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11 Marvelous Picture Books That Celebrate Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month (+ Video Read Aloud)


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"Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.


The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period." via NationalHeritageMonth.gov

Note: You may see the terms Hispanic, Chicano, Latino, Latinx, and Afro-Latinx. They are not interchangeable. Some people identify with one, several, or all of them. It's important to be inclusive and respectful of a person's chosen identifiers.


Amplifying Latinx Voices

These are five Latinx Instagram accounts we enjoy.

@latinxkidlit

@latinxpublishing

@latinarebels

@latinxparenting

@parentslatina





 


Author-illustrator C. G. Esperanza delivers a celebratory ode to graffiti and the Boogie Down Bronx through an infectious read-aloud beat and colorful illustrations that leap right off the page! Perfect for fans of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut and Keith Haring.

An NPR Best Book of the Year, ALSC Notable Children's Book of the Year, Odyssey Award winner, Pura Belpré Honor Award winner, New York City Book Award winner, and Audie Award finalist!

The city is alive with vibrant art in every corner of the parks, the shops, the trains. But most people are too busy to see it--or worse, choose to ignore it! When three children stop to marvel at the art around their community, they realize it's up to them to show everyone else how truly special it is when art and reality dance together so seamlessly. (August 2021) LEARN MORE HERE


Boogie boogie, y'all.

The city boogied all day.

Busy, busy, busy,

Till one kid stopped to say,

Woah, woah, woah!

Look at the art on the wall!




Bestselling author Lesléa Newman offers a tender and timely story of a Puerto Rican child facing a hurricane and her concern for the beloved coquíes of her home island.


After snuggling into bed each night, Alicia listens for the big voices of the tiny coquíes that live all around Puerto Rico and sing her to sleep. Ko-kee, ko-kee, the little frogs call. Ko-kee, ko-kee.

One day a terrible hurricane comes to Puerto Rico, and Alicia and her family take refuge in a shelter. At bedtime Alicia hears grown-ups snoring and babies crying, wind howling and rain pounding. But even though she listens hard, she cannot hear the song of the coquíes. Are the little tree frogs safe? And what will Alicia and her family find at home when the storm is over?

Alicia and the Hurricane is a tender look at the resilience of people, and native creatures, whose lives have been disrupted by a natural disaster. With love and support, family and friends come together to share, rebuild, and fill Alicia's heart with hope. Ko-kee, ko-kee! (April 2022) LEARN MORE HERE



I wonder, then, what freedom is. Is it a place? Is it a thought? Can it be stolen? Can it be bought?


As powerful as it is beautiful, Freedom, We Sing is a lyrical picture book designed to inspire and give hope to readers around the world. Molly Mendoza's immersive, lush illustrations invite kids to ponder singer/songwriter Amyra Le n's poem about what it means to be free. It's the perfect book for parents who want a way to gently start the conversation with their kids about finding hope in these very tense times we are living in. (November 2020) LEARN MORE HERE



Planting Stories Children's books Pura Belpre

The first children's book to feature material from the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, this beautiful picture book will engage hearts and minds as it introduces children to the guiding principles of the Black Lives Matter movement.

When the Black Lives Matter movement began in 2013, the three founders -- Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal (now Ayo) Tometi -- anchored its work in a list of guiding principles, developed through conversation with other activists. These principles commit the movement to empathy, loving engagement, and just action among its participants; affirm the importance of Black women, families, elders, and LGBTQ folk; and celebrate the strength and diversity of Black people in their communities and around the globe.


Now young people can explore these powerful principles in How We Can Live: Principles of Black Lives Matter -- the first children's book to include material from the founders' organization, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. Created by two teachers with more than thirty-five years of educational experience between them, How We Can Live presents the guiding principles in down-to-earth, child-friendly language, accompanied by vibrant portraits of real people -- many of them present-day or historical activists for human rights and racial justice. Questions on every spread encourage discussion of and reflection on the principles, and supporting materials include an introduction for children that explains the history of the movement and its relevance for their lives, and an afterword for adults on how to approach the topic with children. An essential resource for anyone discussing racial equity with young people, How We Can Live offers a beautiful and inspiring lens on the most important social justice movement of our time. (October 2022) LEARN MORE HERE



Black girl magic takes the solar system in Stella's Stellar Hair, a celebration of hair, family, and self-love from debut author-illustrator Yesenia Moises! It's the day of the Big Star Little Gala, and Stella's hair just isn't acting right! What's a girl to do?


Simple! Just hop on her hoverboard, visit each of her fabulous aunties across the solar system, and find the perfect hairdo along the way.


