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Books & Beyond

Latinx Voices in Picture Books

By Anna B, Isaac F, and Lisa T.
September 10, 2021

Here’s a sampling of stellar, recent picture books by Hispanic American creators.  The umbrella term “Hispanic Americans” encompasses Americans with roots in Mexico, Central America, South America, the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean, and Spain, a group far too numerous and diverse to do justice to in a short book list. That said, we’ve endeavored to highlight a wide variety of new titles in the hope that you find some books here to share with the children in your life.  There’s a wonderful and rich array of stories and artwork to be found here. But, please let us know if you are looking for books that represent a particular community — we’d be happy to put together a selection of books just for you.

Click on any book cover to go to English and Spanish language editions, where available. Happy reading!

FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP & COMMUNITY

¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat by Raul the Third
Little Lobo and his dog go out in search of yummy food to deliver to the luchadores, in this visually dazzling bilingual celebration of Mexican food and wrestling. 

I Love You, Baby Burrito by Angela Dominguez.
Adoring parents welcome their new baby home, carefully and cozily swaddling their  newborn “like a baby burrito.”

Salsa Lullaby by Jen Arena
A baby is happily salsa-danced into dreamland by his devoted Mami and Papi, who sing a bilingual lullaby that gently says good night in Spanish and English.

Paletero Man by Lucky Diaz
What’s the best way to cool off on a hot summer day? Run quick and find Paletero José!

Strollercoaster by Matt Ringler; illustrated by Raul the Third and Elaine Bay.
Buckle up as a toddler’s tantrum is cleverly averted when a loving dad transforms an everyday neighborhood stroll into an adventure.

My Two Border Towns by David Bowles; illustrated by Erika Meza
A boy and his father cross the United States-Mexico border every other Saturday to visit their favorite places and spend time with family and friends.

My Papi has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero.  illustrated by Zeke Peña.
When Daisy’s father comes home from work, he takes her on a motorcycle ride where she gets to see family, friends, and the changes in her busy Latinx neighborhood.

A New Kind of Wild by Zara Gonzalez Hoang
Ren misses his old home when he moves to the city, but making a new friend helps, inspired by the stories the author’s father told her about moving from Puerto Rico to New York as a child.

CULTURAL HERITAGE & TRADITIONS

Run, Little Chaski! An Inka Trail Adventure Mariana Llanos; illustrated by Mariana Ruiz Johnson
Little Chaski, a new royal messenger for the Inka Empire, is challenged on his first day by a trapped condor in desperate need of help.

Zonia’s Rain Forest by Juana Martinez-Neal
Zonia enjoys spending her days with animal friends near her home in the Amazon, but wonders what to when the rainforest calls out for her help.

Where Are You From?  by Yamile Saied Méndez by Yamile Saied Méndez. illustrated by Jaime Kim.
A girl is repeatedly asked, “where are you from?”, troubled she turns to her abuelo for some guidance with this ever-persistent question.

One is a Pinata: A Book of Numbers by Roseanne Thong. Illustrated by Jon Parra
In this playful bilingual counting book, each number has its own theme, representing a  year’s worth of Mexican cultural festivities. 

MEMOIRS & BIOGRAPHIES

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
With magical artwork, the acclaimed artist offers a child-centered memoir of her journey to make a new life with her son in the United States after leaving Mexico.

Areli is a Dreamer by Areli Morales; illustrated by Luisa Uribe.
by Areli moves from Mexico, and adjusts to her new, fast-paced life in New York City.

El Sharuko: Peruvian Archaeologist / Sharuko: el arqueólogo Peruano by Monica Brown; illustrated by Elisa Chavarri.
Traces Sharuko’s life from an early interest in Peru’s ancient cultures to his rise as the most distinguished Indigenous social scientist of the twentieth century.

 

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise. Illustrated by Paola Escobar.
New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, Pura Belpré, became an influential champion of bilingual literature.

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