Hispanic Heritage Month Books for Kids
It’s Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, one of my favorite times of year! We love to celebrate with crafts, music, food, as well as, of course, books! Below are some of our favorite new Hispanic Heritage Month books for kids, from board books to middle grade novels. They include works from exciting new authors as well as beloved favorites.
Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of some of the books below for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no cost to you.
Hispanic Heritage Month Books for Kids
Celebrate the rich cultures of Latin American with these Hispanic Heritage Month books for kids!
Award-winning author Juana Martinez-Neal returns with two new bilingual board books about the beloved character Alma, star of Alma and How She Got Her Name
. Now even very young readers can get to know Alma, as she and her friend Pajarito teach simple words and phrases in English and Spanish. The first book covers words for parts of the body and the senses, as Alma smells flowers and caresses Pajarito’s feathers. The second book teaches words for family members, as we see Alma kiss her father and play with her cousins. Little ones will love the gentle, unique style of the illustrations, as they learn these early concepts along with Alma. Don’t miss my interview with the author/illustrator.
These adorable bilingual board books are perfect whether you want to teach your kids Spanish or reinforce what they already know. Moreover, they use popular Latinx dances to teach counting (¡1, 2, 3 Salsa!), music (¡1, 2, 3 Merengue!), and manners (¡1, 2, 3 Cumbia!). A sweet way to incorporate Latinx culture into teaching early concepts.
From the creator of Gustavo, the shy ghost, comes a new set of board books en español! These monster-themed books feature early concepts for young readers. Los monstruos juegan … !cucú! comes with large flaps that are easy for little hands to lift, revealing which monster is hiding under the sheet. Can you guess who it is? You have to pay attention to the noises they make! Los monstruos juegan…!a contar!is a fun way to teach early countrin skills. Can you read like a monster with THREE eyes? Or play like a monster with SIX arms? Little ones will love learning along with the monsters – !en español!
Benita and the Night Creatures draws from Peruvian folklore to create a spooky situation for a young girl who just wants to read her bedtime book in peace. When creepy creatures of the night try to scare Benita, they are shocked that the girl doesn’t seem scared. They become increasingly frustrated, so each night they bring a new awful friend to join them in their haunting. In the end, Benita shows them the wonder of the books she so enjoys. Stories, they discover, are the real magic!
La Mariachi is a wonderful book for any kid who has been told they can’t follow their dream just because of who they are. Tuchi just wants to join the mariachi ensemble at her school, but her teacher tells her no. After all, everyone knows mariachi is just for boys! But Tuchi wishes on the moon (Señora Luna) to help her make her wish come, and her persistence and enthusiasm finally wins her a spot as a mariachi. A loving tribute to this beautiful musical tradition and how it is evolving to become more inclusive of women and girls. Includes information at the back about the different instruments used in mariachi music.
Plátanos Are Love is a tribute to plantains, one of the quintessential foods from Latin America. A young girl’s abuela teaches her that plátanos are more than just food. They represent community, family, and overcoming adversity. They represent the past, present, and future. But most importantly, they represent love. This delightful book takes us on a journey through a family’s history and how it is intimately tied to food. We watch as the girl and her abuela make various mouth-watering dishes from the Dominican Republic, like tostones, mangú, and (my favorite) maduros. Don’t worry, recipes are included at the back! A wonderful book to share over your favorite family dish. Be sure to watch my interview with the author.
World renowned shark scientist Melissa Cristina Márquez mixes fantasy with memoir in this gorgeous new picture book about her own journey of falling in love with the ocean as a child in Puerto Rico. The lush illustrations help create the magical element to the story, as a shark leads her on a fantastical journey through the waters and gives her a glimpse of the life ahead of her as the Mother of Sharks, devoted to their study. A wonderful book to encourage more girls, especially Latine girls, to enter STEM fields.
This is a fun early middle grade read about a young Panamanian-American girl struggling with her changing relationship with her best friend, who has moved away and started making new friends. Meanwhile, she has to deal with the nightmare of her older sister’s upcoming quinceñera – as if her sister weren’t enough of a drama queen already. Readers will love this spunky heroine and her heartfelt but often hilarious attempts to navigate the changes in her life.
This new graphic novel is one of my favorite new books! It is a memoir about a memorable road trip, the importance of family, and finding your own voice. Pedro is nervous about bringing his abuelito back from Mexico to live with them, but the long road trip home, crowded into an RV with his large family, gives Pedro time to reconnect with his abuelito and learn what it means to grow up. This is an epic road trip story complete with danger, laughter, Star Wars, and loss, which readers will want to read again and again.
This is the perfect book for anyone who’s been told that their dreams are silly. Steph just wants to be an artist, but her friends tell her to think of a more practical career, and her Dominican mother flat-out refuses to let her apply to the local arts high school. Tired of having her dream quashed, Steph begins to deceive everyone, only focusing on her singular goal of getting into art school. A relatable story about a girl trying to figure out how to do what’s right for her, even if that means letting down everyone else. Based on the author/illustrator’s own experiences growing up in the Bronx.
This middle grade novel in verse is about secrets that can tear families apart, and how to adapt when even your own body begins to betray you. Aniana loves to swim, but her mother, traumatized by a tragedy from her past, refuses to let her. So instead, her father begins to let her train and even join the swim team in secret. When Aniana notices her body is not reacting as it should, she holds back from telling her parents, afraid that her secret swimming will be revealed. The pressure compounds until finally Aniana is forced to tell a doctor – and her mother – the truth. As Aniana learns to manage her chronic illness, she must also figure out a way to convince her mother to let her be herself, without fear.
If you haven’t discovered the Merci Suárez middle grade series yet, get started with Merci Suárez Changes Gears. Merci is such a relatable character. A scholarship kid just trying to fit in with the kids at upscale Seaward Pines Academy, now she is facing new challenges at school as well as at home. Why will no one tell her why her grandfather is acting so strangely? I love how the book so perfectly captures the “in between-ness” that tweens often feel – Adults often give them increasing responsibilities but without recognizing their growing maturity. Throughout the book, Merci is repeatedly asked to, for example, watch her younger cousins or start dinner, yet she is blocked from adult discussions about her grandfather because she is seen as too young. The author deftly shows the confusion and frustration that characterize this age, as Merci learns to navigate the changes at home and at school.