September 15 – October 15 marks the 20th Anniversary of National Hispanic Heritage Month which honors the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens who trace their ancestry to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Spanish-speaking countries of Central and South America. With today’s growing Hispanic population, many children often speak Spanish as a first language. The following English-Spanish bilingual books celebrate the Hispanic experience and can be used with English language learners.
Contemporary Hispanic Life
Americanos: Latino Life in the United States (La Vida Latina en los Estados Unidos). 1999.
More than 200 black-and-white and color photographs accompany description of Latino life in the United States. (age 13 to adult)
[Modern Languages: Q. 305.868076 Ol5a]
Moony Luna (Luna Lunita Lunera). 2005.
Five-year old Luna doesn’t want to go to school, but when her parents assure her that she will have a wonderful time playing and learning, she decides to give it a try.
[Education S Collection: SE. Ar38m]
Muffler Man (El Hombre Mofle). 2001.
Chuy works hard at the muffler shop to earn enough money to join his father in America, where together they create an army of “muffler men,” statues made from old muffler parts, that they scatter around the city.
[Education S Collection: Q. SE. C157m:SP]
Margaret and Margarita, Margarita y Margaret. 1993.
Margaret, who only speaks English, and Margarita, who only speaks Spanish, meet in the park and have fun playing together even though they have different languages.
[Education S Collection: SE. R277M]
Folklore, Poetry, and Traditions
Ada, Alma Flor
Half-Chicken (Mediopollito). 1995.
A Mexican folk tale which explains why the weather vane has a little rooster on one end that spins around to let us know which way the wind is blowing.
(Spanish and English on opposite pages.)
[Education Storage: Q. SE. Ad11me]
Gonzalez, Lucia M.
The Bossy Gallito (El gallo de bodas). 1994.
In this cumulative Cuban folktale, a bossy rooster dirties his beak when he eats a kernel of corn and must find a way to clean it before his parrot uncle’s wedding. Includes a glossary of Spanish words and information about the different birds in the story
[Education Storage: Q.S. 398.21 G589B]
The Spirit of Tio Fernando: a Day of the Dead Story (El Espirito Del Tio Fernando: Un Cuento Del Dia de la Muerto). 1995.
As he prepares to celebrate the Day of the Dead, a young boy remembers all the things he liked about his favorite uncle.
[Education S Collection: S. L5796s]
Trisba & Sula: a Miskitu Folktale From Nicaragua. 2005.
A young Miskitu man loses his father and must provide for his mother. Initially, he hunts too many deer. With a magical twist, his love for a beautiful young woman helps him realize his unwise practice.
[Education S Collection: Q. S.398.2 M137t]
The Desert Is My Mother (El Desierto Es Mi Madre). 1994.
A poetic depiction of the desert as the provider of comfort, food, spirit, and life.
[Education S Collection: Q. S.811 M792d]
The Tree Is Older Than You Are: a Bilingual Gathering of Poems & Stories From Mexico With Paintings By Mexican Artists. 1998.
Bilingual collection of more than 60 Mexican poems and stories with illustrations.
[Education Storage: S.860.81 T714]
Biographies and Autobiographies
My name is Gabriela : the life of Gabriela Mistral = Me llamo Gabriela : la vida de Gabriela Mistral. 2005.
Gabriela Mistral loved words, sounds and stories. Born in Chile, she would grow to become the first Nobel Prize-winning Latina woman in the world. As a poet and a teacher, she inspired children across many countries to let their voices be heard.
[Education S Collection: SB. M678b]
Garza, Carmen Lomas.
Family Pictures: Stories & Pictures (Cuadros de Familia: Cuadros y Relatos). 2005.
The author describes, in bilingual text and illustrations, her experiences growing up in a Hispanic community in Texas.
[Education S Collection: Q.S.306.8508968 L837f2005]
Griswold del Castillo, Richard.
Cesar Chavez: the Struggle For Justice (Cesar Chavez: la Lucha Por la Justicia). 2002.
A simple biography of the man who worked to win fairer treatment of the migrant farm workers in California in the 1960s and to establish the United Farm Workers union.
[Undergrad: Q. 331.8813092 C398g:E]
Herrera, Juan Felipe
The Upside Down Boy (El Nino de Cabeza). 2000.
The author recalls the year when his farm worker parents settled down in the city so that he could go to school for the first time.
[Education S Collection: S.811 H433u]
Tip: To Find more bilingual titles in the online catalog use the Subject Heading “Spanish language materials –Bilingual” and choose the heading type “LC subject headings for children.”
The National Education Association Web site offers additional reading lists of bilingual material and other related resources.