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33 New and Notable Spanish Children’s Books

Looking for the best Spanish children’s books for your Spanish literacy instruction? These children’s books in Spanish will be engaging for your students! 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. Picture books in Spanish 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!

Las jirafas no pueden bailar / Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

Giraffes Can’t Dance is a touching tale of Gerald the giraffe, who wants nothing more than to dance. With crooked knees and thin legs, it’s harder for a giraffe than you would think. Gerald is finally able to dance to his own tune when he gets some encouraging words from an unlikely friend. This is a great book for back to school time in bilingual classrooms.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Giraffes Can’t Dance HERE

Looking for the best Spanish children's books for your Spanish literacy instruction? These children's books in Spanish will be engaging for your students! 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. Picture books in Spanish 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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Hilo sin fin / Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett

A young girl and her box of magical yarn transform a community in this stunning picture book. With spare, gently humorous illustrations and a palette that moves from black-and-white to a range of color, this modern fairy tale has the feel of a new classic. This is an amazing book about how one person can change a community completely.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Extra Yarn HERE

My Dog Just Speaks Spanish / Mi perro solo habla espanol

When Aurora came to the United States, she learned to speak English. But her spaniel, Nena, did not. Sweet Nena loves to give besos, and she knows only Spanish. She doesn’t know SIT, but she does know SIÉNTATE. She doesn’t know WAIT, but she does know ESPERA. And while TREAT doesn’t mean anything to Nena, she can certainly sniff out a POSTRE! At the park, Nena may not know what the other dog owners are saying, but she and Aurora will always understand each other just fine. The Spanish version of the book is also available as Mi perro solo habla espanol.

Sam y Leo cavan un hoyo / Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett

Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find . . . nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary — and finding it in a manner you’d never expect.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Sam and Dave Dig a Hole HERE

Ada magnifica, cientifica / Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

Ada Twist’s head is full of questions. Like her classmates Iggy and Rosie—stars of their own New York Times bestselling picture books Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer—Ada has always been endlessly curious. Even when her fact-finding missions and elaborate scientific experiments don’t go as planned, Ada learns the value of thinking her way through problems and continuing to stay curious. A great STEM book with a Spanish translation that maintains the rhymes present in the English version.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Ada Twist Scientist HERE

Max viaja a Marte / Max Goes to the Mars by Jeffrey Bennett

Come with Max as he takes off on his next exciting science adventure, this time joining astronauts on the first human mission to Mars. Equipped with a specially designed spacesuit, Max sniffs for signs of microscopic life. Will he find any? Read the exciting story to find out, and to learn how his trip to Mars helps his young friend Tori reflect on the beauty and fragility of our own planet Earth. A great book about space travel and was read in Spanish on the Story Time From Space from the International Space Station.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Max Goes to the Mars HERE

Sobre un rayo de luz / On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne

Travel along with Einstein on a journey full of curiosity, laughter, and scientific discovery. Parents and children alike will appreciate this moving story of the powerful difference imagination can make in any life.

Get the lesson plan and activities for On a Beam of Light HERE

Una bicicleta como la de Sergio / A Bike Like Sergio’s by Maribeth Boelts

Finders keepers, right? When Ruben picks up someone’s lost money, he finds out how hard it can be to do the right thing.

Ruben feels like he is the only kid without a bike. His friend Sergio reminds him that his birthday is coming, but Ruben knows that the kinds of birthday gifts he and Sergio receive are not the same. After all, when Ruben’s mom sends him to Sonny’s corner store for groceries, sometimes she doesn’t have enough money for everything on the list. So when Ruben sees a dollar bill fall out of someone’s purse, he picks it up and puts it in his pocket. But when he gets home, he discovers it’s not one dollar or even five or ten—it’s a hundred-dollar bill, more than enough for a new bike just like Sergio’s! But what about the crossed-off groceries? And what about the woman who lost her money?

Get the lesson plan and activities for A Bike Like Sergio’s HERE

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

El gran capoquero / The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry

Lynne Cherry journeyed deep into the rain forests of Brazil to write and illustrate this gorgeous picture book about a man who exhausts himself trying to chop down a giant kapok tree. While he sleeps, the forest’s residents, including a child from the Yanomamo tribe, whisper in his ear about the importance of trees and how “all living things depend on one another” . . . and it works.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Great Kapok Tree HERE

Ultima parada en la calle Market / Last Stop On Market Street by Matt de la Pena

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them. An amazing diverse picture book!

Get the lesson plan and activities for Last Stop On Market Street HERE

Sembrando historias / Planting Stories by Anika Denise

An inspiring picture book biography of 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

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.

