Here is the list of best Latino children’s books published in 2013. It is based in the recent release of the lists created by Latinas for Latino Lit, School Library Journal and Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature. Whether you are looking for a gift for your child or (if you are a teacher) a new book to feature in you Spanish class, this list will certainly give you some ideas of the latest books that explore Hispanic heritage.
Take a look at the 2014 Latino Children’s Books here:
The Best 20 Latino Children’s Books from 2014
The Best 15 Latino Children’s Books from 2013
|TITLE & DESCRIPTION||RATING||NOTES|
Yes! We Are Latinos!
by Alma Flor Ada
Juanita lives in New York and is Mexican. Felipe lives in Chicago and is Panamanian, Venezuelan, and black. Michiko lives in Los Angeles and is Peruvian and Japanese. Each of them is also Latino.
Thirteen young Latinos and Latinas living in America are introduced in this book celebrating the rich diversity of the Latino and Latina experience in the United States. Free-verse fictional narratives from the perspective of each youth provide specific stories and circumstances for the reader to better understand the Latino people’s quest for identity. Each profile is followed by nonfiction prose that further clarifies the character’s background and history, touching upon important events in the history of the Latino American people, such as the Spanish Civil War, immigration to the US, and the internment of Latinos with Japanese ancestry during World War II.
Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy’s informational yet heartwarming text provides a resource for young Latino readers to see themselves, while also encouraging non-Latino children to understand the breadth and depth of the contributions made by Latinos in the US. Caldecott Medalist David Diaz’s hand-cut illustrations are bold and striking, perfectly complementing the vibrant stories in the book.
YES! WE ARE LATINOS stands alone in its presentation of the broad spectrum of Latino culture and will appeal to readers of fiction and nonfiction.
Tito Puente: Mambo King | Tito Puente: Rey del Mambo
by Monica Brown
From musical prodigy on the streets of Harlem to five-time Grammy Award winner, Tito's life was full of rhythm. Drums and claves, saxophones and tambourines were all part of the fun.
|★★★★★||Ages: 4 to 8 years
Tamalitos: Un poema para cocinar | Tamalitos: A Cooking Poem
by Jorge Argueta
In his fourth cooking poem for young children, Jorge Argueta encourages more creativity and fun in the kitchen as he describes how to make tamalitos from corn masa and cheese, wrapped in cornhusks. In simple, poetic language, Argueta shows young cooks how to mix and knead the dough before dropping a spoonful into a cornhusk, wrapping it up and then steaming the little package. He once again makes cooking a full sensory experience, beating on a pot like a drum, dancing the corn dance, delighting in the smell of corn... And at the end, he suggests inviting the whole family to come and enjoy the delicious tamalitos “made of corn with love.” Domi’s vivid paintings, featuring a sister and her little brother making tamalitos together, are a perfect accompaniment to the colorful text.
|★★★||Ages: 4 to 7 years
Round is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes
by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
In this lively picture book, children discover a world of shapes all around them: rectangles are ice-cream carts and stone metates, triangles are slices of watermelon and quesadillas. Many of the featured objects are Latino in origin, and all are universal in appeal. With rich, boisterous illustrations, a fun-to-read rhyming text, and an informative glossary, this playful concept book will reinforce the shapes found in every child's day!
|★★★★★||Ages: 3 to 5
Parrots Over Puerto Rico
by Susan L. Roth
A picture book telling the intertwined histories of the Puerto Rican parrot and the island of Puerto Rico, culminating with current efforts to save the parrots from extinction.
Puerto Rican parrots, once abundant, came perilously close to extinction in the 1960s due to centuries of foreign exploration and occupation, development, and habitat destruction. In this compelling book, Roth and Trumbore recount the efforts of the scientists of the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program to save the parrots and ensure their future. Woven into the parrots' story is a brief history of Puerto Rico itself, from before the first human settlers to the present day.
Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant's Tale
by Duncan Tonatiuh
In this allegorical picture book, a young rabbit named Pancho eagerly awaits his papa’s return. Papa Rabbit traveled north two years ago to find work in the great carrot and lettuce fields to earn money for his family. When Papa does not return, Pancho sets out to find him. He packs Papa’s favorite meal—mole, rice and beans, a heap of warm tortillas, and a jug of aguamiel—and heads north. He meets a coyote, who offers to help Pancho in exchange for some of Papa’s food. They travel together until the food is gone and the coyote decides he is still hungry . . . for Pancho!
Duncan Tonatiuh brings to light the hardship and struggles faced by thousands of families who seek to make better lives for themselves and their children by illegally crossing the border.
|★★★★||Ages: 6 to 9 years|
Marisol Mcdonald and the Clash Bash | Marisol Mcdonald y la fiesta sin igual
by Monica Brown
Marisol is turning eight, and it’s time to plan a birthday party that will be fabulous, marvelous, and divine. She also hopes that Abuelita, who lives far away in Peru, will be able to come to the celebration.
At the party store, Marisol can’t decide what kind of party to have. There are so many choices, but everything in the store matches! Nothing seems right for soccer, pirate, princess, unicorn-loving Marisol. Finally she comes up with just the right idea, and when her friends arrive for her Clash Bash birthday, a big surprise awaits. But in a heartwarming turn of events, Marisol gets the biggest surprise of all—a visit from Abuelita via computer.
In this delightful story told in English and Spanish, author Monica Brown and illustrator Sara Palacios once again bring the irrepressible Marisol McDonald to life. With her bright red hair, golden brown skin, mismatched outfits, and endearing individuality, this free-spirited Peruvian-Scottish-American girl is headed straight into the hearts of young readers everywhere.
|★★★★★||Ages: 4 to 8 years
How Far Do You Love Me?
by Lulu Delacre
Based on a bedtime game author/illustrator Lulu Delacre played with her young daughters, How Far Do You Love Me? is an "I love you" book with a twist. With every expression of love, readers visit one of thirteen different locations around the world, each a beautifully illustrated scene of adults and children in a place of natural beauty.
|★★★★||Ages: 5 to 8 years|
The Gumazing Gum Girl!: Chews Your Destiny
by Rhode Montijo
Gabby Gomez loves to chew bubble gum even though her mother has warned her against it. It's not like she will turn into gum...except, that's exactly what happens! With her new, stretch-tastic powers Gabby can help save the day, but she will have to keep her gummy alter-ego a secret from her mother or else she'll find herself in a really sticky situation.
|★★★★★||Ages: 4 to 8 years|
Good Night Captain Mama | Buenas Noches Capitán Mamá
by Graciela Tiscareno-Sato
A little boy named Marco is walking to his bedroom in pajamas carrying his stuffed puppy dog when he notices his mommy in an olive-green military flight suit. His curiosity about the colorful patches on her uniform evolves into a sweet, reassuring bedtime conversation between a military mother and her child about why she serves and what she does in the unusual KC-135R aerial refueling airplane. He drifts off to sleep with thoughts of his mommy in the airplane and the special surprise she gave him stuck to his fleece pajamas. This unique book was written by a Latina military officer and former aviator. It's the first bilingual children's book, in English and Spanish, about why mommies wear military uniforms.
|★★★★★||Ages: 4 to 7 years
Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People
by Susan Goldman Rubin
Diego Rivera offers young readers unique insight into the life and artwork of the famous Mexican painter and muralist. The book follows Rivera’s career, looking at his influences and tracing the evolution of his style. His work often called attention to the culture and struggles of the Mexican working class. Believing that art should be for the people, he created public murals in both the United States and Mexico, examples of which are included. The book contains a list of museums where you can see Rivera’s art, a historical note, a glossary, and a bibliography.
|★★★★||Ages: 8 to 12 years|
Black and Blanco!: Engaging Art in English y Español
by San Antonio Museum of Art
What better way to be introduced to the contrasting interplay between black and white than with eye-catching works of art. This bi-lingual edition also introduces children at a young age to both English and Spanish.
One in the series of bilingual board books called Arte Kids that also includes 1, 2, 3, Si! (an artistic exploration of numbers), Hello Círculos! (featuring shapes in the arts), Colores Everywhere! (colors in art), and Animal Amigos!
Art for this book was selected from the collection of the San Antonio Museum of Art, one of the leading art museums in the United States with a collection spanning a broad range of history and world cultures.
|★★★★||Ages: 1 to 3 years
Niño Wrestles the World
by Yuyi Morales
"Senoritas y señors! In this corner of the playroom, we have an energetic little boy whose traditional, outlandish Mexican luchadore wrestling costume consists of a pair of underwear and a bright red lucha libre mask. And in the opposite corner, an assortment of “out-of-this-world contenders” ready to take our brave Niño down. Introduced via fact boxes on the endpapers, the villains are an intimidating bunch, but Niño prevails over each thanks to one of his signature moves: the Guanajuato Mummy (the Tickle Tackle!), Olmec Head (the Puzzle Muzzle!), the Weeping Woman (the Doll Decoy!), and so forth. Each single-spread bout is announced by a title card in Spanish and features a plethora of nonsensical action words to go along with Niño’s attacks: zok, slish, bloop, spak, and so on. Morales’ illustrations have just enough competing font styles and explosive-looking backgrounds to conjure the feel of an authentic lucha libre poster, and kids with multicultural classmates will recognize (or learn) Niño’s many Spanish exclamations. A closing note explains the lucha libre culture." -Booklist
|★★★★★||Ages: 4 to 8 years|
The Legend of Ponciano Gutiérrez and the Mountain Thieves
by A. Gabriel Meléndez
Once upon a time in the Mora Valley of northern New Mexico there lived a farmer named Ponciano Gutiérrez. On a trip through the mountains he was taken captive by Vicente Silva and his gang of bank robbers. This tale of Ponciano's quick-witted escape has been a bedtime story for generations in the Paiz family.
New Mexico authors at the turn of the last century published many accounts of the crimes of Vicente Silva. This book is the first to present a Silva legend that has been kept alive by families in Mora since the 1890s. The Paiz family version is presented in English with a Spanish translation by A. Gabriel Meléndez.
|N/A||Ages: 9 to 13 years|
The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba's Greatest Abolitionist
by Ms. Margarita Engle
“I find it so easy to forget / that I’m just a girl who is expected / to live / without thoughts.” Opposing slavery in Cuba in the nineteenth century was dangerous. The most daring abolitionists were poets who veiled their work in metaphor. Of these, the boldest was Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, nicknamed Tula. In passionate, accessible verses of her own, Engle evokes the voice of this book-loving feminist and abolitionist who bravely resisted an arranged marriage at the age of fourteen, and was ultimately courageous enough to fight against injustice. Historical notes, excerpts, and source notes round out this exceptional tribute.
Sources: Latinas for Latino Lit, School Library Journal and Center for the Study Multicultural Children’s Literature.
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