Why are so many parents looking for the best Spanish books for children?
Teaching your children to read can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have as a parent. The only thing that might top it is teaching them to read in a foreign language. As Spanish becomes more and more popular, with latin culture permeating the USA, it seems that more people are choosing Spanish as the language they want to teach to their children.
A great way to do this is through reading stories. Obviously to learn a language you need to interact with it, speak it, listen to it and engage with it but reading can make a huge difference. When you read with your children this is a special bonding time with them and through intonation and pictures they’ll be able to understand a lot more of the story than you might expect.
Instead of just writing a general list of best children’s Spanish books, we’ve broken our recommendations into the following categories:
- Spanish books for babies
- Spanish books for toddlers
- Spanish books for children
- Spanish books for teenagers
That way you can find the Spanish book that will be the most useful for your child. A great place to start your search for Children’s Spanish books is on AMAZON. There is a huge range of books available for different ages and different levels to get your child starting to read in Spanish no matter their stage of development.
- ¿Dónde está el ombliguito? – Karen Kat
- Oso pardo, oso pardo, ¿Qué ves ahí?
- ¿Eres Mi Mamá? – P.D. Eastman
- La Oruga Muy Hambrienta – Eric Carle
- La llama llama rojo pijama – Anna Dewdney
- La llama llama rojo pijama – Anna Dewdney
- Buenas Noches Luna – Margaret Wise Brown
- Dragones Y Tacos – Adam Rubin
- El Perro Con Sombrero – A Bilingual Doggy Tale – Derek Taylor Kent
- Harry Potter Y La Piedra Filosofal – J.K Rowling
- Harry Potter – La Colección Completa – J.K Rowling
- Percy Jackson 01. Ladrón del rayo – Rick Riordan
- Antes De Ser Libres – Julia Alvarez
- El principe de la niebla (Spanish Edition) – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
- La Casa En Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros
- La casa de los espíritus – Isabel Allende
These are our favourite Spanish children’s books, keep reading to find out why.
Best Spanish Books For Babies
Even though babies can’t speak yet, they can understand a lot of what is going around them. They’re constantly listening to what we have to say and trying to form their basis’ of language. So reading to your baby in Spanish is a great place to start (as long as you’re still reading to them in your native language as well).
Not only is it useful for language development, it’s also a special bonding activity that you can with your child and that can form positive reading habits that they take with them throughout their lives.
Based on that, we have selected some Spanish book for babies that might be a great place to get you started.
1. ¿Dónde está el ombliguito? – Karen Katz
¿Dónde está el ombliguito? is a great book to start reading Spanish with your baby. Babies love the colours and images of Karen Katz’s books and you can find out where your belly button is while you learn Spanish.
2. Oso pardo, oso pardo, ¿Qué ves ahí?
Oso pardo, oso pardo, ¿Qué ves ahí? uses rhythmic speech patterns to help your children interact with the story at a quicker rate and start reproducing the sentences as soon as possible.
This repetitive nature of writing will help your children to pick up the Spanish phonemes in a similar way as how they would do so with their native languages.
3. ¿Eres Mi Mamá? – P.D. Eastman
A delightful story where a young baby bird goes in search of his mother. You can follow this funny tale with your child and see what he discovers along the way to finding his mum.
Best Spanish Books For Toddlers
Toddlers are tiny language machines. During the toddler years, children acquire thousands of words and the foundations of their linguistic skills. They like to read books with lots of colours and large pictures and will start to follow words along as you read them.
This makes the toddler age a great opportunity to start introducing Spanish books to them and helping them learn Spanish through reading.
4. La Oruga Muy Hambrienta – Eric Carle
It’s a classic in English so why not try The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Spanish.
The best thing about this is that it’s such a popular book your child will probably have already come across it in English, meaning when they read it with you in Spanish they should be able to understand a lot that’s happening even though it’s in a different language.
5. La llama llama rojo pijama – Anna Dewdney
With a fun play on words, la llama llama rojo pijama deals with the common issue many children face when they go to bed alone and feel a bit scared.
It’s the perfect book to use to teach your child Spanish while addressing common issues for young children that can be especially scary in their little worlds.
6. Buenas Noches Luna – Margaret Wise Brown
Another book to help get your little one settled for bed while learning Spanish is Buenas Noches Luna. Say goodnight to the moon with your child and get them ready to hand off to the land of z’s.
Best Spanish Books For Children
The best Spanish children’s books are books that not only teach children Spanish but also engage with the children through either interesting content, fun pictures or just a great story. Children have fantastic imaginations and will be looking for engaging stories as well as ones that teach them Spanish.
7. Dragones Y Tacos – Adam Rubin
According to Adam Rubin there’s only one thing a dragon likes more than parties and tacos….and that is a party of tacos.
Your little one will adore this colourful, fun story and will love finding out what the perfect tacos for dragons are.
8. El Perro Con Sombrero – A Bilingual Doggy Tale – Derek Taylor Kent
El Perro Con Sombrero is fun and a great addition to your child’s Spanish book collection. The book is written in a bilingual format so you can read the English sentences at the same time as the Spanish ones to make sure you’re understanding what you’re reading.
Best Spanish Books For Teenagers
It can be difficult for parents to encourage teenagers to read. By the time a child reaches their teenager years, their reading habits are usually well established. However, if you do have a teenager who loves reading then you may be able to recommend them some books to help with their Spanish.
Below are our recommendations of Spanish books for teenagers.
9. Harry Potter Y La Piedra Filosofal – J.K Rowling
The Harry Potter series in Spanish may be one of the best series of Spanish books for teenagers or even adults. This is because it’s such a familiar story that even with new vocabulary, it’s relatively easy to work out what’s going on.
The first book in the Harry Potter is also probably the easiest one to read, not just in Spanish but in your native language as well, making it a great starting place for teenagers who aren’t too proficient in the Spanish language just yet.
10. Harry Potter – La Colección Completa – J.K Rowling
Or if you want to save some money and buy the whole collection of the Harry Potter books in Spanish in one go rather than one at a time then you can find the collection of the books 1-7 below.
As the books progress in difficulty you will see your Spanish improve as well!
11. Percy Jackson 01. Ladrón del rayo – Rick Riordan
Another fantastic read that has been translated into Spanish. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is an incredibly popular book made film that would be a fun way for your teenager to engage with the Spanish language.
12. La Bella y La Bestia: La Novela Grafica – Michael Dahl
A graphic novel is an excellent way to start reading in a foreign language and can be especially appealing for teenagers. Beauty And The Beast is a classic tale that many readers will already be familiar with but in this setting
13. Antes De Ser Libres – Julia Alvarez
Antes De Ser Libres is a book with a slightly more adult feel than some of our other recommendations so may be more appropriate for older teenagers.
It follows the coming of age of a young girl while also having to deal with her family fleeing the country and phone calls from the secret police.
14. El principe de la niebla (Spanish Edition) – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
El principe de la niebla is a YA horror book so if you’re going to choose this Spanish book for teenagers, make sure your child is alright with something a little bit more scary. This is great way to not only improve your teenager’s Spanish comprehension but also open them up to a more gritty world of fiction that they can go on to enjoy all of their lives.
15. La Casa En Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros
La casa en mango street is a fantastic coming of age meets romance story by the very talented Sandra Cisneros. The plot follows the protagonist Esperanza who wants to escape her life for something better just like many before her. It’s the perfect Spanish book for preteens and teenagers alike as it deals with issues of marginalisation, fitting in and finding oneself.
16. La casa de los espíritus – Isabel Allende
La casa de los espíritus is an absolute classic that you must read if you’re learning Spanish, no matter if you’re a teenager or an adult. It’s a wonderful fantastical book that follows the lives of four generations in Chile focusing on themes such as social and political upheavals. It may be the last in our list of recommended Spanish children’s books but it might also be our favourite choice.
These are our recommendations of the best children’s books for learning Spanish, but it’s important to remember that reading alone won’t help your child achieve Spanish fluency. They also need other opportunities to stretch their language skills and be exposed to it.
Check out our article on how do I teach my three year old Spanish for more ideas to do with your little ones. And in the meantime you can check out some of these Spanish books for children and get reading with your child.
Online Stores For Children’s Spanish Books
If this list isn’t enough for you then don’t worry, there are plenty of online stores where you can find Spanish books suitable for children, toddlers, babies and teenagers alike. You just need to know where to look!
Here are some of the online stores where you can find children’s Spanish book:
Having a choice of different online bookstores can really help you find the right Spanish books for your child. Different bookstores have different titles available and they also price their books differently. So make sure you shop around before committing to just one bookstore.
If you have any other Spanish bookstore recommendations then let us know about them in the comments below!
How To Choose The Perfect Spanish Book For Your Child
It’s not just about knowing where to look but also about knowing how to choose the best Spanish book for your child. If you’re a Spanish speaker this should be easier for you but if you’re not a native Spanish speaker and you want to read to them so they can learn Spanish then you need to think about which Spanish book to choose to help your child the most.
Find A Spanish Book That They Find Interesting
Don’t just buy a book for your child because it’s in Spanish, find one that they would enjoy to read anyway. Because if they find it boring they won’t engage and you’ll have more problems getting them to interact with the Spanish language.
So if your child absolutely adores dinosaurs, why not see if you can find a child’s Spanish book about dinosaurs.
Don’t Get A Children’s Spanish Book That’s Too Easy Or Too Difficult For Them
Just like adults children will lose interest in a book that is too easy for them and get frustrated with a book that is too difficult. When choosing a Spanish book for your child make sure it is in their realistic zone of learning and if it’s not then adjust accordingly.