This lovingly-illustrated picture book memoir looks at the myriad gifts migrantes bring with them when they leave their homes. It’s a story about family. And it’s a story to remind us that we are all dreamers, bringing our own strengths wherever we roam. Beautiful and powerful at any time but given particular urgency as the status of our own Dreamers becomes uncertain, this is a story that is both topical and timeless. A beautiful story of a mother and son and everything they brought with them to California and everything they gained.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Dreamers HERE

Oliver Button es una nena / Oliver Button Is A Sissy by Tomie Depaola

Oliver Button is a sissy. At least that’s what the other boys call him. But here’s what Oliver Button really is: a reader, and an artist, and a singer, and a dancer, and more. What will his classmates say when he steps into the spotlight? A great anti bullying book.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Oliver Button Is A Sissy 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

Como puede curarse una ala rota / How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham

“No one saw the bird fall.” In a city full of hurried people, only young Will notices the bird lying hurt on the ground. With the help of his sympathetic mother, he gently wraps the injured bird and takes it home. In classic Bob Graham style, the beauty is in the details: the careful ministrations with an eyedropper, the bedroom filled with animal memorabilia, the saving of the single feather as a good-luck charm for the bird’s return to the sky. Wistful and uplifting, here is a tale of possibility — and of the souls who never doubt its power.

Get the lesson plan and activities for How to Heal a Broken Wing HERE

Crisantemo / Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let’s smell her,” says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again? How could this classic NOT be one of my favorite September read alouds?

Get the lesson plan and activities for Chrysanthemum 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

Perdido y encontrado / Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers

What is a boy to do when a lost penguin shows up at his door? Find out where it comes from, of course, and return it. But the journey to the South Pole is long and difficult in the boy’s rowboat. There are storms to brave and deep, dark nights.To pass the time, the boy tells the penguin stories. Finally, they arrive. Yet instead of being happy, both are sad. That’s when the boy realizes: The penguin hadn’t been lost, it had merely been lonely.

A poignant, funny, and child-friendly story about friendship lost . . . and then found again.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Lost and Found HERE

Yo quiero mi gorro / I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks the bear’s memory and renews his search with a vengeance. A hilarious book about what might happen if you are dishonest.

Get the lesson plan and activities for I Want My Hat Back 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

Ruby mono ve, mono hace / Ruby the Copycat by Peggy Rathmann

It’s the first day of school, and Ruby is new. When her classmate Angela wears a red bow in her hair, Ruby comes back from lunch wearing a red bow, too. When Angela wears a flowered dress, suddenly Ruby’s wearing one, too. Fortunately, Ruby’s teacher knows a better way to help Ruby fit in–by showing how much fun it is to be herself!

Get the lesson plan and activities for Ruby the Copycat HERE

Me llamo Yoon / My Name Is Yoon by Helen Recorvits

Yoon’s name means Shining Wisdom, and when she writes it in Korean, it looks happy, like dancing figures. But her father tells her that she must learn to write it in English. In English, all the lines and circles stand alone, which is just how Yoon feels in the United States. Yoon isn’t sure that she wants to be YOON. At her new school, she tries out different names – maybe CAT or BIRD. Maybe CUPCAKE!

Get the lesson plan and activities for My Name is Yoon HERE

Las zanahorias maleficas / Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds

Jasper Rabbit loves carrots—especially Crackenhopper Field carrots. He eats them on the way to school. He eats them going to Little League, and he eats them walking home. Until the day the carrots start following him…or are they?

Get the lesson plan and activities for Creepy Carrots HERE

El punto / The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

Her teacher smiled. “Just make a mark and see where it takes you.”

Art class is over, but Vashti is sitting glued to her chair in front of a blank piece of paper. The words of her teacher are a gentle invitation to express herself. But Vashti can’t draw – she’s no artist. To prove her point, Vashti jabs at a blank sheet of paper to make an unremarkable and angry mark. “There!” she says. That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti’s journey of surprise and self-discovery. Great for talking about growth mindset!

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Dot HERE

You can try a free lesson in Spanish with Google resources and printables as well HERE:

El arbol generoso / The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

“Once there was a tree . . . and she loved a little boy.” So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein. Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk . . . and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older, he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Giving Tree HERE

La oscuridad / The Dark by Lemony Snicket

Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark lives in the same house as Laszlo. Mostly, though, the dark stays in the basement and doesn’t come into Lazslo’s room. But one night, it does. This is the story of how Laszlo stops being afraid of the dark. A really fun book to read in the dark with a flashlight and using a creepy voice.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Dark 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, and he worked to preserve the historical treasures he excavated. 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

Best Spanish Children’s Books For Kids

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

REMEMBER: You can try a free lesson in Spanish with Google resources and printables as well HERE:

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 Spanish children's books for your Spanish literacy instruction? These children's books in Spanish will be engaging for your students! 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. Picture books in Spanish 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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