Pin It
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

9 Children’s Books for Hispanic Heritage Month

9 Children’s Book’s for Hispanic Heritage Month

It’s time for a fiesta! Head to your local library or over to your favorite bookstore to explore some children’s books celebrating Latino culture and heritage. Here are our book recommendations for ages infant through eight+ for Hispanic Heritage month.


Age: 0+


Fiesta Babies by Carmen Tafolla and Illustrated by Amy C’ordova
In this fun and colorful book for babies and toddlers, children are out on the town—parading, dancing and singing with a mariachi band. This book is great for read-alouds, for introducing a culture and for learning a few Spanish words.



Opuestos: Mexican Folk Art Opposites in English and Spanish (English and Spanish Edition) by Cynthia Weill
Wood sculptures from Oaxaca by Quirino and M’artin Santiago
Against brightly colored backdrops, pictures of animals carved out of wood in very bold hues depict pairs of opposing words both in English and in Spanish.


High. Alto Low. Bajo
Hello. Hola. Goodbye. Adios.


It’s a wonderful Spanish starter book for young kids. I had fun saying them aloud several times so much so that I almost forgot I was reading it to my kids!


Age: 4+


What Can You Do with a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla and Illustrated by Magaly Morales
A book about paletas…popsicles…what’s not to love? This book is also a celebration of Latino barrios, neighborhoods where the accordion plays and the aroma of tacos fills up the air. And when the paleta wagon rolls in, all the barrio children are excited to pick out a flavor. We realized we truly love books by Carmen Tafolla—they are simple, engaging and always bursting with colors!



Pablo’s Tree by Pat Mora and Illustrated by Cecily Lang
This is a gentle story of the cherished bond a small boy shares with his grandfather, Lito. Lito had bought a tree around the time the family was preparing for Pablo’s adoption. He reminisces over the day Pablo came home and how he had welcomed him by planting the tree. Every year Lito decorates the tree in special ways for Pablo’s birthday and it’s a tradition now for Pablo to spend the night playing with Lito under the decked up tree. So how did Lito decorate the tree and surprise Pablo on this fifth birthday?



Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto and Illustrated by Ed Martinez
We partake in the festivities of a Latino family through a little girl’s predicament. Maria is caught up feeling all grownup while helping her mother make tamales for Christmas. And she forgets completely about the diamond ring she was trying on, even as she was kneading the masa. Where could it have gone? Maria and her cousins gobble up an entire batch of tamales to find the ring! With a smear of humor and an ambience of warmth in a Latino household, this book beautifully celebrates their culture.



I Love Saturdays y domingos by Alma Flor Ada and illustrated by Elivia Savadier
With a befitting title to begin, this book brings out the everyday experiences of a mixed- race child as she spends her weekends with two sets of grandparents—Saturdays with Grandma and Grandpa, and her Sundays with Abuelita y Abuelito. The juxtaposition of the cultural differences, while highlighting the uniqueness of their heritage, also gives insight into how much they have in common.



Just a Minute!: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book (Pura Belpre Medal Book Illustrator (Awards)) by Yuyi Morales
This book will make kids smile while also incorporating some basic counting in Spanish. Senor Calavera, who is a fun-looking skeleton (calavera means skull in Spanish), comes to Gandma Beetle’s house to take her with him, but she outsmarts him by stalling then stalling some more as he grows bored and impatient. The illustrations are bright and fun so even my easily frightened kids were not scared off by the skeleton and were emphatic we take this book home from the library. (Review by Stephanie Meade)


Age: 8+


Abuela’s Weave by Omar.S.Castenada and illustrated by Enrique.E.Sanchez
This is a heartwarming intergenerational story that captures the values, particularly the familial closeness of the Mayan people. Esperanza and her grandmother spend long hours every day weaving a tapestry together in their quiet village as they prepare for market day in a big city in Guatemala. As we follow Esperanza to the market (just as her grandmother does), we get a good sense of the country and its culture, including traditional attire, urban and rural lifestyles and an appreciation for the local handicrafts.



Oye, Celia! by Katie Sciurba and Illustrated by Edel Rodriguez
Oye, Celia!
When I hear you, I hear Cuba –
Your Cuba, my Cuba,
Our Cuba.


This book is a tribute to the Cuban-American salsa icon, Celia Cruz. This was a great introduction to both the revered singer and salsa dancing for my eight-year-old. The elaborate glossary was particularly educational. The text and the illustrations are also powerful and riveting. A great read to celebrate the arts during Hispanic Heritage month.
9 books for hispanic heritage month-final

© 2013, Meera Sriram. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:

An Islamic Perspective on Child-Rearing and Discipline

Does Islam's reputation for severity and harshness apply to how Muslims raise children?

