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Diverse Books For All Ages

Books That Celebrate Every Story, Every Voice, Every Child

Exploring Culture: Children's Books That Celebrate Latinx & Hispanic Heritage

Updated: Oct 10, 2023


Dive into captivating stories that celebrate culture, traditions, and the vibrant diversity of Latinx and Hispanic communities.


For your convenience, we've included publisher's descriptions along with each book.

An intergenerational story of family ties, cultural pride, and spelling bee victory following a young boy who bonds with his beloved abuela over a love of Spanish.


As a boy prepares for his school's Spanish spelling bee, he asks his grandmother for help with some of the words he doesn't know how to spell yet. When she studies with him, she tells him how different things were back when she was a girl, when she was only allowed to speak English in school. This only inspires him to study even harder and make his family proud.


Based on stories author Michael Genhart heard from his mother as a child, Spanish is the Language of My Family is about the joy of sharing cultural heritage with our families, inspired by the generations of Latino people were punished for speaking Spanish and the many ways new generations are rejuvenating the language..


Michael Genhart's text is as touching as it is poignant, and it's paired with the striking artwork of multiple Pura Belpre Award-Winning Illustrator John Parra. Extensive material at the back of the book includes essays from the author about the history of Spanish suppression in U.S. schools and information about the Spanish alphabet.



A family remembers their beloved pet dog through the traditions of Día de Muertos in this poignant and brightly illustrated picture book from Pura Belpré Honor-winning team Xelena González and Adriana M. Garcia.


A child and their family observe the customs of Día de los Angelitos, one of the ritual celebrations of Día de Muertos, to celebrate the life of their beloved dog who passed away. They build a thoughtful ofrenda to help lead the pet's soul home and help the little one process their grief in this moving reminder that loved ones are never really gone if we take the time to remember them.



You Might Like: Download our Latinx & Hispanic Picture Book Guide full over more children's books by Latinx and Hispanic creators that celebrate the culture. Includes Spanish edition and bilingual books!


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, illustrated by Sara Palacios, and translated by Kianny N. Antigua.


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!



Sing out! With a stunning, graphic style and a melodious text, this picture book tells the story of Latin American icon Mercedes Sosa and how she became the voice of a people from exile to triumph.


What if a voice became a symbol of justice?

I'm here to offer my heart, said that voice.


The folk rhythm of the bombo drum beats like a heart, with a resonant voice singing the truth of her people. Mercedes Sosa sang about what it means to be human, and her songs of struggle always spoke the truth of the injustice that so many workers and families in Latin America faced.


As a teen, she won a local radio contest, and as her confidence grew, so did her fame. From a folk festival to Carnegie Hall and the Sistine Chapel, Mercedes performed the world over, sharing stories through song. But not everyone loved her singing: a military dictatorship ruled over Argentina, and they saw the power of her voice. Even from exile, Mercedes Sosa was a beacon of freedom for her people, and when she returned to her homeland, she persisted in her work: to be the voice of the voiceless.


Adding a personal touch as a fellow Argentinean, Melisa Fernández Nitsche fills her debut picture book with bright and breathtaking illustrations that will surely inspire and empower young readers as they read about the impact one person's voice can have.



A joyful picture book from acclaimed author Margarita Engle about a young girl and her community celebrating the arrival of the water man who visits weekly to distribute water to the village.


Water days are busy days,

grateful, laughing,

thirsty days.


A small village no longer has a water supply of its own, but one young girl and her neighbors get by with the help of the water man. When he comes to town, water flows like hope for the whole familia, and everyone rejoices.



In this charming and delightful picture book, Sami shares the joys of Spanglish with his skeptical abuela and diverse community.


Sami loves to speak both English and Spanish. But he doesn't just speak them one at a time. He speaks in Spanglish! Sometimes, he makes brand-new words--like "lonche"--and sometimes, he puts the languages together in one sentence, like when he's hungry for jamberguers con papas fritas.


But not everyone likes Spanglish. Abuela thinks that Spanish should be spoken at home and English at school. And to make matters more complicated, Sami's not allowed to write his homework in Spanglish.


At first, Sami feels confused and frustrated. But with the support of his family, friends, and neighbors, Sami soon realizes that his unique identity should be celebrated. Hooray, muy bien, Sami!



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.



A child confronts conflicting feelings of embarrassment and love for her Mexican abuela in this moving, personal story from Newbery- and Pura Belpré Award-winning author Donna Barba Higuera


My abuela wears an old yellow handkerchief that her grandmother gave to her.

I don't like the yellow handkerchief.


When a young girl feels ashamed of her family for being "different" and subconsciously blames her abuela, she gradually grows to not only accept but also love the yellow handkerchief that represents a language and culture that once brought embarrassment.


Inspired by the personal experiences of award-winning author Donna Barba Higuera and expressively illustrated by Cynthia Alonso, The Yellow Handkerchief is a lyrical, honest, and intimate intergenerational story about embracing who we are, where we come from, and the people who shape us.



A beautiful, empowering story about the impact of literacy in underprivileged communities, based on a real bookmobile program in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.


Luis's favorite day of the week is Monday, the day the bookmobile comes to his neighborhood. In Villa Nueva, sad stories can gather like dark, stormy clouds. But at the bookmobile, Luis hears stories that burst with life, laughter, and color. Maybe today will bring a song or a puppet show! He might even get to pick a book to read on his own. Every new Monday fills Luis and his neighbors with a joy they can't help but bring back home.


Co-written by the director of JustWorld International's bookmobile program in Tegucigalpa, Colorful Mondays is an inspiring celebration of the ways books and learning can bring joy to a community. Illustrated in captivating swirls of color, this uplifting book highlights the strength of disadvantaged children and the creativity of those who help them imagine a better future.



A father's love for his daughter is joyfully expressed during their nightly routine when he braids her hair and shares imaginative bedtime stories.


Every night Xia's father delicately braids her hair before bed. As he gently tugs and twists and tightens her hair, they embark on imaginative and fun adventures as he makes up stories about Xia and her trenzas, or braids. In one story, her trenza becomes a sturdy twisted vine that she uses to bravely swing through the jungle. In another, her trenzas are jump ropes as she catches the beat to play Double Dutch with the best players in the neighborhood.


One night, after story time, Xia worries what she would do if Papa is not there to help her in a real adventure. Papa shares with her the most important story of all:


Papa says, "There will be adventures, like going to your new school, when you'll need to be brave, patient, focused, and curious. And while you might be on your own, you'll never be alone, mi'ja.


Papa finished brushing her hair and carefully parted it into three sections.


"This section will remind you of the people who love you deeply."

"This one is for the many people who need your love for them."

"And this one . . . this will help you remember to love yourself exactly as you are now and who you hope to be. They are stronger woven together and will help protect your hair and your heart."



Latinx Children's Books Hispanic Heritage Month Children's Books

Download our Latinx & Hispanic Picture Book Guide full of more children's books by Latinx and Hispanic creators that celebrate the culture. Includes Spanish edition and bilingual books!


Looking for more great read aloud ideas? Visit these fabulous book lists:

 

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