Excellent Children’s Books for Hispanic Heritage Month. A collection of our favorite picture books featuring Hispanic – Latinx characters, authors, and illustrators.
Hispanic Heritage Month is a 30 day period honoring contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. To celebrate the month, I put together some book lists, beginning with these Children’s Books for Hispanic Heritage Month.
All of these picture books feature Hispanic characters from a variety of countries, including Hispanic Americans, with a preference for Hispanic – Latinx authors and illustrators. These are also all Hispanic children’s books that I’ve loved reading and sharing with my own children.
Growing up in New Mexico, I’ve always been surrounded by rich Hispanic culture and I appreciate what a privilege it is to raise my own children in such a diverse and culturally rich area. These children’s books for Hispanic Heritage Month, however, are a fun way to experience and learn more about Latinx – Hispanic, traditions, cultures, and people no matter where you live.
If you’re looking for more Children’s Books for Hispanic Heritage Month, I like to look at the lists of books that have won the Pura Belpre Award and the Tomas Rivera Book Award, plus they add new books to the list each year.
If you want shorter list of books to start with, the first twelve on this list are my favorite.
Note: the Amazon links in this post are Affiliate links.
Children's Books for Hispanic Heritage Month
My Papi Has a Motorcycle
By Isabel Quintero | Illustrated by Zeke Peña
This was one of our favorite picture books of 2019 (it also won a lot of prestigious awards!). Hop on the back of a motorcycle with Daisy Ramonaz and her Papi - it's a really fun ride!
Alma and How She Got Her Name
By Juana Martinez-Neal
Alma has six names, which feels likes way too many for such a small girl. However, when her father explains where all of her names come from, she realizes just how special her name really is. A really lovely Caldecott Honor book.
Swashby and the Sea
By Beth Ferry | Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
We love this hilarious picture book about a grumpy old sea captain who wants his new neighbors to GO AWAY. The sea, however, keeps foiling his plans to get rid of them. One of our favorites!
Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
By Anika Aldamuy Denise | Illustrated by Paola Escobar
This is a phenomenal non-fiction picture book about New York City's first Puerto Rican librarian, Pura Belpré. This is a must read book!
By Yuyi Morales
This is another favorite book at our house. When a mother and her young child come to the U.S., they have a very challenging time because they don't speak English. But, when they discover the public library, everything changes for them.
It's a beautiful story, based on the author's own experiences, with truly stunning illustrations. This one picked up a lot of awards and it's easy to see why.
Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln
By Margarita Engle | Illustrated by Rafael López
This is the wonderful true story of Teresa Carreño who came to the U.S. from Venezuela and was already an accomplished musician and composer at the age of six. After the death of Lincoln's son, Teresa goes to play for him at the White House.
Beautifully illustrated and winner of the Pura Belpré award.
Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border
By Mitali Perkins | Illustrated by Sara Palacios
This is a really touching story about a family traveling to the border between Mexico and California to see their Grandmother through the fence for Christmas. It's a beautiful story about family and the challenges of living on opposite sides of a wall. Highly recommend this one!
Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutiérrez and the Library He Built
By Angela Burke Kunkel | Illustrated by Paolo Escobar
This is a really wonderful Hispanic Heritage picture book inspired by the life of Jose Alberto Guiterrez, a garbage collector in Colombia who started a library after finding a discarded book on his garbage route.
A Song of Frutas
By Margarita Engle | Illustrated by Sara Palacios
A rhythmic read aloud about a girl who loves to visit her Abuelo in Cuba and help him sell his fruit at a roadside stand. Wonderful book!
By Lucky Diaz | Illustrated by Micah Player
This bright, colorful book is a lot of fun! If your kids get as excited as mine do when they hear the sound of an ice cream truck in the neighborhood, then they'll fall head over heels for this delightful book!
In My Family/En mi familia
By Carmen Lomas Garza
This is an autobiographical picture book by the painter Carmen Lomas Garza. It's a beautiful depiction of her childhood growing up in a traditional Mexican-American community in Kingsville, Texas. This is one my kids have read time and again!
Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away
By Meg Medina | Illustrated by Sonia Sanchez
Evelyn Del Rey and Daniela are best friends. They live in apartments right across from each other and they spend every day together . . . until Evelyn moves away.
This is such a wonderful book about friendship, moving, and change. Highly recommend!
¡Vamos! Let's Go to the Market (World of ¡Vamos!)
By Raul the Third III
This fun picture book is written comic-book style and features Little Lobo and his dog Bernabe as they deliver supplies through a richly illustrated marketplace. So fun for kids!
By Yuyi Morales
This gorgeous book features two deer, a mother deer and her fawn, journeying through the Mexico - U.S. borderlands, with symbolic references to the pain the border-wall inflicts.
My Two Border Towns
By David Bowles | Illustrated by Erika Meza
On Saturday mornings, a boy and his father travel across the U.S. border into Mexico. to check in with friends and drop off supplies. It's a warm and hopeful book with bright, colorful illustrations.
What Will You Be?
