Bilingual Spanish English children’s books are an important part of raising bilingual children. Bilingual books, also called dual-language books, are helpful for exposing and introducing children of one language to another language.
Start with board books for babies and toddlers. As children grow, move to picture books for preschoolers and elementary-age children.
The books on this list will provide hours of wonderful family read-aloud time.
Bilingual Spanish English Children’s Books
Bilingual Books for Babies & Toddlers (Ages 0 – 2)
Opposites by Susie Jaramillo
The adorable Canticos baby animals illustrate these opposite pairs. You’ll read loud (ruidoso) with quiet (silencioso) and sad (triste) with happy (feliz) along with many more.
Numbers 1 to 100 by Susie Jaramillo
Bilingual Firsts A Lift-the-Flap Book
Read in English (One sun) then lift the flap to read it in Spanish (Un sol). Count in English and Spanish 1 to ten then by tens up to fifty. You’ll find the bunnies, chicks, elephants, arañas, pájaros, ranas, y mucho más. Simple, engaging illustrations.
Shapes and Patterns by Susie Jaramillo
I love how this book scaffolds the information with first the basic shape and then the shape in a pattern. See what a square is (un cuadrado) then turn the page to see lots of squares that make a checkered pattern. Diamonds make a harlequin pattern. Hexagons make a honeycomb pattern (un patrón de panal). Honestly, I never knew some of the names for these patterns before reading this book! What shape and pattern will be your favorites?
The Birthday Book / Las mañanitas by Susie Jaramillo
Bilingual Nursery Rhymes Lift-the-Flap
Unfold the pages to read one birthday song entirely in English y da la vuelta a leer el otro lado completamente en español. “Estas son las mañanitas que cantaba el rey David.” or “Today’s the day and it’s the morning, you get treated like a king.” The Canticos chicks dress up as mariachis to sing to their bunny friend through the window then they all try to break the piñata. Lift the flaps to read more! Happy birthday to you!
Feelings: Bilingual Firsts by Susie Jaramillo
Read the words for each emotion in English and Spanish along with a simple illustration on bright colored backgrounds. Read words like “brave / valiente, angry / enojada and afraid / asustado.”
Little Elephants / Elefantitos by Susie Jaramillo
Nursery Rhymes Lift-the-Flap
Sing along with the classic Los Elefantes song in English or Spanish as you watch the elephants balancing on the spider’s web. Lift the flaps on the English number to read the number in Spanish.
Los Pollitos (Cánticos) by Susie Jaramillo
Lift the flaps and learn about the little chickies who squeal pio, pio, pio when they get cold and hungry. One side of this unfoldable book is in English, one is in Spanish. The illustrations are precious! Check out the song in both languages on Nick Jr.
Pin Pon (Canticos) by Susie Jaramillo
Depending on the way you hold this bilingual English-Spanish children’s book, you’ll read this catchy song in either English or Spanish about a darling little cardboard boy named Pin Pon who cleans and eats and goes to bed just like a regular boy. As you learn about manners and hygiene, lift the flaps to see more to the story and nouns. Watch the Pin Pon video and hear the song in Spanish on NickJr. (So cute, right?)
All the Colors / de Colores (Canticos) by Susie Jaramillo
Spanish speakers grow up with this darling preschool song about the colors. English on one side of the page, Spanish on the other. There’s also the same book but reversible. Listen to the song and watch the video of these adorable characters on NickJr.
Letters A to Z (Canticos) by Susie Jaramillo
This bilingual chunky board book excels in both its beautiful, appealing illustrations of adorable chicks as well as its well-done content. Each two-page spread contains the letter and word, one side in English and the other side in Spanish. Even better, it tells you the translations in the other language. For example, “H for hat (sombrero)” and “h de hoja (leaf).” This book is one you’ll want to own!
First 100 Words (Canticos) by Susie Jaramillo
For each topic’s page like transportation or nature or school, read words in both English and Spanish.
Te Amo, Bebé (Love You, Baby) by Stephan Lomp
Dominant in Spanish with the English translation below read all the ways to love a baby. “Besar al bebé / Kiss a baby” along with nuzzle, snuggle, bounce and rock. Illustrated with super cute animal parents and their babies.
Hola, Granja Hello, Farm by Maddie Frost
Written first in bigger Spanish test, then in smaller English translation, the farm is waking up. Say hello to all the animals– the horses, cows, and sheep. Darling.
La Jirafa Rafa by Caracolino & Canizales
Tongue twisting and rhyming, this darling cuento (or canción) narrated in Spanish is about a giraffe named Rafa who can’t drink the water in his well. “La jirafa see llama Rafa tiene bigotes y lleva gafas. Vive en el centro de la sabana y en su huerto tiene manzanas. Pero el agua, que no es potable, sabe un poco desagradable.” It repeats again with different illustrations.