Stella's Stellar Hair celebrates the joy of self-empowerment, shows off our solar system, and beautifully illustrates a variety of hairstyles from the African diaspora. Backmatter provides more information about each style and each planet. (January 2021) LEARN MORE HERE



In this poignant, empowering picture book debut, a girl and her beloved abuelita lean on each other as they contend with racism while running errands in the city.


Spending time at home with Abuelita means pancakes, puddle-jumping, and nail-painting. But venturing out into the city is not always as fun. On the bus and at the grocery store, people are impatient and suspicious--sometimes they even yell. Sad, angry, and scared, the story's young narrator decides not to leave home again...until a moment of empowerment helps her see the strength she and Abuelita share when they face the world together. Warm, expressive illustrations by Rafael Mayani highlight the tenderness in Abuelita and the narrator's relationship. (April 2022) LEARN MORE HERE




A powerful story about home, community, and hope, inspired by the rebuilding of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in 2017, written by debut author Karina González and illustrated by Krystal Quiles.


This book is more than beautiful. - Yuyi Morales, Caldecott Honoree and New York Times bestselling creator of Dreamers


Co-quí, co-quí! The coquí frogs sing to Elena from her family's beloved mango tree--their calls so familiar that they might as well be singing, "You are home, you are safe." But home is suddenly not safe when a hurricane threatens to destroy everything that Elena knows. As time passes, Elena, alongside her community, begins to rebuild their home, planting seeds of hope along the way. When the sounds of the coquíes gradually return, they reflect the resilience and strength of Elena, her family, and her fellow Puerto Ricans. The Coquies Still Sing is also available in Spanish. (August 2022) LEARN MORE HERE


When Estela Juarez's mom is deported to Mexico, Estela knows she has to speak up for her family. Told in Estela's own words, Until Someone Listens is a true story about a young girl finding her voice and using it to make change.


Estela's family lives together in a happy home full of love. Or, at least, they used to... until their home was torn apart.


My mom had to go back,

to the other side of the river,

because she wasn't born in this country.


For years her family fought and fought for permission for her to stay in the U.S. But no one listened. When Estela was eight, her mother was deported to Mexico.


Estela knew she had to do something. So she wrote letters: to local newspapers, Congress, the President, and anyone else who could help. She wrote and wrote and wrote until, finally... someone listened.


In this heart wrenching, autobiographical story, Estela Juarez's letters take her from the local news all the way to the national stage, where she discovers the power in her words and pledges to keep using her voice until her family--and others like hers-- are together again. Also available in Spanish as Hasta que alguien me escuche! (September 2022) LEARN MORE HERE




A heartfelt picture book based on the author-illustrator's own experiences, about a boy who moves to the U.S. mainland from Puerto Rico and realizes that New York City might have more in common with San Juan than he initially thought.


Miguel's pet frog, Coquí, is always with him: as he greets his neighbors in San Juan, buys quesitos from the panadería, and listens to his abuelo's story about meeting baseball legend Roberto Clemente. Then Miguel learns that he and his parents are moving to the U.S. mainland, which means leaving his beloved grandparents, home in Puerto Rico, and even Coquí behind. Life in New York City is overwhelming, with unfamiliar buildings, foods, and people. But when he and Mamá go exploring, they find a few familiar sights that remind them of home, and Miguel realizes there might be a way to keep a little bit of Puerto Rico with him--including the love he has for Coquí--wherever he goes. (March 2021) LEARN MORE HERE



A delicious picture book about the ways plantains shape Latinx culture, community, and family, told through a young girl's experiences in the kitchen with her abuela.


Abuela says, "plátanos are love."

I thought they were food.

But Abuela says they feed us in more ways than one.


With every pop of the tostones, mash of the mangú, and sizzle of the maduros, a little girl learns that plátanos are her history, they are her culture, and--most importantly--they are love. (April 2023) LEARN MORE HERE




Paletero Man meets Fry Bread in this vibrant and cheerful ode to plátanos, the star of Dominican cuisine, written by award-winning poet Lissette Norman and illustrated by Sara Palacios.

Plátanos are Yesenia's favorite food. They can be sweet and sugary, or salty and savory. And they're a part of almost every meal her Dominican family makes.

Stop by her apartment and find out why plátanos go with everything--especially love!

Perfect for reading aloud and shared story time! (January 2023) LEARN MORE HERE






VIDEO READ ALOUD

C.G. Esperanza reads his book, BOOGIE BOOGIE, Y’ALL, a rhythmic celebration of the Boogie Down Bronx featuring illustrations that leap right off the page!




You can find more Children's Books Celebrating Hispanic Heritage and Culture in our online bookstore. Disclosure: We earn a small fee for any purchases made through our online bookstore. There is no additional cost to you.



 


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