This month, alongside celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness, FIERCE has also been taking part in Bilingual Child Month. The holiday, which exists to highlight bilingual childhood education, encourages parents to embrace the multicultural world we live in. The month reminds us that we don’t all have to speak Spanish to be Latinx or English to be American, but life can be a whole lot easier for us when we do. That’s why, in addition to exploring the different way parents are encouraging their kids to be multi and bilingual, we’re also taking a deep dive into the books that can encourage our kids to be fluent in English and Spanish.
Whether you’re an auntie, new mom, or mom-to-be, you probably have a few little ones in your life. It might be your neighbor’s kids that you occasionally play with or your college bestie’s new baby. It might be your growing bundle of joy or your cousin’s quickly growing 5-year-old. No matter what smiling tiny face is in your life, though, you probably occasionally find yourself with the need to buy them a gift or two. And that’s where this list comes in! The best part about these books is that you can help those children in your life learn español while keeping up with their English, too. Since its educational but also fun, the kids are likely to love it as much as their parents will.
Check them out below!
1. Counting With – Contando Con Frida by Patty Rodriguez
The Lil’ Libros library is stacked with plenty of great books, but this one is by far one of my favorites. You can teach your kids or nieces how to count from 1 to 10, in both English and Spanish, with images like “una casa azul” and “cinco retratos.”
2. Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match / Marisol McDonald no combina by Monica Brown
If the little kids in your life ever feel like they’re mismatched (because of their mixed heritage, perhaps?), then they might just relate to Marisol McDonald. This story of diversity is really special as you read about this Peruvian-Scottish girl.
3. Abuela by Arthur Dorros
Rosalba’s abuela only speaks Spanish, but that’s okay. When they are home alone together, they imagine flying over New York City and going on adventures together — as abuela teachers her phrases in español.
4. El Perro con Sombrero: A Bilingual Doggy Tale by Derek Taylor Kent
You can instill a love of animals early in your kids, or your friend’s kids, with this adorable book. You can learn all about Pepe as he navigates the world in his sombrero, though he does have to watch out for the jealous Gato…
5. The Life of /La Vida De Selena by Patty Rodriguez
If you love Selena (and who doesn’t?!), then you will absolutely ADORE this bilingual book. Unlike the Frida book from Lil’ Libros, this one is part of their bilingual biography series and can teach the kids in your life all about La Reina.
6. Sweet Dreams/Dulces Sueños by Pat Mora
Although there’s a bilingual version of the popular children’s book Goodnight, Moon, THIS is the book you’ll want to get. Tuck that adorable kid into bed with this book and they (and you) will have pleasant dreams all night long.
7. La Princessa and the Pea by Susan Middleton Elya
This tale is an adorable (and bilingual) recreation of this beloved fairy tale and, just like the original version, it is absolutely incredible. You’ll surely love reading this Peruvian twist about el príncipe y la princesa.
8. Zapata: Colors – Colores by Patty Rodriguez
This Lil’ Libros book is simple and beautiful and will help teach your kids all about different colors as they read about the “caballo blanco” and brown somprero. What more could you possibly want?
9. Maria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía una Llamita by Angela Dominguez
Another book that reimagines a classic with a Latin twist, this book is a Peruvian-inspired tale of Maria and her llama told in both English and Spanish. These two adorable characters will surely steal your heart.
10. Perro Grande… Perro Pequeño / Big Dog… Little Dog by P.D. Eastman
At first glance, this book might seem like your typical tale told in both Spanish and English but underneath it all there’s a story about diversity and inclusivity that those little niños in your life will definitely learn from.
11. Besos For Baby: A Little Book of Kisses by Jen Arena
This one is probably the first book you should get since it’s pretty high up on almost everyone’s list of favorite bilingual books. And who doesn’t love a book that’s all about besitos?
12. La Catrina: Emotions – Emociones by Patty Rodriguez
Using this very popular image from traditional Dia de Los Muertos celebrations, this Lil’ Libros book is here to teach kids about emotional expressions. It’s a really important read and one that everyone should own.