How Bilingualism Can Fail in Multilingual Families

It’s easy to raise bilingual kids when you speak a second language, right? Wrong.

Don’t Touch My Child! Lessons from Asia

Has the West taken fear too far?

Language Resource Library for Raising Bilingual Kids

The most comprehensive list of language learning resources


Meera Sriram has been reviewing and recommending diverse children’s literature for about ten years now. She loves to pass on a title or an author to a friend (or a stranger, for that matter). Picture books particularly appeal to the inner child in her. She moved to the U.S. at the turn of the millennium from India. After graduate studies and a brief stint as an electrical engineer, she decided to express herself in other creative ways, primarily through writing. She has co-authored four books for children, all published in India. Her writing interests include people and cultures, nature, and life’s everyday moments. She also runs an early literacy program for toddlers and preschoolers in her neighboring communities. She lives in Berkeley, CA, with her husband and two kids. Curling up to read a good book with her children is something she looks forward to every day. She constantly fantasizes about a world with no boundaries over hot chai, to help her stay warm in foggy Northern California. More at

Leave us a comment!

  1. Comments9 Children’s Books for Hispanic Heritage Month | Mazzocchi ESL   |  Thursday, 26 September 2013 at 8:05 am

    […] 9 Children’s Books for Hispanic Heritage Month […]

  2. CommentsAnn   |  Monday, 30 September 2013 at 2:01 am


  3. CommentsClementina Llanes   |  Sunday, 06 October 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Perhaps you would like to check out my little bilingual children’s story with a nice recipe, The Pumpkin Moon Empanadas.” Please check my blog for a little peak. ¡Gracias!
    Clementina Llanes
    A Little Cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate

  4. CommentsIntegrating Our Bookshelves   |  Wednesday, 23 April 2014 at 3:10 pm

    […] *In Culture Parent – 9 Children’s Books for Hispanic Heritage Month *Florida Department of Education – Hispanic Heritage Month 2014 Recommended Reading List […]

  5. Commentsalma flor ada   |  Friday, 19 September 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Thanks for this wonderful website and for having recommend my book I LOVE SATURDAYS Y DOMINGOS.
    If you send me an email with your postal mailing address I would like to share with you my most recent book
    (co-authored with Isabel Campoy) YES, WE ARE LATINOS, which focuses on the diversity within the Latino heritage.
    Thanks for facilitating the “magical encounter” between children and good books!

  6. CommentsMeera Sriram   |  Saturday, 20 September 2014 at 11:35 am

    Thank you, Alma Flor Ada! It’s exciting to hear from you! We’d love to read your new book – I will email you the postal address.
    And thank you for being appreciative of our effort, yes, we truly hope children get to read wonderful books and stories from diverse cultures and continents!

Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!

A Children's Book for Raising Global Citizens

Every life is a story. It’s easier to understand someone when you know their story.

Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!
Unfortunately, the school and community are no longer there. The farm is being sold and there are tentative plans for a new iteration to be set up in Costa Ric...
From How I Moved to Thailand with my Family on Less than $1000
HI! I love your website! Just read your review of books that teach about culture and food! I can't wait to try some of the recipes you've share...
From Armenian Recipe: Apricot Tart
Please, refrain from using "western /western society" for anglosaxon countries. Western can be Mexico and Spain as well, anything on the west side of the world is western ...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
We've tried to make use of, but It doesn't works by any mean...
From African Parenting: The Sane Way to Raise Children
I'm back. Sorry, I stopped caring for this magazine for a while and forgot to discuss the meat of the matter. This article, as well as the linked article from 2011, fails to discuss cultural norms ...
From What Confused Me Most about Brits
Fascinating. I have been to Germany and met this guy who was soo rude! This article explains everything!! Since all Germans are so terribly rude it should come as no surprise that I should have met ...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@ Josep. How could you possibly comment on how Germans treat people if you have never even been there? A three-day stay in Berlin and a one day stop-over in Frankfurt was enough for me to see the ut...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
I am trying to find a Sikh triangular Nishan Sahib flag and haven't found one. Do you know where I can find on...
From Vaisakhi Craft: Make a Flag
I have tried to buy a Sikh triagular Nishan Sahib flag and had no luck. Do you know where I can find on...
From Vaisakhi Craft: Make a Flag

More Columns