Children's Books that Celebrate Hispanic Heritage By Country

Children's Books that Celebrate Hispanic Heritage By Country

by Janny Perez September 12, 2018

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage with Your Kids 

Hispanic Heritage Month is here and it's time to celebrate our Hispanic Heritage!  I couldn't find a list of children's books that were specific to Hispanic and Latin countries so I decided to create one. There are so many countries and each one celebrates it's culture, traditions, and even may speak Spanish differently, um plátano or banano?  Though we may be grouped by many as simply being Hispanic, Latino, or Mexican, the truth is that our countries are all different and these books celebrate our individual countries.   All of the books suggested have top reviews and though I personally haven't read all of them (yet), there are many on this list that I will definitely be getting for my daughter.   

This list includes children's books specific to a particular country.  I've also included links on where you can buy these to extend your collection this month. Finally, if I have one request tell me some of your favorite children's books in the comments and the country it celebrates so I can continue to expand the list!

List of Books By Country that Celebrates Hispanic Heritage

Children's Book - Argentina

Abuelo by Arthur Dorros Illustrated by Raul Colón

Abuelo - Argentina

"Colón's bright mixed-media illustrations are the highlight of Dorros's tale of a boy and his "abuelo gaucho" as they ride across what appears to be the pampas of Argentina. The dynamic interaction between the man and his grandchild is affectionately portrayed. Under the grandfather's gentle tutelage, the torch is passed from one generation to another as the child learns to apply valuable lessons to everyday life—such as standing firm when faced with a bully...All in all, this is a beautifully illustrated, sweet story."—Mary Margaret Mercado, Pima County Public Library

Type:  Hardcover

Pages:  32

Ages: 4-8 Years

Language: English with Spanish sprinkled

 

 

Children's Books - Bolivia

Camila y Los Sueños Bailarines/ Camila and the Dancing Dreams by Maya Salas

Bolivian Children's Books

"Written by  Maya Salas and illustrated by Valentina Campos, Camila and the Dancing Dreams is about a young girl who only wants to dance ballet like all her other friends.  She doesn’t understand why her mom is making her dance folkloric dance. Until one day, Camila has a dream that changes everything."

This book is one of many available at Kids' Books Bolivia, a collection of bilingual children’s books researched and written by undergraduate students on the SIT Study Abroad Program in Cochabamba, Bolivia.  Kids' Books Bolivia has published 38 books that have been distributed widely throughout Bolivia and the United States. 

Children's Book - Chile

Mariana and the Merchild A Folk Tale From Chile by Caroline Pitcher and Jackie Morris

Chilean Children's Book

"After a storm, lonely, old Mariana discovers a baby enclosed in a crab shell that has washed up on the beach. The child is a merbaby, and her mother, a resplendent sea spirit ). The mother asks Mariana to keep the child, just until the seas calm. Morris's style evokes both the solidity of indigenous art, with heavy, low-to-the-ground characters, and ethereal, fairy-tale illustration, as in the delicate colorations of the merbaby's red tail...the art conjures a folkloric world, where nature is no less mysterious than magic. "

Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Type:  Hardcover or Softcover

Pages:  32

Ages: 5-8 Years

Language: English 

 

Children's Books - Colombia

Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown, Illustrated by John Parra

Waiting for Biblioburro - Colombia

"On most days, teacher and librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez packs his two burros, Alfa and Beto, with books and makes his way over mountains and through valleys to visit children in far-flung villages in rural Colombia—all for the sake of literacy and culture. Based on the work of a remarkable man and his intrepid burros, this bilingual English and Spanish edition celebrates the impact that a special mobile library—called the 'biblioburro'—has had on the lives of real children." -Amazon Description

Type:  Hardcover 

Pages:  32

Ages: 5-8 Years

Language: Bilingual English & Spanish

Children's Book - Costa Rica

Costa Rica ABCs A Book About The People and Places of Costa Rica by Sharon Katz Cooper Illustrated by Allan Etzen

Costa Rica ABCs

What a great way to teach your child the alphabet! 

"Coffee and brightly painted oxcarts. Quetzals, coastlines, and the Montverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Learn the ABCs of Costa Rica in this exotic, colorful tour of the small but treasure-filled Central American country." -Amazon Description

Type:  Library Binding

Pages:  32

Ages: 5-11 Years

Language: English

 

Children's Book - Cuba

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach, A Cuban Folktale by Carmen Agra Deedy and Illustarted by Michael Austin

Children's Cuban STory

"Martina the beautiful cockroach doesn’t know coffee beans about love and marriage.  That’s where her Cuban family comes in.  While some of the Cucarachas offer her gifts to make her more attractive, only Abuela, her grandmother, gives her something really useful: un consejo increíble, some shocking advice. At first, Martina is skeptical of her Abuela’s unorthodox suggestion, but when suitor after suitor fails the Coffee Test, she wonders if a little green cockroach can ever find true love. Soon, only the gardener Pérez, a tiny brown mouse, is left. But what will happen when Martina offers him café cubano?" -Amazon Description

Type:  Hardcover or Paperback

Pages:  32

Ages: 4-8 Years

Language: English with Spanish sprinkled

 

 

Children's Book - Dominican Republic

The Secret Footprints by Julia Alvarez and Illustrated by Fabian Negrin

Dominican Children's Book

"The Dominican legend of the ciguapas, creatures who lived in underwater caves and whose feet were on backward so that humans couldn't follow their footprints, is reinvented by renowned author Julia Alvarez. Although the ciguapas fear humans, Guapa, a bold and brave ciguapa, can't help but be curious--especially about a boy she sees on the nights when she goes on the land to hunt for food. When she gets too close to his family and is discovered, she learns that some humans are kind. Even though she escapes unharmed and promises never to get too close to a human again, Guapa still sneaks over to the boy's house some evenings, where she finds a warm pastelito in the pocket of his jacket on the clothesline." -Amazon Description

Type:  Paperback

Pages:  40

Ages: 3-7 Years

Language: English with Spanish sprinkled

 

Children's Book - Ecuador

Tuki and Moka A Tale of Two Tamarins by Judy Young and Illustrated by Jim Madsen

Tuki and Moka - Ecuador Children's Book

"Eduardo and his family live in a small town in Ecuador, not far from the Amazon rainforest. The rainforest is an important part of their lives. Each month Eduardo and his father travel by river from their town to the rainforest. There, using just a basket and a machete, they gather Brazil nuts. They are castañeros and this is how they earn their living. But the rainforest is not only important to the castañeros; it is home to many exotic species of plants, birds, and mammals, including two playful tamarins that Eduardo has named Tuki and Moka. So although it is difficult work being a castañero, Eduardo looks forward to his visits to the rainforest so he can play with his two friends. But one night, the peace of the forest is threatened by poachers, animal traffickers who illegally capture and then try to sell some of the birds and animals. Can Eduardo save his friends?"-Amazon Description

Type:  Hardcover

Pages:  32

Ages: 6 - 9 Years

Language: English with Spanish sprinkled

 

Children's Book - El Salvador

Xochitl and the Flowers, Xóchitl, la Niña de Las Flores by Jorge Argueta Illustrated by Carl Angel

Children's El Salvador Book

"Miles away from their home in El Salvador, Xochitl (SOH-cheel) and her family make a new home in the United States, but nothing is the same. Xochitl mourns a lovely garden and her family s small flower business, all left behind. Selling flowers on the street soon provides more than income for the Flores family: they begin to make friends with local storeowners and neighbors. But it is not until the family decides to start a nursery in its backyard that Xochitl begins to learn the true value of community in their adopted country. Basing his narrative on real-life events, prize-winning poet Jorge Argueta has crafted a tender, poetic, and moving story about a family s determination to set down roots and about their child s blooming among friends and neighbors. Artist Carl Angel s authentic and brilliant artwork splendidly documents this quintessentially American immigration story." -Amazon Description

Type:  Softcover

Pages:  32

Ages: 6 - 10 Years

Language: English with Spanish sprinkled

 

Children's Book - Guatemala

Abuela's Weave by Omar S. Castañeda and Illustrated by Enrique O. Sanchez

Abuela's Weave - Guatemala Children's Book

"A 1993 Parent's Choice Award honoree, this story about the importance of family pride and personal endurance introduces children to the culture of Guatemala through the eyes of little Esperanza, who works with her abuela--her grandmother--on weavings to sell at the public market. Full color throughout."-Amazon Description

Type:  Softcover

Pages:  32

Ages: 4 - 8 Years

Language: English with Spanish sprinkled

 

Children's Book - Honduras

The Good Garden, How One Family Went From Hunger to Having ENough by Katie Smith Milway and Illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault

The good garden - Honduras Children Book

"From the best-selling author of One Hen comes the inspiring story of one struggling farming family in Honduras and their journey to growing enough food to meet their needs. Based on the real story of farm transformation underway in Honduras and many other countries, this book offers children ways they can be part of the movement to grow 'good gardens' and foster food security.
Eleven-year-old María Luz and her family live on a small farm. This year their crop is poor, and they may not have enough to eat or to sell for other essentials, such as health care, school uniforms and books." -Amazon Description 

Type:  Hardcover

Pages:  32

Ages: 5 - 10 Years

Language: English 

 

Children's Book - Mexico

Celebrations Holidays of the United States and Mexico, Celebraciones Días Feriados de los Estados Unidos y México

There are so many great children's books about Mexico and it's culture available that I'll dedicate a special post specifically to Mexican culture books.  For the sake of this blog, I'll keep it to this one that highlights what we have in common.

Mexico and the United States share more than a border.  The two countries share many of the same holidays, too - special days that reflect their common values and beliefs.  From respect for national heroes to religious holidays to honoring earth's cycles, there is so much they have in common.

Nancy Maria Grande Tabor's bilingual text and colorful folk-art illustrations highlight the rich cultural heritage of these neighbor countries.  Let's celebrate!

Type: Paperback

Age Range: 3 - 6 years

Paperback: 32 pages

Language:  Bilingual Spanish & English

  

 

 

Children's Book - Nicaragua

Uncle Nacho's Hat, EL Sombrero de Nacho adapted by Harriet Rohmeir and Illustrated by Mira Reisberg 

Nicaraguan Childrens Book

"When Ambrosia gives her Uncle Nacho a new hat, he tries to get rid of his old one, but to no avail. No matter what he does, the pesky hat keeps coming back to him. This classic folktale from the Puppet Workshop of Nicaraguan National Television, vividly illustrated by Mira Reisberg and presented in a bilingual edition, is a parable about the difficulties of making changes and shaking off old habits. The book includes an account of the origins of the story."-Amazon Description

Type: Paperback

Age Range: 6 - 8years

Paperback: 32 pages

Language:  Bilingual English and Spanish

 

Children's Book - Panamá

Conejito, A Folktale from Panama by Margaret Read MacDonald and Illustrated by Geraldo Valério

Childrens Book Panama

"When Conejito begins his school holiday, he goes to visit his Tía Mónica―or is it the cakes and cookies he knows she will feed him when he arrives? But Conejito runs into a few obstacles on the way to his auntie's, including Señor Zorro, Señor Tigre, and Señor León. Conejito may want to eat Auntie Mónica's treats, but Mr. Fox, Mr. Tiger, and Mr. Lion want to eat him!  With his own quick thinking and a little assist from Tía Mónica, Conejito outwits the bigger animals and makes his way safely home. This Latin American folktale from Panama highlight Rabbit's courage and resourcefulness to outwit Fox, Tiger, and Lion. It is also accompanied with a song that young readers will love. This folktale from Panama is a great way to introduce Spanish into your children's vocabulary!" -Amazon Description

Type: Paperback

Age Range: 4 - 8years

Paperback: 32 pages

Language:  English with sprinkled Spanish

Children's Book - Paraguay

Ada's Violin The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood and Illustrated by Sally Wern Comport

Paraguay Children's Book

"From award-winning author Susan Hood and illustrator Sally Wern Comport comes the extraordinary true tale of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay, an orchestra made up of children playing instruments built from recycled trash.
Ada Ríos grew up in Cateura, a small town in Paraguay built on a landfill. She dreamed of playing the violin, but with little money for anything but the bare essentials, it was never an option...until a music teacher named Favio Chávez arrived. He wanted to give the children of Cateura something special, so he made them instruments out of materials found in the trash. It was a crazy idea, but one that would leave Ada—and her town—forever changed. Now, the Recycled Orchestra plays venues around the world, spreading their message of hope and innovation." -Amazon Description

Type:  Hardcover 

Pages:  32

Ages: 4 -8 Years

Language: Available in English or Spanish

 

 

Children's Book - Peru

Maria Had a Little Llama, María Tenia una Llama Pequeña by Angela Dominguez

Peru Children's Book

"Everyone knows about Mary and her little lamb. But do you know Maria? With gorgeous, Peruvian-inspired illustrations and English and Spanish retellings, Angela Dominguez gives a fresh new twist to the classic rhyme. Maria and her mischievous little llama will steal your heart."  -Amazon Description

I had the pleasure of meeting Angela Dominguez at last year's children's Book festival in Brooklyn, NY.  I was a little geeked out.  I love her illustrations and simplicity of her books.  They are a great addition to your children's library.Angela Dominguez

Type:  Hardcover 

Pages:  32

Ages: 4 -7 Years

Language: Bilingual English or Spanish

 

Children's Book - Puerto Rico

Kiki Kokí La Leyenda Encantada del Coquí by Ed Rodríguez

Puerto Rican Children's Book

"A magical Spanish-language tale, Kiki Koki tells the story of a little Taino Indian boy who is too lazy to help his tribe prepare for the Moon Festival. To punish Kiki Koki, the Moon Goddess turns him into a tree frog. To return to his human form, he must rescue his new frog friends from dangerous pirates, and, in the process, learns that friendship takes courage, dedication, and hard work. With its vibrant illustrations, heartwarming message, and adorable hero, children will love this fun tale." -Amazon Description

Type:  Softcover 

Pages:  40

Ages: 4 -8 Years

Language: Spanish

 

Children's Book - Spain

Lola's Fandango by Anna Witte and Illustrated by Micha Archer

Lola's Fandango Book from Spain

"Little Lola is tired of living in her big sister's shadow. But when she starts taking secret flamenco lessons from her Papi, will she find the courage to share her new skill with the world?" - Amazon Description

Type:  Softcover 

Pages:  32

Ages: 5 - 6 Years

Language: English or Spanish

 

Children's Book - Uruguay

El Camino de Olaj by Martín León Barreto

Uruguay Childrens Book

"When Olaj goes out for a walk on his little planet, a series of fantastic creatures follow along after him." -Amazon Description

Written and illustrated  by Martín León Barreto, Uruguayan illustrator and graphic designer currently based in Madrid, Spain.

"Mostly focused on the editorial field, Barreto  illustrates for children as well for adults, including big school book collections, creating characters, or developing conceptual images for magazines and newspapers
The common point is always the simple and economical pencil line which is hidden behind each illustration. The line is the soul. Textures or flat colors are just the shell." www.martinleonbarreto.com

Type:  Hardcover 

Pages: 48

Ages: 5 - 6 Years

Language: Spanish

  

Children's Book - Venezuela

Where is Venezuela?  by Nacho Palacios and Illustrated by Leo Nieves

Venezuela Children's Book

 

"When Alesia and Jose ask their grand father: WHERE IS VENEZUELA? Papapa takes them on a fun and magical trip to the amazing venezuelan landscapes that not only helps them ubicate the place in the world but also awakens within them an exciting sense of belonging towards their country and their people." -Amazon Description

Type:  Paperback

Pages: 38

Ages: 5 - 6 Years

Language: English or Spanish

Final Thoughts on Hispanic Heritage Children's Books

No matter what country you are from or where your children were born, expanding your knowledge about other countries and cultures will expand your view and your children's view of the world we live in.  I hope this book list will help your family achieve that.

If you have recommendations for books please a comment!

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Janny Perez
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