National Hispanic Heritage Month occurs every year from September 15 to October 15. It’s a great time to focus on reading picture books that explore cultural elements of Hispanic / Latinx families, and to dive into learning about the countries that host these families!
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This blog post showcases five picture books that are great to read during Hispanic Heritage Month. Some of them even have Spanish words sprinkled throughout the story!
Hey! I created an updated and longer picture book list full of fiction picture books and nonfiction picture books, including biographies, to read during Hispanic Heritage Month.
Federico and the Wolf
Author: Rebecca J. Gomez
Illustrator: Elisa Chavarri
Little Red Riding Hood rewritten with Hispanic/Latin cultural elements. I loved seeing the characters have darker skin tones, and even the little boy’s haircut reminded me of some of the haircuts from soccer players (lol)! The use of chili powder and a habanero pepper was my absolute favorite part of the whole book.
→ Any Book extras?
The book has a recipe for “Pico de Gallo” at the end. The recipe has colorful illustrations of some of the ingredients. There is also a page with translations and a pronunciation guide for the Spanish words featured in the book.
¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat!
Author: Raúl the Third
Illustrator: Elaine Bay
Little Lobo is back! This time he has a new bike, and his friend Kooky has a message from El Toro. Little Lobo is needed to pick-up and make important deliveries before an event. Follow along as Little Lobo, and his friend Kooky, visit food trucks and food carts to make deliveries! Learn about food trucks, along with all kinds of foods, like el pastor, kimchi, burritos, aguas frescas, and so much more!
→ Any Book extras?
There is a “Food Glossary” at the back of the book. It is a long list of all the foods mentioned in the book. However, it is not the full list of all the Spanish words. As I mentioned before, the illustrations incorporate many Spanish words in the pictures. These words are not included in this “Food Glossary” so do as the book says and use a Spanish-English dictionary to look up the definitions of any words you don’t know.
Author: Alma Flor Ada
Illustrator: Jacobo Muñiz
This book got me in my feels! It’s the first day of school, and a little boy has decided to not talk about his summer: not the trip to Cuba, not the beach, not about meeting other family members. He spends his whole morning before school, just fretting about meeting his new classmates. Right before he leaves for school, Abuelita tells him to check his bag whenever he is asked to talk, but not a moment before. In the end, the little boy learns that his (immigrant) stories are just as cool and interesting as his classmates.
Considering Hispanic Heritage Month happens soon after school starts, this picture book could be such a great read for the kids that might feel insecure or less than about their family experience.
Author: Grecia Huesca Dominguez
Illustrator: Teresa Martinez
This book has a simple story, simple words, but such a big emotional impact. This little girl is moving from Mexico to New York. Already, we begin the story with a major move…but then the author really digs into the little experiences connected to the move. This little girl is having the time of her life in the airplane, but then realizes they will only live in an apartment (instead of the house they might have lived in before). She tries to see the bright side about the park.
And then comes the gut punch, that feeling many kids from immigrant families might have had: when she gets on the school bus, Juana realizes she cannot understand what the kids are saying. To make matters worse, once she gets in the classroom, Juana’s teacher mispronounces her name.
This is one of moments where the feeling of being an outsider really comes through, and kids can be really scared to push back if they haven’t been taught to do so. The rest of the book addresses this big problem of mispronunciation. Juana makes a new friend that helps her out.
Author: Silvia López
Illustrator: Pablo Pino
An absolutely hilarious picture book take on the Hispanic tradition of long names! A story about two brothers, one with a very long name and one with a super short name. Follow the little brother as he tries to get his parent’s attention, before the older brother falls into the river. The scary incident forces the family and community to reconsider the brother’s long name.
These picture books are just a few of my favorite Hispanic / Latinx heritage-centered books. Some of them feel like an inside joke (the names used in Pancho Nacho are common Hispanic / Latinx names) or highlight some of my favorite parts of the Hispanic culture (like the variety of foods in ¡Vamos! Let’s Eat!).
Have you read any of the picture books mentioned? What did you think of the stories? Do you have any favorites? Don’t forget to check out this updated post on fiction and nonfiction picture books to read during Hispanic Heritage Month!
This blog post was a picture book round-up about
5 Picture Books for Hispanic Heritage Month.