nobel Prize-winning Latina woman in the world. As a poet and a teacher, she inspired children across many countries to let their voices be heard. This beautifully crafted story, where words literally come to life, is told with the rhythm and melody of a poem." - Amazon Description

 

Celebrating Hispanic Icons Tito Puente and Celia Cruz - Puerto Rico & Cuba

There are many accomplished Hispanic music icons.  We will highlight Tito Puente and Celia Cruz. 

Tito Puente was born in NY with Puerto Rican heritage.  He is known as "The King of Latin Music" or "El rey del Mambo" (Mambo King).  He was an accomplished musician that played many instruments including piano, saxophone, bongos, congas, and timbales.  He is known best for Latin jazz and Mambo.

Celia Cruz was a Cuban-American singer best known for her Salsa music.  Better known as the "Queen of Salsa," Celia Cruz recording over 70 albums, receiving 23 gold albums, and various awards. 

Here are some toys and books that will inspire your little musicians...AZUCAR!

First Act Discovery FB6125 Kids Bongo Drums

Recommended Ages: 4+

Kids Tito Puente Bongos

Oye como va, the rhythm of your child playing these child bongos.  Inspire their creativity and passion for music with these.  I love that they're colorful, bright, and a great addition to celebrate Latin music.

 

TOSING Wireless Kids Portable Karaoke Microphones with Bluetooth Speaker for Music Playing and Singing Machine System for iPhone/Android Smartphone/Tablet (gold)

Recommended Ages: 3+

To Sing Child Microphone

My husband bought our daughter this microphone and it has been the biggest hit!  It is quite loud, offers an echo, and she uses it almost everyday to serenade us with her favorite songs, like Frozen's "Libre Soy," or Shakira's "Waka Waka."  It's super convenient since you can simply charge it and very reasonably priced.  Hey, you never know if you have the next Selena Quintanilla or Vicente Fernandez in your hands!

 

 

Tito Puente, Mambo King/Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo: Bilingual Spanish-English (Pura Belpre Honor Books - Illustration Honor)

Recommended Ages: 4+

Tito Puente Book

In this vibrant bilingual picture book biography of musician Tito Puente, readers will dance along to the beat of this mambo king's life. Tito Puente loved banging pots and pans as a child, but what he really dreamed of was having his own band one day. From Spanish Harlem to the Grammy Awards—and all the beats in between—this is the true life story of a boy whose passion for music turned him into the "King of Mambo." -Amazon description

Book Type: Hardcover

Pages: 32

Language:  Bilingual Spanish and English

 

Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa

Recommended Ages: 5+

Celia Cruz Children's Book

"Everyone knows the flamboyant, larger-than-life Celia Cruz, the extraordinary salsa singer who passed away in 2003, leaving millions of fans brokenhearted. indeed, there was a magical vibrancy to the Cuban salsa singer. to hear her voice or to see her perform was to feel her life-affirming energy deep within you. relish the sizzling sights and sounds of her legacy in this glimpse into Celia’s childhood and her inspiring rise to worldwide fame and recognition as the Queen of salsa. Her inspirational life story is sure to sweeten your soul. " -Amazon Description

Final Thoughts on Hispanic Icons 

There are so many Hispanic and Latino men and women that have made a huge difference and whose lives are worth remembering and celebrating.  These are only a handful.  I invite you to celebrate and embrace them whether you are Hispanic or not.  Enjoy and celebrate your heritage, your family's roots, this month and every month.  Let's inspire our children to dream big, to go farther and further than we can ever dream of, so they can lead the next generation and who knows, maybe even become icons themselves!

If you have additional books, toys, that celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture please write them in the comments, we can all use the help :)

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Mil Gracias!

 




Janny Perez
Janny Perez

Author




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