Carteras Y Carteros Caracolino & Canizales
A postal delivery person delivers letters to una abuela. Jaunty and rhyming, this playful canción repeats twice telling of the mail person and the letters they deliver. “Hay un cartero en este pueblo queue reparte cartas por el mundo entero. Una cartero con bici nueva lleva paquetes hechos por una abulea.”
Cerca / Close by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Blanca Gomez
A young girl shows us her world, specifically what things are close to other things. She does this by connecting things together. “The door is close to the apple tree. The daisies are close to the apple tree.” What will be close to the apple tree? The horses! Read it in Spanish or English or both! “Mi amigo esta cerca de mi. My friend is close to me.” Earthy colors, an important concept (close), and enchanting illustrations.
Cuddled and Carried / Consentido y cargado by Dia L. Michels, illustrated by Mike Speiser, translated by Victory Prd.
A dual English Spanish language book that has English text on one side of the page and Spanish on the other. The pages are filled with gentle illustrations of animal mamas and their babies with the final images of human families.
“My mama grooms me. // Mi mamá me limpia.”
Baby Talk / Hablando con Bebé by Stella Blackstone
Sweet short poems are written in both English and Spanish with black and white photographs of babies. “I look at you // And you look at me. // I talk to you // And you talk to me. // “Yo te miro // y tú me miras. // Yo hablo contingo // y tú hablas conmigo.” Babies and toddlers get excited looking at kid photographs like these.
Lejos / Far by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Blanca Gomez
Like the book Cerca / Close, this bilingual English Spanish book shows things in a young boy’s world that are far apart from each other. “The lemon tree is far from my house. My house is far from the city.” It’s a lovely story that develops the concept while showing geographical features and a kid that the readers can relate to.
Good Night Buenas Noches by Meritxell Marti & Xavier Salomo
Say good night! Each image has a slider for kids to move the eyes from awake to asleep. The text is basic — first in English, then in Spanish — making it easy to either read in one or the other language or both languages. With the illustration as reinforcement for your second language, you don’t need to read it in your first language at all. Kids will be able to infer “estrellas” with the illustration of four stars. “Good night, stars. / Buenas noches, estrellas.” Say goodnight to the moon, tree, stars, squirrel, cat, house, and baby. This is a well-done, spot-on beginning bilingual book.
Good Morning Buenos Dias by Meritxell Marti & Xavier Salomo
Similar to the previous book, read this book to say good morning to the sun (sol), rooster, Dad, Son, alarm clock, neighbors, and baker. It’s time to get up! Slide the levers and watch what happens. The bakery’s windows open to reveal the bread-filled store, the windows show the neighbors busy inside their houses, the dad shaves shaving lotion off his face, and more. How fun is this book? I highly recommend it.
Bilingual Spanish-English Picture Books (Ages 4 – 8 )
Sing with Me, Canta Conmigo by Jose-Luis Orozco, illustrated by Sara Palacios
Read and sing along with your preschoolers to favorite familiar children’s songs from the United States in both English and Spanish. For example, “The Wheels on the Bus” in Spanish is “Las Ruedas Del Camión” and “Old McDonald” in Spanish is “Juancho Pancho”. Use these songs for older kids to when teaching them either English or Spanish because music helps children learn all sorts of things, languages included. Exciting, cheerful illustrations from the talented Sara Palacios.
Martina: The Beautiful Cockroach / Martina, la hermosa cucaracha by Berta de Llano, illustrated by Jaime Rivera Contreras
Doña Julia wants to help Martina find a suitable groom. So she devises a tricky test for prospective suitors. Anyone who would drink the disgusting tembleque with added salt would show that they genuinely liked Martina. Eventually, she meets Perez, a kind mouse, who passes the test and they get married in a big ceremony. Adorable!
Gilda La Oveja Grande by Emilio Urbertuaga
(available in either English and Spanish)
When Gilda overhears the lazy farmers’ plans to butcher her, she quickly leaves. She looks for a new home, arriving at a town and then a circus, but no one wants a gigantic sheep. Until… she rescues a little sheep from drowning. That sheep brings Gilda to the mountain flock where Gilda scares away all the wolves and finds a new place to live.
Las Princesas Mas Valientes by Dolores Brown, illustrated by Sonja Wimmer
(available in either English and Spanish)
Perhaps you’ve seen a princess and didn’t know it. This book shows the princesses all around us, amazing everyday girls and women who are hard-working, brave, kind, talented, and smart. Like princesa Anita who works in a hospital. Or princesa Rita, an 11 year old who loves the theater. Each princesa gets her own description, a fact file, and two illustrated pages. “Nombre: Princesa Beatriz, Edad: 43 años, Profesion: peluquera, Le encanta: disfrazarse y pasear por el bosque en busca de seres fantásticos. // La princesa Beatriz es madre soltera. Al pequeño Daniel le fascina queue su mamá le haga peinados especiales. Muchos días se convierten en piratas y encuentran grandes tesoros.”
