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15 Best Authentic Spanish Children’s Books

Looking for the best authentic Spanish children’s books for your Spanish literacy instruction? These children’s books written in Spanish will be engaging for your students! Authentic Spanish picture books with lesson plans and activities aligned to the Common Core linked for your Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th grade students. Authentic Spanish texts for back to school, STEM, holidays, and more for your elementary school students. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!

If you’re a member of the Picture Book Brain Trust Community, you already have access to EVERY lesson plan and activity for these books! Just click on the Lesson Plans button in the menu!

Frida Kahlo y sus animalitos / Frida Kahlo And Her Animalitos by Monica Brown

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos, written by Monica Brown and illustrated by John Parra, is based on the life of one of the world’s most influential painters, Frida Kahlo, and the animals that inspired her art and life. 

The fascinating Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, her dramatic works featuring bold and vibrant colors. Her work brought attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and she is also renowned for her works celebrating the female form.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Frida And Her Animalitos HERE

Looking for the best authentic Spanish children's books for your Spanish literacy instruction? These children's books written in Spanish will be engaging for your students! Authentic Spanish picture books with lesson plans and activities aligned to the Common Core linked for your Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th grade students. Authentic Spanish texts for back to school, STEM, holidays, and more for your elementary school students. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!
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Sembrando historias / Planting Stories: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Denise

An inspiring picture book biography of Latin American storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, who championed bilingual literature.

When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Planting Stories: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpré HERE

Sonadores / Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

We are resilience, We are hope, We are dreamers.

Yuyi Morales brought her hopes, her passion, her strength, and her stories with her, when she came to the United States in 1994 with her infant son. She left behind nearly everything she owned, but she didn’t come empty-handed.

Dreamers is a celebration of making your home with the things you always carry: your resilience, your dreams, your hopes and history. It’s the story of finding your way in a new place, of navigating an unfamiliar world and finding the best parts of it. In dark times, it’s a promise that you can make better tomorrows.  A beautiful story that can also help you incorporate poetry in your classroom!

Get the lesson plan and activities for Dreamers HERE

Mexique by Maria Jose Ferrada

On May 27, 1937, over four hundred children sailed for Morelia, Mexico, fleeing the violence of the Spanish Civil War. Home was no longer safe, and Mexico was welcoming refugees by the thousands. Each child packed a suitcase and boarded the Mexique, expecting to return home in a few months. This was just a short trip, an extra-long summer vacation, they thought. But the war did not end in a few months, and the children stayed, waiting and wondering, in Mexico. When the war finally ended, a dictator—the Fascist Francisco Franco—ruled Spain. Home was even more dangerous than before. A book about an experience that led to post traumatic stress disorder.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Mexique HERE

El violin de Ada / Ada’s Violin by Susan Hood

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.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Ada’s Violin HERE

Alma y como obtuvo su nombre / Alma And How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

What’s in a name? For one little girl, her very long name tells the vibrant story of where she came from — and who she may one day be.

If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Alma And How She Got Her Name HERE

Marti y sus versos por la libertad / Marti’s Song For Freedom by Emma Otheguy

A bilingual biography of José Martí, who dedicated his life to the promotion of liberty, the abolishment of slavery, political independence for Cuba, and intellectual freedom. Written in verse with excerpts from Martí’s seminal work, Versos sencillos. 

Get the lesson plan and activities for Marti’s Song For Freedom HERE

Mi papi tiene una moto / My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero

When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she’s always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her. But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there.

Get the lesson plan and activities for My Papi Has a Motorcycle HERE

No es justo / That’s Not Fair by Carmen Tafolla

A vivid depiction of the early injustices encountered by a young Mexican-American girl in San Antonio in the 1920’s, this book tells the true story of Emma Tenayuca. Emma learns to care deeply about poverty and hunger during a time when many Mexican Americans were starving to death and working unreasonably long hours at slave wages in the city’s pecan-shelling factories. Through astute perception, caring, and personal action, Emma begins to get involved, and eventually, at the age of 21, leads 12,000 workers in the first significant historical action in the Mexican-American struggle for justice. Emma Tenayuca’s story serves as a model for young and old alike about courage, compassion, and the role everyone can play in making the world more fair. An amazing book about a little known Mexican-American activist fighting for workers’ rights!

Get the lesson plan and activities for That’s Not Fair HERE

Cosechando esperanza / Harvesting Hope: The Story Of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull

Cesar Chavez is known as one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders. When he led a 340-mile peaceful protest march through California, he ignited a cause and improved the lives of thousands of migrant farmworkers. But Cesar wasn’t always a leader. As a boy, he was shy and teased at school. His family slaved in the fields for barely enough money to survive.

