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Written by Meredith Bartolo Pappas
Reading in English and Spanish can really help build bilingual skills because it is important to hear and honor both languages as much as possible, and what better place to practice that than with a good story you’ll read over and over?
It’s especially helpful to have Spanish books for kids when bilingual kids are starting to read on their own so that they can see each language as well as hear it.
For children who speak both English and Spanish, it can actually be easier to learn to read in Spanish because it is more phonetically friendly- and there are lots of bilingual reading apps to help them do it.
Here is a quick list of Spanish picture books for preschool and kindergarten that feature both English and Spanish. Looking for Latine biographies? We’ve got you covered there too!
Simple with beautiful illustrations, this one answers the most common question of how are you? Equal parts English and Spanish, this one is just right for talking about emotions and introducing bilingualism to young children. Angela Domiguez has a bunch of great books like this one, including Tienes Hambre? and Como Se Dice? She also is a prolific illustrator and has a fantastic early reader series about a girl named Stella Díaz. (We adore Stella Diaz in our house too!)
Marta is an ordinary girl, but compared to different animals she can be different things, including pequeña y grande. Great for understanding opposites, as well as perspective, this is a fantastic bilingual choice for young readers. Angela Dominguez’s art is always adorable, and this story introduces all kinds of animals and their corresponding traits, like fast and slow, big and small.
A vivid trip to the park with her abuela becomes a magical adventure in this bright and loving story. Though there is much more English than Spanish in this one, it is such fun and touches on the fact that Abuela had to leave her country for a new life in America, which many families may relate to as well.
A sweet little board book about things cerca and lejos that’s just right for infants and toddlers who are in the midst of learning both English and Spanish, as well as older children who are beginning to read.
Written in both English and Spanish, and rhyming in both languages, this book is so creative and clever! One of the best Mexican-American bilingual books because it really showcases both English and Spanish equally and is fun and interesting to boot. Win win!
Vamos! Let’s Go Eat! by Raúl The III with colors by Elaine Bay
Little Lobo needs to help feed all the Luchadores before the big show, and visits many traditional food stalls and trucks to get all their favorites. This book takes you through lots of deliciousness and its fantastic illustrations are a treat too. If you like this one, check out the others in the Vamos! Series, they are all equally fun and informative. Even my older kids love this book and the whole series, really!
Call Me Tree/Llamame Árbol by Maya Christina Gonzalez
Lovely and simple, a young child goes through a discovery of their similarities to a growing tree, including how they are dreaming and reching into the sky. Written in both English and Spanish, this book reads like a sweet poem all about growing up free to be yourself.
Another one that is mostly in English with Spanish words and phrases added throughout, this is such a darling way to be invited into someone’s home and family. This bustling house is filled with love and inclusion, and many children will enjoy or relate to the family that flows through the blue door.
Written in both English and Spanish, with a rhyming English refrain, this is a colorful book about the mariposa migration from Canada to Mexico. Definitely a hit with any butterfly, or geography, enthusiasts!
Primos Carlito and Charlie haven’t met yet, but write letters to each other about their lives in Mexico and America. Though this book is mostly written in English, it is an interesting look at the similarities and differences in the daily life of a child in a more rural area of Mexico and one in an American city like New York.
Round As A Tortilla by Rosanne Greenfield Thong and John Parra
Learn shapes with a Latinx spin in this rhyming book with charming illustrations. Though this is primarily written in English with Spanish words mixed in, all of the shapes are based on things with a Mexican heritage, such as paletas or Mariachis. If you like this one, you can check out Green Is A Chile Pepper and One Is A PiNATA, both by the same author and illustrator.
Book Fiesta! Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day (Celebramos El Día De Los Niños/El Día De Los Libros) By Pat Mora and Rafael López
With its bouncing text and vibrant illustrations, this book is a celebration in and of itself! All about Book Day/El Día De Los Libros and how we can read books anywhere and everywhere, including on the back of a whale! Written in both English and Spanish, this one is sure to delight all eager readers ready to celebrate libros y ninos.
From The Bellybutton Of The Moon and Other Summer Poems/Del Ombligo de la Luna y Otras Poemas De Verano by Francisco X. Alarcón and Maya Christina Gonzalez
This delightful book of poetry has both breezy, short poems about summer in Mexico and some that are a deeper dive into the author’s Mexican heritage. Written in both English and Spanish, this is a great way to get a little poetry into each day, especially during summertime or when dreaming of summer days.
If you are looking for a great beginner Spanish-English picture dictionary, look no further! Cute and simple but chock-full of important words, this book is just right for starting Spanish with toddlers and up, or as a reference for early readers who are just learning to read in both languages.
Hearing both Spanish and English during story time will help build vocabulary skills, and getting to see the words on the page can enhance the bilingual pre-reading experience. Any of the books on this list will give you an opportunity to practice both languages together, and are fun to read on repeat. Which of these Spanish picture books for preschool and kindergarten has a home on your bookshelf?
Welcome! I’m Christa, a Spanish teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. We’ve spent over 25 years living in and traveling to Costa Rica with our daughters, and this website is my love letter to all things Costa Rica- and to bilingual parenting too. You can read my full story here. Thanks for stopping by!