back to top

10 Bilingual Books That Help Kids Learn Spanish

Because one of the best gifts you could give a kid is knowledge.

Posted on

2. Oli / Ollie, by Olivier Dunrea

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / Via barnesandnoble.com

Age Range: 1 - 3 years

What It's About: Two little ducks wait for their egg, Ollie, (or Oli, si usted prefiere) to hatch, but no matter of sitting, poking, prodding, or listening will hurry it up. (As you can see, this is a great way of helping little kids learn all sorts of verbs.)

Advertisement

3. Before You Were Here, Mi Amor, by Samantha Vamos

Viking Juvenile; Bilingual edition / Via amazon.com

Age Range: 3 - 5 years

What It's About: A mother describes a family's excitement and anticipation leading up to her child's birth, using a mixture of English and Spanish to describe things like shapes, colors, objects, and emotions. Includes a glossary!

4. Arroz Con Leche: Popular Songs and Rhymes from Latin America, by Lulu Delacre

Scholastic Paperbacks; Bilingual edition / Via mundolanugo.com

Age Range: 4 - 8 years

What It's About: A personal favorite, this book features a beautifully-illustrated collection of rhymes and songs from throughout Latin America, helping kids not only learn (or improve their knowledge of) another language, but about other cultures as well.

5. The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Suess and translated by Carlos Rivera

Age Range: 3 - 7 years

What It's About: Oh, you know this. The time-honored story of an offbeat cat with questionable taste in accessories (a hat... but no pants?) has been translated into several bilingual editions, helping kids learn to read in different languages through rhyme and humor.

6. Lotería: First Words, Primeras Palabras, by Patty Rodríquez and Ariana Stein

Little Libros, LLC / Via shop.lillibros.com

Age Range: 3 and up

What It's About: Inspired by the popular Mexican card game of the same name, Lotería uses images of cards featuring everyday items and symbols to teach children to name them in both English and Spanish.

The book's creators, who both grew up with Spanish as their first language, say they were inspired to write it because "we need books that belong to us, in more ways than one. We want to inspire parents, especially Latino parents, to read to their children at the youngest age."

7. The Moon is La Luna, by Jay M. Harris

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / Via barnesandnoble.com

Age Range: 4 years

What It's About: Fun rhymes in English and Spanish help kids expand their vocabulary in a fun way (and, hopefully, learn the difference between a "papá" and a "papa.")

8. What Can You Do With a Paleta?, by Carmen Tafolla

Dragonfly Books; Bilingual edition / Via amazon.com

Age Range: 3 - 7 years

What It's About: A story both about creative thinking and Mexican culture, this book uses both English and Spanish to take readers on a tour of a Mexican neighborhood. (And, for the uninitiated, a paleta is like a popsicle, only PERFECT.)

9. Waiting for the Biblioburro, by Monica Brown

Tricycle Press / Via amazon.com

Age Range: 5 - 8 years

What It's About: Ana lives in a small village with limited access to books... until the biblioburro (a veritable library carried by donkeys!) comes to town and inspires Ana to create stories of her own. The book is based on the life of Luis Soriano Bohorquez, who would bring books to children in Colombia on the backs of two donkeys.

10. Rana Ranita, by Hilda Perera

Everest De Ediciones Y Distribucion / Via amazon.com

Age Range: 3 and up

What It's About: Ok, I cheated. This book is entirely in Spanish. BUT the language used is very simple and straightforward. Plus, it was one of my favorite books as a child and I'd be remiss not to include it here. Rana Ranita tells the story of a frog, Rana Ranita, who doesn't want to marry Mr. Toad because she has way too many plans. She's an independent lady-frog, you know.

Promoted