I am a big fan of the Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) parent education initiative, developed by the Public Library Association (PLA) and the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC). As a Children's Librarian, I presented many ECRR workshops for parents in both English and Spanish. As a consultant, one of the services I offer is helping libraries offer ECRR workshops to Spanish-speaking parents in their service area. One of the reasons why I love ECRR so much is because it is a data-supported model which accomplishes multiple goals at once. This is particularly true as it is offered to Latino and Spanish-speaking communities. Not only does it reach early literacy goals by teaching and empowering parents as the first teachers of their children, it also works as an outreach tool to form new relationships between libraries and Latino community organizations and even individual families. I am a huge advocate of the ECRR initiative and I am thrilled that the updated version will soon be available in a Spanish as well, Cada niño listo para leer.
In order to support librarians and library staff offering ECRR workshops to Spanish-speaking families, I thought I would share some of my favorite Spanish and bilingual books that support early literacy development. These are books that are fun to share with children, are wonderful to incorporate into storytimes, and make great examples for sharing with parents during ECRR workshops.
Board Books for Babies
My Colors, My World / Mis colores, mi mundo by Maya Christina Gonzalez
This Belpré honor recipient for illustration is now available in board book form. Explore the colors hiding in the desert with young Maya.
I Love to Sleep / Me encanta dormir / J'aime dormir and I Love to Eat / Me encanta comer / J'aime manger by Amélie Graux
Trilingual touch-and-feel board books introduce simple vocabulary.
¡Fiesta! by Ginger Foglesong Guy
Count the objects the niños buy at the market for their fiesta.
Time for Bed / Es hora de dormir and Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes / Diez deditos de las manos y diez deditos de los pies by Mem Fox
Two much loved titles for babies now available in bilingual board books featuring spectacular rhyming translations by F. Isabel Campoy.
¡Cu-cú, bebé! and ¿Dónde está el ombliguito? by Karen Katz
Spanish versions of fun lift-the-flap board books that introduce new vocabulary in an interactive manner.
Picture Books for Toddlers
Hello Night / Hola noche by Amy Costales
A gentle story that rhymes in both languages. Perfect for bedtime.
Let's Eat! / ¡A comer! by Pat Mora
A sweet story in the "My Family / Mi Familia" series about the joy of sharing a meal together as a family. The entire series is highly recommended; other titles are Wiggling Pockets / Los bosillos saltarines and Sweet Dreams / Dulces sueños.
Fiesta Babies by Carmen Tafolla
Rhyming English text which incorporates Spanish words introduces us to the many ways in which babies celebrate!
¡Muu, Moo! Rimas de animales / Animal Nursery Rhymes by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy
Animal rhymes that niños and parents will enjoy sharing time and again.
ABeCedarios: Mexican Folk Art ABCs in English and Spanish by Cynthia Weill
The first in a series of bilingual first concept books that feature photographs of traditional Mexican folk art pieces as illustrations. Others in the series are Opposites / Opuestos, Colores de la vida, and Count Me In!
Picture Books for Preschoolers
Quinito's Neighborhood / El vecindario de Quinito by Ina Cumpiano
Meet the diverse folks in Quinito's neighborhood while learning fantastic vocabulary!
Ten Little Puppies / Diez perritos by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy
A traditional Spanish children's song in storybook form. Count and sing along!
Un pez muy divertido by Jack Tickle
One of several Spanish pop-up books in the "Libros Cu-cu Sorpresa" series. Spanish pop-ups can be difficult to find for purchase; it's really fun to be able to share them with kids in storytime or at a workshop.
What Can You Do with a Rebozo? / ¿Qué puedes hacer con un rebozo? by Carmen Tafolla
The rebozo, a traditional shawl, can be many things if you use your imagination.
Arroz con leche / Rice Pudding by Jorge Argueta
One of several bilingual cooking poem stories. The stories are actually recipes told in poem form, which makes them excellent for acting out and talking about what happens first, middle and last. Others are Sopa de frijoles / Bean Soup and Guacamole.
What did I miss? This is just a sample; there are many more great Spanish and bilingual books that promote early literacy skill development and are fun to share with kids. If one that you love is not on this list, please leave a comment and share it with us!
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