You want to give your child a slight challenge without it seeming impossible. That way they will get a sense of satisfaction when they succeed rather than getting bored if it’s too easy of losing interest altogether when they can’t do it.
Any parent will know that you go through children’s books quickly. They’re short, easy to read and you can essentially read a story a day.
With that in mind, you don’t want to spend a fortune on Spanish books for children, especially if you’re already spending money on English books as well. So when you’re buying books for your children to learn Spanish, make sure you do price comparisons so that you’re getting the best value for your money, meaning you’ll be able to buy them even more Spanish books with the money you save.
Ask For Recommendations
As well as looking on websites and Amazon, it’s worth asking other parents for their recommendations on the best Spanish children’s books. As we’ve mentioned earlier, learning foreign language is becoming more and more popular and Spanish is one of the most popular languages for a native English speaker to learn.
Therefore, it would probably be quite beneficial if you spoke to other parents who were also teaching their children foreign languages and find out what books they read to their children. You might even be able to organise a swap which would save you and the other parents money, rather than having to buy a copy of every book that comes out.
Buy When You’re Abroad
Although you can get a lot online nowadays, it’s still a good idea to stock up on language books while you’re abroad. If you visit latin America or Spain, why not pick up some children’s books in Spanish to build up your collection.
It’s also likely that they’ll have the popular Spanish books in the stores so you’ll be able to see what Spanish speaking children like when you’re making your decision.
How To Read A Spanish Book With Your Child
Obviously reading a Spanish book to your child is a bit different to reading one in English but don’t worry, there are things you can do to make reading a Spanish books to your child much easier.
Start Reading Spanish Children’s Books Early
The first thing we would recommend is that you start reading Spanish books to your children as early as possible. If you start reading them when you start reading to them in English then they’ll get used to the patterns and sounds of the language just as they would their own language.
You could set aside two days where you read to them in Spanish and the other five in English. That way they will get used to the difference between the Spanish books and the English books and know when they’re having a Spanish reading day.
Read Spanish Children’s Books For The Gist
You’re not reading a Spanish book with your child in order to understand every single word. If you stop and pause at each Spanish word then your child is going to get bored. Instead read to understand the story in general. You can point to the picture and show your child things going on in the story so they can get to know the story and what’s going on.
Link Words To The Pictures In Your Spanish Children’s Book
Help them to learn the words by connecting the words that they’re reading on the page to the pictures that they see. While you’re reading if you come across a new word and there’s a picture on the next page that shows that word make sure you link that for your child. Read and point to the word and then point to the picture to show your child what it is. If you do this then they’ll start to learn the words and have a greater understanding of what’s going on in the story.
Trace The Spanish Words With Your Finger
While you’re reading your Children’s Spanish book make sure you trace along with the words. Also encourage your child to trace along to so they know which words are matched to which sounds. They’ll pick up reading in Spanish much more quickly and will enjoy the story if they’re an active part in it.
Teach Them Some Vocabulary Words Before You Start Reading The Spanish Children’s Story
A useful thing to do would be to teach them some of the vocabulary they’re going to find in the story before you start reading. Teach them the important nouns and words that will help them to learn the story. Then when you start reading ask them to look out for these words. They’ll pick up the words much more quickly and will also be able to understand more of the story while they’re reading. This is definitely a method that we would recommend for the best success at reading Spanish stories with your child.
Spanish Children’s books FAQ
These are some of the most commonly asked questions about Spanish children’s books.
What are Spanish stories?
Spanish stories are simply stories that have been written in Spanish. They are incredibly useful for learning Spanish.
How do you get books in Spanish?
Luckily there are lots of easy ways to find Spanish books without even leaving your house. The European bookstore and Amazon are great sources for Spanish books.
Can I learn Spanish by reading books?
Yes you can learn Spanish by reading books, however you will need to do other activities to help you progress as reading will not be enough on its own.
Final Thoughts On Our Recommendations Of Spanish Books For Children
We hope you’ve found our recommendations of the best Spanish books for children useful. Remember the most important thing is to find a Spanish book that you and your child can enjoy together. If reading is a special time for them and they get to spend with you then they are much more likely to engage with the material.
Reading a Spanish book to your child isn’t just about learning but about spending time your child and helping them grow their linguistic skills in a safe environment. And you might even find that you pick up some Spanish too. Many beginner and intermediate Spanish learners choose Spanish children’s books and Spanish books for teenagers to help them improve their comprehension skills because the language used is more accessible and even though they’re written for children, the stories are fun, engaging and a joy to read.
If you’re learning Spanish yourself you might want to consider a child’s Spanish book before you go jumping into reading a Márquez. Then if you develop a love of Spanish reading and you’re not just doing it to study, you’ll find yourself wanting to read in Spanish more and more, until one day you can read in Spanish as easily as you can in English.