La Frontera El Viaje con papa My Journey with Papa by Debora Mills, Alfredo Alva, Claudia Navarro
Galápagos Girl / Galapagueña by Marsha Diane Arnold, illustrated by Angela Dominquez
An introduction to both conservation and the Galapagos Island, you’ll read the story of a girl who grows up with pink flamingos, red-and-green iguanas, tortoises, and more on the beautiful Galapagos Islands. After she leaves for school, she eventually becomes a biologist who returns to the Galapagos to educate others on the importance of protecting the wildlife. The story is translated into Spanish so it’s a dual-language book.
Maya’s Blanket / La Manta de Maya by Monica Brown, illustrated by David Diaz
Share this warm-hearted story with brilliant illustrations about a little girl whose favorite blanket is wearing out as you cuddle under a big blanket. (This happened to my daughter’s favorite blanket, too!)
Rudas: Niño’s Horrendous Hermanitas by Yuyi Morales
A companion book to Niño Wrestles the World, this is a new action-packed wrestling adventure about the Niño’s badly behaved (rudas) little sisters. Farting, biting, fighting, . . . how will these rude sisters be defeated? Maybe their brother can distract them with a book!? You’ll read lots of Spanish words throughout whose meanings, if not inferred, are explained on the jacket covers. Vibrant artwork makes the antics of these sisters that much more exciting.
Martí’s Song for Freedom Martí y sus versons por la libertad by Emma Othenguy, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal
Our Celebracion! by Susan Middleton Elya, illustrated by Ana Aranda
This feels very inclusive for bilingual Spanish and English families because the text is in a mixture of both languages. It’s all about a summer parade — the music, the people, the parade marchers, and so on. “Clowns throw dulces. Mouths are drooling. / Feel the sizzling sidewalks cooling. Duck for cover, form a huddle — / in la calle, splashy puddles.” I love the brightly colored exuberant illustrations of families and festivities, too.
Green Is a Chile Pepper A Book of Colors by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by John Parra
Oh, I adore this picture book so much! The illustrations, the small poems of colors, I love it all. We read about orange marigolds for Day of the Dead, yellow masa for tamales and tortillas, pink adornos, brown churros, and more special unique Mexican cultural elements.
Red is a ribbon.
Red is a bow
and skirts for
One is a Piñata A Book of Numbers by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by John Parra
The rhyming text counts Spanish objects and words. I love that these aren’t necessarily words that non-Spanish speaking kids will know. They (and you) can use the illustrations and context clues to figure out what the words mean. “Four are bolillos just waiting to dip in four cups of chocolate but first take a sip.” For kids that do speak both English and Spanish, this book celebrates bilingualism and culture! It’s fun, festive, and affirming. Educational, too. I love this new book in an already fabulous series!
Abuelo by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Raul Colon
I’m in love with the illustrations in this bilingual picture book, and the lyrical story of a boy’s memories of his abuelo. His abuelo teaches him that there are many ways to be strong, fuerte; that it’s good to laugh, es bueno reirse; and to look, mira, at the stars. Even when the boy moves to the big city, his abuelo is always with him in spirit.
The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha Vamos
Vamos writes a cumulative tale about making arroz con leche (rice pudding.) Throughout the story, she introduces nouns in Spanish, which, because of her format, repeat as she adds on. Vamos says she was inspired by This is the House that Jack Built.
“This is the duck
that went to the market
to buy the sugar
to flavor the leche
made fresh by the vaca
while teaching the cabra
that churned the crema
to make the mantequilla
that went into the cazuela that the farm maiden stirred.”
The Piñata That the Farm Maiden Hung by Samantha R. Vamos, illustrated by Sebastia Serra
You’ll have a blast reading this cheerful, lyrical bilingual story! The farm maiden hangs the piñata. Who is it for? How did it get to be ready? You will see in this clever cumulative tale how the farmer, his family, and the animals helped to prepare the piñata and the birthday party festivities. Spanish words are in bolded capital letters and supported with lively illustrations so readers can infer what each word means. The repetition will help reinforce each new word.
This is the farmer
who carved figures from wood
while minding the OVEJA
that braided the CUERDA
then wrapped the PAPEL
torn by the GATO
and soaked in the PASTA
stirred by the GAñSO
with flour and AGUA
hauled by the CABALLO
that carried the NIñO
who shaped the BARRO
to make the PIñATA that the farm maiden hung.
You’ll learn the piñata song at the end of this story, too — in English and in Spanish and directions to make your own piñata. A glossary of Spanish words at the ending should also help for any clarification. I love this sparkling celebration of culture and family!
You Might Also Like: