Hispanic Heritage Month started in the United States this year on September 15 and runs through October 15. And what better way to expose your children to Hispanic heritage (and those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America) than by reading books on the history, culture, contributions, and language.
12 Books For Hispanic Heritage Month for Children of All Ages:
- Let’s Celebrate Hispanic Heritage: A Coloring Book for Kids 2+ Celebrating Latin America Culture and Traditions offers coloring pages with cute alpacas and cacti and mariachi and much more. Text of the book is in English and the ink drawings provide plenty of space for kids to add their own vibrancy to the images.
- The Secret of the Plátano, written by Dominican author Luz Maria Mack, is about the magical relationship between a boy and his grandmother and how the secrets of life are written in nature, if only one has ears to hear its wisdom. Recommended for ages 5-9.
- Nuestra America: 30 Inspiring Latinas/Latinos Who Have Shaped the United States by Sabrina Vourvoulias in conjunction with the Smithsonian Latino Center,, is for kids ages 8 through 12, and focuses on those who contributed culturally, socially, and politically to the character of the United States. The book contains a glossary and discussion questions, in addition to the engaging stories.
- Courageous History Makers: 11 Women from Latin America Who Changed the World features those who excelled in science, sports, arts, journalism, politics, aviation, and more. Written by Naibe Reynoso in rhyming verse for children between 5 and 8 years old, this is sure to become a household favorite during Hispanic Heritage Month and every month.
- Pepe and the Parade: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage follows Pepe as he enthusiastically celebrates his Mexican-American heritage by participating in his first parade. Written for kids from preschool to grade three.
- Where Are You From? By Yamile Saied Mendez is an award-winning book focusing on a simple question (the one in the title) without an easy answer. Themes of self-acceptance, identity, and home are explored in an appropriate way for children ages 4-8 years old.
- Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa captures the life of flamboyant salsa singer Cuban Celia Cruz in a ways that will speak to children ages 5 through 8.
- The Coquies Still Sing is a powerful story about home, community, and hope and it was inspired by the rebuilding of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. The book, for children ages 4 through 8, focuses on the fact that the coqui frog returns to sing to Elena from her mango tree as the family rebuilds. (May be super poignant and meaningful as Puerto Rico begins to rebuild from this week’s hurricane. This book is also available in Spanish.)
- Island Born won the 2019 Pura Belpre Honor Book Award for Illustration. For children ages 2 through 8, Lola is told by her abuela that “just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.” This book is a beautifully-illustrated celebration of our connections to our families, our pasts, and to ourselves.
- Dreamers by Yuyi Morales is a multiple award-winning memoir of resilience, hope, and dreaming. Its text is lyrical and that and the images are rich in symbolism, geared towards ages 3 through 9.
- Abuela by Arthur Dorros follows Rosalba and her grandmother on a magical journey flying over New York City. The Horn Book says the book is a “marvelous balancing of narrative simplicity with visual intricacy.” Written in English with Spanish words and phrases woven into the seamlessly into the text, the book has won numerous awards and is for children ages 3 through 6.
- Besos for Baby: A Little Book of Kisses is a read-aloud book for infants through 2 year olds who learn both English and Spanish words and that everyone (mom, dad, the dog, the cat, etc.) has kisses for Baby.
Reading books with your children and talking about heritage and race—as well as experiencing food from other cultures—is one way to celebrate and honor Hispanic Heritage Month. Write in the comments how else you plan to celebrate.