15 Jan Best Children’s Books for Learning Spanish
Who doesn’t love children’s books? Amazing stories, cute pictures, and sometimes important life lessons told with simple messages. Reading books to children in Spanish is a great way to help growing brains begin to learn multiple languages. Our talented multilingual nannies, babysitters, and nanny tutors love story time, no matter the language. Here is the Nanny Line’s list of some of the best children’s books for learning Spanish. Our team’s favorite picture, bilingual and alternative books can help get your family fluent in no time!
Why start with picture books?
- They allow children to “play” in a different language and have fun
- Reading books teaches grammar and vocabulary without memorization
- They work for kids who have not yet learned how to read
- Perfect for more visual learners
- They allow contextual learning. Children will remember new vocabulary words if they can associate them with vivid images and memorable situations.
Nanny Line Expert Suggestion: Try to find the Spanish version of your child’s favorite story their primary language. Your child’s familiarity with the plot and text will increase their understanding of unfamiliar words and can help build confidence and understanding.
Our book recommendations:
- Are You My mother? / ¿Eres mi mamá?, P.D. Eastman.
- The Cat in the Hat/El gato ensombrerado, Dr. Seuss.
- Llamame Arbol, Maya Christina Gonzalez.
Next, try bilingual books.
A bilingual book is a book written in two languages. Instead of translating from English to Spanish, the storyline is told in both languages.
We love bilingual books because they help your kids learn:
- Grammatical differences between English and Spanish
- Language structure and phrasing
Nanny Line Expert Suggestion: Choose stories with only a few new vocabulary words at a time. Use cues, objects, gestures and facial expressions to help kids understand new words. The more fun you can make it, by acting silly when you act out new vocabulary words, the more your kids will love reading with you.
Some of our favorites:
- ¿Has Llenado una Cutubeta Hoy? / Have You Filled A Bucket Today? This award-winning book not only teaches your children English and Spanish, but also about empathy. Ages 4-8.
- The Moon is La Luna, by Jay M. Harris, fun rhymes in English and Spanish that help kids learn correct pronunciation of Spanish and English words. Ages 0-4.
- Waiting for the Biblioburro, by Monica Brown. Your children will love this story of the mobile librarian who brings books on the backs of two burros to remote villages in Colombia. Ages 4-8.
- What Can You Do With a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla. Fun-loving tale about a popsicle that takes place in a small Mexican town. Ages 3-7.
If you have a book-loving little girl, make sure to check out A Mighty Girl’s list of 25 bilingual English/Spanish picture books, starring little girls.
What to do if your children don’t like to read?
If your little ones rebel against reading, you can find creative ways to make reading in Spanish more fun. One way is to make a game out of reading, and at Spanish Playground, they have come up with these Spanish reading games you can play with your children. Another way to entice reluctant readers is with different types of books such as:
- Súperchistes. Los Chistes Más Tronchante, Àlex López and Pau Clua Sarró
- Los chistes de Jaimito y Jaimita… para partirse de risa, Pedro María García Franco
- The Dragonslayers, Folk-Tales from Latin America, Jaime Hernandez, Ages 8+
- El Supersordo-El Deafo, Cece Bell, 2015 Newbury Award-winner. Grades 3-4
Listen to Spanish children’s books on Podcasts and the Radio
- 20 Spanish Tales to Learn Spanish – Stories for Kids by Cuadro Actores Radio Television, available on Spotify.
- Contando cuentos en R5 – Authors reading aloud children’s stories in Spanish, also from RTVE.es
The Nanny Line hires the most talented story-readers out there! Our multilingual nannies and babysitters are all pre-screened and trained in first aid before they even set foot in your home. Why not hire a bilingual nanny or even a Nanny tutor to help your children master their Spanish or English? We have full-time, part-time, occasional and any-time babysitters for you to book online.
Do you have other favorite Spanish or bilingual books you love to read with your children? Other tricks to help children learn another language? We love to challenge growing minds: here is another post about three games to play with your children to boost their brainpower. Share your comments and ideas with us and our other Nanny Line families on Instagram and Facebook. We love hearing from you! Happy reading and learning!