Cesar knew things had to change, and he thought that–maybe–he could help change them. So he took charge. He spoke up. And an entire country listened.

An author’s note provides historical context for the story of Cesar Chavez’s life.

La princesa y el guerrero / The Princess And The Warrior by Duncan Tonatiuh

Izta was the most beautiful princess in the land, and suitors traveled from far and wide to woo her. Even though she was the daughter of the emperor, Izta had no desire to marry a man of wealth and power. Instead, she fell in love with Popoca, a brave warrior who fought in her father’s army—and a man who did not offer her riches but a promise to stay by her side forever.

The emperor did not want his daughter to marry a mere warrior, but he recognized Popoca’s bravery. Then, he offered Popoca a deal: If the warrior could defeat their enemy, Jaguar Claw, then the emperor would permit Popoca and Izta to wed. But Jaguar Claw had a plan to thwart the warrior. Would all be lost?

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Princess And The Warrior HERE

Selena: Reina de la musica tejana / Selena: Queen of Tejano Music by Silvia Lopez

Selena Quintanilla’s music career began at the age of nine when she started singing in her family’s band. She went from using a hairbrush as a microphone to traveling from town to town to play gigs. But Selena faced a challenge. People said that she would never make it in Tejano music, which was dominated by male performers. Selena was determined to prove them wrong.

Born and raised in Texas, Selena didn’t know how to speak Spanish, but with the help of her dad, she learned to sing it. With songs written and composed by her older brother and the fun dance steps Selena created, her band, Selena Y Los Dinos, rose to stardom! A true trailblazer, her success in Tejano music and her crossover into mainstream American music opened the door for other Latinx entertainers. Also, she became an inspiration for Latina girls everywhere. In addition to being one of my favorite children’s books about women in sports and entertainment, this would also be an excellent book for Women’s History Month or Hispanic Heritage Month.

Sharuko by Monica Brown

Growing up in the late 1800s, Julio Tello, an Indigenous boy, spent time exploring the caves and burial grounds in the foothills of the Peruvian Andes. Nothing scared Julio, not even the ancient human skulls he found. His bravery earned him the boyhood nickname Sharuko, which means brave in Quechua, the language of the Native people of Peru. At the age of twelve, Julio moved to Lima to continue his education.

Over his lifetime, Julio Tello made many revolutionary discoveries at archaeological sites around Peru. He worked to preserve the historical treasures he excavated. Also, he showed that Peru’s Indigenous cultures had been established thousands of years ago, disproving the popular belief that Peruvian culture had been introduced more recently from other countries. He fostered pride in his country’s Indigenous ancestry, making him a hero to all Peruvians. Because of the brave man once known as Sharuko, people around the world today know of Peru’s long history and its living cultural legacy.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Sharuko HERE

El pedo mas grande del mundo / The World’s Biggest Fart by Rafael Ordonez

The monkey is gathering all the jungle animals for a farting contest. The hippo, the elephant, a shy giraffe, and a very refined zebra are all competing, but no one can guess who the winner will be.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The World’s Biggest Fart HERE

La selva de Zonia / Zonia’s Rain Forest by Juana Martínez-Neal

Zonia’s home is the Amazon rain forest, where it is always green and full of life. Every morning, the rain forest calls to Zonia, and every morning, she answers. She visits the sloth family, greets the giant anteater, and runs with the speedy jaguar. But one morning, the rain forest calls to her in a troubled voice. How will Zonia answer? Acclaimed author-illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal explores the wonders of the rain forest with Zonia. She’s an Asháninka girl, in her joyful outdoor adventures. In terms of authentic Spanish picture books, this one has an amazing message, author/illustrator and everything down to the publishing process are amazing.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Zonia’s Rain Forest HERE

Best Authentic Spanish Children’s Books

What are some of your favorite authentic Spanish children’s books? Are there any must read authentic Spanish children’s books that I left out? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it!

If you’re a member of the Picture Book Brain Trust Community, you already have access to EVERY lesson plan and activity for these books! Just click on the Lesson Plans button in the menu!

Looking for the best authentic Spanish children's books for your Spanish literacy instruction? These children's books written in Spanish will be engaging for your students! Authentic Spanish picture books with lesson plans and activities aligned to the Common Core linked for your Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th grade students. Authentic Spanish texts for back to school, STEM, holidays, and more for your elementary school students. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!
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Hey there! I’m Josh from Picture Book Brain here to share only the best literature for you to use with your students. If you are looking for a specific book, use the search bar below to check my archives. Glad you’re here, and glad to help you!

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