20 Best Books for Latino Kids

Latino Books 1
Jeffrey Westbrook
These children's books celebrate hispanic culture in unique, wonderful ways. Discover your child’s new favorite read in our list suggested by First Book, a nonprofit that provides new books and educational resources to children in need.
Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music

Written by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael López

Raising a feminist? Boys and girls will love this true story about a young musician who wants to play the drums but isn’t allowed because of the taboo against female drummers prevalent in 1930s Cuba. Not one to be deterred, she must convince her father to let her play if she’s going to follow her heart. Ages 3 to 8

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Arrorró, Mi Niño: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games

Selected and illustrated by Lulu Delacre

Perfect for bedtime snuggles, these bilingual lullabies are from different Latin-American countries. Ages birth to

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Quinito’s Neighborhood / El Vecindario de Quinito

Written by Ina Cumpiano, illustrated by José Ramírez

All of Quinito’s relatives have interesting jobs, many defying gender roles (Mom is a carpenter, and Dad is a nurse), and we get to learn all about them on this bilingual tour of his colorful neighborhood. Ages 4 to 8

RELATEDBreaking Gender Roles for Latino Boys

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Call Me Tree / Llámame árbol

Written by Maya Christina Gonzalez

As you read, encourage your little one to use the drawings to act out the plot: A child imagines growing from a seed into a tree, blooming in a forest of diverse children, all free to express their true selves. Ages 4 to 8

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

All the Way to Havana

Written by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Mike Curato

This tale of a family’s road trip to Cuba’s capital captures the magic of the island as they drive past farms, forests, and beaches. The text (like “and we glide taka taka and we zoom zoom”) is especially fun to read aloud. Ages 4 to 8

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Sing, Don’t Cry

Written by Angela Dominguez

Inspired by a popular Mexican song, this picture book helps kids see that pain and loss are universal life experiences. As a grandfather shares his voice and guitar, recalling memories and imparting wisdom, he encourages his grandkids to always rise above adversity. Ages 4 to 8

RELATED9 Latin American-Inspired Snacks Kids Will Love

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Alma and How She Got Her Name

Written by Juana Martinez-Neal

Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela thinks her name is too long until her father tells her the story of each Peruvian ancestor who inspired it, helping her feel closely connected to her family. She comes to appreciate the traits she shares with them. Expect your child to ask you about the origin of her name. Ages 4 to 8 (Also available in Spanish)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Tía Isa Wants a Car

Written by Meg Medina, illustrated by Claudio Muñoz

If your little one has ever saved up to buy something important to her, she will relate to the main character, whose persistence and hard work pay off in the end. Ages 3 to 7 (Also available in Spanish)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

The Secret Footprints

Written by Julia Alvarez, illustrated by Fabian Negrin

The Dominican folktale of the ciguapa, an underwater creature with backward feet who ventures on land only at night, gets a different twist in this story about a fearless ciguapa girl who befriends a human boy. Ages 4 to 7 (Also available in Spanish)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Carmela Full of Wishes

Written by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson

When Carmela’s brother explains the magic of blowing on a dandelion, she imagines all the different wishes she could make—a candy machine, a bed for her mom, a reunion with her father — each creatively depicted as a papel picado illustration in this story about siblings. Ages 4 to 8 (Also available in Spanish)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Dreamers

Written by Yuyi Morales

Artist Yuyi Morales shares her poetic autobiography of immigrating to the United States with her son. When they discover the local public library and all the imaginary worlds they’re able to access through the books there, they find a welcoming place in their new home. Ages 4 to 8 (Also available in Spanish)

RELATEDThe Perfect Blend: One Latina Mom's Multicultural Household

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

From North to South / Del Norte al Sur

Written by René Colato Laínez, illustrated by Joe Cepeda

This bilingual story shows the enduring love that bonds a family separated by deportation. When José and his papá travel south to visit his mother in Mexico, they make the most of their brief time together and find ways to remain close despite the distance. Ages 6+

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Grandma’s Gift

Written by Eric Velasquez

Young art aficionados will love this autobiographical tale in which a boy and his Puerto Rican grandmother living in New York’s El Barrio neighborhood visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The paintings they see enrich both their lives and inspire the author to become an artist. Ages 4 to 8 (Also available in Spanish)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Juana & Lucas

Written by Juana Medina

This illustrated chapter book stars Juana, a lover of comic books who lives in Bogotá, Colombia, and who is not excited to learn “the English.” But when her abuelos promise to take her to visit Spaceland Park in Orlando, Florida, to meet her favorite hero, Astroman, she finds new motivation. Ages 5 to 8

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Abuela’s Weave

Written by Omar S. Castañeda, illustrated by Enrique O. Sanchez

Beating with cultural pride, this story focuses on Esperanza and her grandmother as they travel from the Guatemalan countryside to the city to sell their colorful handwoven tapestries. Readers will admire the young girl’s confidence and entrepreneurship as she sells every last piece. Ages 4 to 8 (Also available in Spanish)

RELATED5 Latin Heroes and Heroines to Tell Your Kids About

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation

Written by Duncan Tonatiuh

Based on true events, this compelling story details how Sylvia Mendez and her family helped end school segregation in California after she was turned away from her neighborhood school because of her Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage. Ages 6 to 9

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Lucky Broken Girl

Written by Ruth Behar

After surviving a terrible car accident others did not, Cuban immigrant Ruthie has to spend nearly a year in a body cast while adjusting to life in a new country. Luckily, her family and neighbors sit with the fifth-grader day in and day out, sharing stories and art, as she begins to heal. Ages 10+

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Flor and Miranda Steal the Show

Written by Jennifer Torres

Eleven-year-olds Flor and Miranda have never met, but each helps support her family’s traveling-carnival business. When Flor learns that the carnival can afford to keep only one of their acts, she fears for her family’s petting zoo and tries to prevent the success of Miranda’s family ranchera band. Ages 8 to 12

RELATEDBilingual Babes: Teach Your Child A Second Language

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes

Written by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Raúl Colón

This collection of mini biographies introduces kids to 20 exceptional Latinos, such as civil-rights activist César Estrada Chávez, astronaut Dr. Ellen Ochoa, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Ages 8 to 12

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Maximilian & the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller

Written by Xavier Garza

Lucha libre fan Max worships wrestler Guardian Angel, but when the boy tumbles into the ring during a match, he senses that he and the masked superstar.

This article originally appeared in Parents Latina Magazine as 'Build a Little Latino Library.'

Share the gallery


All Topics in Books


Parents may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.