24 Children’s Books You Should Read To Your Child Now
There is nothing more personal and endearing than parents reading to their children. It is portrayed in every family movie as the time of day when the family comes together in loving silence as one person takes the family on an imaginative ride. If you are trying to figure out which books you should read to your children, look no further. Here are 24 books that you can read to your children as they grow up. They just so happen to be Latino storylines because some stories transcend all things and connect us as people.
1. “Return to Sender” by Julia Alvarez
Julia Alvarez’s book “Return to Sender” is as relevant now as it was when she wrote it in 2010. The story is about a farming family from Vermont who’s father gets hurt. In order to save the farm they have to hire Mexican migrant workers to keep things running. The rest shows what happens when two worlds collide and the differences connect all of us.
2. “Round Is a Tortilla” by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
This is for the little one more than anyone since the main focus is learning shapes. Of course they learn the circle shape from the tortilla but they also learn the rectangle shape from the ice cream cart and the triangles of a quesadilla.
3. “ish” by Peter H. Reynolds
Every parent wants their child to reach for the moon and be as creative and successful as possible. What better way to harness that kind of energy than by telling them the story of Ramon in “ish.” Ramon is a child who just loves to draw anywhere and anytime. However, he gets a critique from a brother and is instantly trying to do things just right. But, thankfully, his sister reminds him of the wild wonder that once dominated his work and he is able to continue exploring his own style.
4. “The Dreamer” by Pam Muñoz Ryan and Peter Sís
If you want to give your child a look into what imagination can become, this is the book. The authors of the book take the reader on a journey through Chilean rainforests and wilderness following an entrancing voice and calling. This is the early life of poet Pablo Neruda and how it shaped him to become one of the most critically acclaimed poets in the world.
5. “Who Was Cesar Chavez?” by Dana Meachen Rau
Who was he? If you want to give your children a little bit of history with their evening stories, this is the book for you. Cesar Chavez fought tirelessly for the rights of farmworkers in California and eventually the nation. It is a piece of history that lingers today through his partner in the revolution, Dolores Huerta.
6. “Esperanza Rising” by Pam Muñoz Ryan
This book is all about rising above your difficulties to strive for a better future. Esperanza is a young girl in Mexico during the Great Depression and she and her mother flee north to California. Gone are the days of sitting idly while others works. Esperanza is left fighting for survival next to her mother and her character is forever shaped by these experiences.
7. “Baseball in April and Other Stories” by Gary Soto
A dose of Americana, Gary Soto shows what life was like for a Mexican-American kid growing up in the central valley in California. Get ready for a lot of knock-off Barbies, Little League tryouts and a Spanish glossary to help those who don’t speak Spanish.
8. “Islandborn” by Junot Díaz
Follow Lola as she tries to recall the country where her family immigrated from. It is her classes’ assignment but she was so young that she has to ask her family to figure it out. Before you know it, she is knee deep in beautiful memories and ideas of the island that they left behind.
9. “Too Many Tamales” by Gary Soto and Ed Martinez
This classic has left Latino children anxious during the holidays. During the wild blur that is making tamales, Maria accidentally loses her mother’s ring and the only place they can think to look are in the tamales. This is one of the most comedic and heartwarming books on the shelves.
10. “Abuela” by Arthur Dorros
This book is just one long and exciting journey over New York City as Rosalba and her abuela fly over the city. You get to see and hear the city through her abuela’s eyes and ears and it is just magical.
11. “Who Was Roberto Clemente?” By James Buckley Jr.
Roberto Clemente is one of the most influential names in baseball. The Puerto Rican raised player who was the youngest of seven children excelled in the sport. In his career, he won numerous awards and was the first Latin American player inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
12. “La Princesa and the Pea” by Susan Middleton Elya
If you are thinking that this is the same thing as “The Princess and the Pea” then you are right. However, this version is full with cultural moments that give the classic story and very Latino twist.
13. “Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos” by Monica Brown
We all know Frida Kahlo and her amazing work, but what about her companions outside of Diego Rivera? This books shines some light on the animals that Kahlo kept close to her to keep her happy and creative. If you love animals, check it out.
14. “Niño Wrestles the World” by Yuyi Morales
The title and artwork kind of lay out what you can expect from this story. Niño is one of the bravest wrestlers he can think of and the book is all about his journey to become the best wrestler in the world.
15. “Yes! We Are Latinos” by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy
This book will give all Latinos the representation they have never had. The author explores the lives of Latinos living across the country and the difference in our vast community. Some of us have Asian heritage in our blood and some have strong ties back to Africa. But in the end, we are all also Latino and connected.
16. “Coco: The Junior Novelization” by Disney/Pixar
“Coco” is here in book version for your little one to love and admire. Seriously, it is literally the same story with grand pictures to once again capture your little one’s heart.
17. “My Name Is Maria Isabel” by Alma Flor Ada
Have you ever been the second person in a room or team with the same name? That is Maria Isabel’s issue when she get to a new class. Since there is already on Maria, the teacher suggests they call her Mary but she doesn’t like that. It is important to her to be called Maria because her name is special in her family. What can she do about it?
18. “Tito Puente: Mambo King” by Monica Brown
Music is one of the greatest forms of art in existence and no one knew that better than Tito Puente who grew up banging pots and pans until he found his skill as a musician. This book will give your little one the inspiration to follow their dreams.
19. “Gazpacho for Nacho” by Tracey Kyle
Everyone goes through a phase when they only want to eat one specific dish. For Nacho it is gazpacho. Seriously. Breakfast, lunch and dinner for this kid is only the cold, yet delicious soup.
20. “Julián Is A Mermaid” by Jessica Love
Who hasn’t wanted to rebel against society and be who they truly are? Julián is that kid when he sees women in amazing dresses that inspire him to create his own outfit imitating mermaids.
21. “Windows” by Julia Denos
This book is filled with a wonder we have all known: windows in the neighborhood. Julia Denos takes the readers for a journey through a neighborhood walk when the sun sets and windows start to light up and you get quick glimpses into your neighbors lives.
22. Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows In the Bronx” by Jonah Winter
Sonia Sotomayor was the first Latino appointed to the highest court int he nation and she wasn’t raised with privilege. This book tells the story of the Latina justice and her upbringing in the Bronx that led her to pursue a career in justice.
23. “Besos for Baby” by Jen Arena
This book will teach you the basics of Spanish with the different people and animals that give the baby little besos.
24. “Crossing the Wire” by Will Hobbs
For the more mature child, this book gives you a glimpse into the circumstance that lead some people to make the decision to head north. It is more relevant now than ever considering our political environment.