By Yamile Saied Mendez | Illustrated by Kate Alizadeh
When a little girl is faced with the question, "What will you be when you grow up?" she turns to her abuela for help imagining all the possibilities. A really sweet story!
If Dominican Were a Color
By Sili Recio | Illustrated by Brianna McCarthy
This is a fun rhyming picture book with bright, beautiful illustrations that celebrate the Dominican Republic.
Where Are You From?
By Yamile Saied Mendez | Illustrated by Jaime Kim
A young girl is constantly being asked "Where are you from?" and she's never quite sure exactly how to answer. But, when she asks her Abuelo for help, he gives her a very surprising response!
This is a powerful and lyrical book about self-acceptance and identity, and the grandparent - grandchild relationship it centers around is so inspiring.
Galápagos Girl / Galapagueña (English and Spanish Edition)
By Marsha Diane Arnold | Illustrated by Angela Dominguez
This is a fun bilingual story inspired by the childhood of Valentina Cruz, a biologist and naturalist who has devoted her life to the preservation of the Galapagos islands. The text is in both English and Spanish!
By Junot Diaz | Illustrated by Leo Espinosa
When Lola's teacher asks everyone in class to draw a picture of where they're from, Lola isn't excited. She can't remember the island where she was born. Luckily her friends and family are able to share their memories with her and help her imagine the beautiful island ( The Dominican Republic) where she immigrated from.
La Princesa and the Pea
By Susan Middleton-Elya | Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
This is a fun Latino twist on the classic Princess and the Pea story. A great read aloud book!
Mango, Abuela, and Me
By Meg Medina | Illustrated by Angela Dominguez
When Mia's Abuela moves in with her family, there is a language barrier - Mia doesn't speak much Spanish and her Abuela doesn't speak much English. One day, Mia brings home a parrot from the pet shop with hopes that it will help her bridge the gap. In the end, they learn to communicate all the most important things.
Areli Is a Dreamer: A True Story
By Areli Morales | Illustrated by Luisa Uribe
When Areli was just a baby, her parents moved from Mexico to New York to make a better life for their family. When Areli is five, her parents send for her. She is happy to be reunited with her family, but she misses Mexico and it's hard to adjust to the big city.
This is an excellent true story from an actual DACA recipient.
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music
By Magarita Engle | Illustrated by Rafael Lopez
This poetic book was inspired by the childhood of a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers. It's a beautiful read aloud book and winner of the Pura Belpre Award.
Niño Wrestles the World
By Yuyi Morales
This is a really fun story about a little boy wrestling imaginary monsters Lucha Libre style. So much fun to read aloud!
All the Way to Havana
By Margarita Engle | Illustrated by Mike Curato
This was one of our favorite books in 2017. It's a phenomenal story featuring the old classic cars in Havana. It makes a wonderful read aloud book!
Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos
By Monica Brown | Illustrated by John Parra
This is an excellent introduction to the famous Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo, one of the world's most influential painters.
Round Is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes
By Roseanne Greenfield Thong | Illustrated by John Parra
This is a fun rhyming book about shapes, with a Latino twist. Excellent for really young kids. Plus, if you enjoy this one, the same author also has a book about colors, and a book about numbers.
Dia de Los Muertos
By Roseanne Greenfield Thong | Illustrated by Carles Ballesteros
This is a magical book all about the Dia De Los Muertos holidays, with wonderful illustrations!
Ode to an Onion: Pablo Neruda & His Muse
By Alexandria Giardino | Illustrated by Felicita Sala
Pablo Neruda was a very famous Chilean poet. Not only is this book an absolute work of art, it's a great way to introduce Neruda to kids.
May Your Life Be Deliciosa
By Michael Genhart | Illustrated by Loris Lora
Tamales at Christmas are one of our favorite traditions here in New Mexico, so we really appreciate this delicious picture book about a family tradition of making Tamales for Christmas.
Queen of Tejano Music: Selena
By Silvia Lopez | Illustrated by Paolo Escobar
Selena was an inspiration to Latina girls everywhere. This book is a beautiful tribute to her extraordinary life.
Bella's Recipe for Success
By Ana Siqueira | Illustrated by Geraldine Rodriguez
This is a cute and relatable book about a young girl who really wants to figure out what she's good at. Her brother plays the piano, her sister is good at gymnastics, but what is Bella good at. Luckily she has a wise abuela to help her figure it out!
Gustavo, the Shy Ghost
By Flavia Z. Drago
We bought this book last year and probably read it a hundred times in October and November. It's about a shy ghost who really has trouble making friends. But, as Day of the Dead approaches, he decides he finally needs to make a move. So cute!
Coquí in the City
By Nomar Perez
A really cute book about a young boy, his frog, and life in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Bright and colorful, great for young kids too!
El Cucuy Is Scared, Too!
By Donna Barba Higuera | Illustrated by Juliana Perdomo
Ramon recently moved and he's nervous about his first day at a new school and can't sleep. El Cuycuy is a monster who lives in a cactus pot in Ramon's room and he's scared about being in a new place too. It's a sweet book about changes, new beginnings, and the comfort of friendship.
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