Want to add some bilingual books for kids to your shelves? These English-to-Spanish titles are guaranteed to educate, empower and entertain.
If you want to learn a new language, you have to hit the books.
But lucky for the littlest learners, kids don’t have to stick exclusively to (sometimes boring) grammar textbooks.
There’s a whole genre of bilingual books for kids in English and Spanish that’ll make language practice a lot more fun.
Let’s find a story that’ll stay with them throughout their bilingual life.
In this article: 📝
- How do you raise a bilingual child?
- What makes a book bilingual?
- Best bilingual children’s books for babies
- Best Bilingual Kids Books About Showing Love
- Books about being a bilingual child
- Bilingual books about Latin culture
How do you raise a bilingual child?
We’ll let you in on a secret: there’s no one way to tell a bilingual story — nor to raise a bilingual child.
Whether you want to encourage kids to read or help them to learn a language, the best thing you can do is make it fun and let them take the lead.
Snuggling up with a story they love and spending quality time with the different language speakers in their lives is a great way to learn.
What makes a book bilingual?
Can a book be bilingual?
Bilingual simply means “two languages.”
You can apply it to a person who speaks two languages or to a book that uses two languages to tell a story.
Not only do bilingual books exist, but there are also lots of different ways to tell a bilingual story.
The books on this list will:
- Help toddlers learn their first few words in another language.
- Encourage older children to practice their second (or third, or fourth) language.
- Let everyone take turns reading if you’re part of a bilingual family where the adults have different mother languages.
- Show bilingual children how cool their skills are and let them see themselves in the stories.
Some of the best bilingual children’s books have the same words printed in both languages.
Check them out!
1. “Love You Baby” by Stephan Lomp.
This book is full of adorable baby animals and their parents — perfect for a bedtime story.
It’s also waterproof because even bilingual babies love to chew their reading material.
2. “How to Fold a Taco” by Naibe Reynoso
This book tells a rhyming story in Spanish and English with fantastical illustrations from Ana Varela.
3. The Pin Pon series by Susie Jaramillo
The Canticos books are full of nursery rhymes to share in English and Spanish.
And check out this singing book version too.
4. Lala and the Pond by The Rock by Susana Illera Martínez
Part of the award-winning Lala series which celebrates caring for the environment, working together and honoring our differences.
Then there are the bilingual children’s books where the text is written mainly in English, with a sprinkling of Spanish.
5. “Waiting for the Biblioburro” by Monica Brown.
This is the story of Ana, who loves the stories she finds in the traveling library that visits her town.
6. “‘Twas Nochebuena” by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
This seasonal book blends the famous Twas the Night Before Christmas poem with Christmas traditions from South America.
Reading this book together could become a beautiful Christmas tradition.
7. “Abuela” by Arthur Dorros
Rosalba and her beloved grandmother look at New York from a magical perspective — and introduce us to Spanish phrases at the same time.
Best bilingual children’s books for babies
The latest research shows that kids and teenagers are naturally sensitive to learning the nuances of different languages.
But it’s still thought that people have the best chance of becoming perfectly bilingual if they start learning before the age of ten.
Basically, it’s never too early to get started.
And there are so many delightful books that can help you begin this journey.
8. “First 100 Words” by Ana Godinez
This sweet book focuses on what’s important when you’re small: colors, animals, and family.
9. “100 First Words” by Roger Priddy
It has flaps to lift and uses photographs rather than illustrations!
10. “Counting with Frida” by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein
This is a great introduction to numbers inspired by the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo — and a great Christmas gift for a baby.
In the same series, we also love La Catrina, for helping little ones to name their emotions, and Tres Reyes Magos: an introduction to colors.
11. “Close/Cerca” and “Lejos/Far” by Juan Felipe Herrera and Blanca Gómez
These dual language books have bold, bright illustrations that will keep baby nicely engaged as they learn spatial awareness.
Both are available on Amazon and work well together or you can enjoy them entirely alone.
12. “Coco Learns Spanish”
This award-winning book uses side-by-side text and plays nursery rhymes in Spanish and English.
13. “Besos for Baby: A Little Book of Kisses” by Jen Arena
This adorable book has lots of counting and color practice and a Spanish refrain on every page.
Best Bilingual Kids Books About Showing Love
And speaking of bilingual kids’ books about hugs and kisses…
14. “Huggy Kissy” by Leslie Patricelli
A bilingual English-to-Spanish board book of all the ways a family can show love and affection.
15. “Love You, Hug You, Read to You” by Tish Rabe
Perfect for curling up together, this adorable bilingual book is filled with interactive prompts to help you and baby bond.
16. “I Like it When” by Mary Murphy
Told from the point of view of an adorable baby penguin, this illustrated book celebrates the special things baby shares with the person they love (Pssst that’s you mama!).
17. “I Need a Hug” by Aaron Blabey
This is the story of a cute but prickly porcupine who just wants to cuddle.
We can all relate to that.
Books about being a bilingual child
Why is it important for kids to be bilingual?
Well, first, many scientific studies show that it helps to keep their brains healthy throughout their lives.
But maybe even more important is that being bilingual is a way of keeping culture alive across generations.
But sometimes, bilingual kids can feel like they’re different from the other kids in their class, and that isn’t always easy to navigate.
Do bilingual children’s books help here?
When they’re old enough to start asking questions, these books can make them feel seen, build their self-esteem, and help them to celebrate their unique identity.
18. “Anita and Grandma’s Dulce de Leche” by Pilar Velez
This bilingual kid’s book is great for older children and is about using cultural traditions to pass love to each other.
19. “Mango, Abuela and Me”
This beautiful bilingual book for older children is about learning to communicate across generational language barriers.
20. “I Have a Secret” by Maritere Rodríguez Bellas
This story is about loving every part of yourself and learning to be proud of your name and heritage.
21. “One Whole Me” by Dia Mixon
We follow a little boy as he learns how fun it can be to be Colombian and American.
22. “From North to South” by René Laínez
This is a story about crossing the border.
It addresses the sensitive subject of family separation and immigration in an engaging and truthful way.
23. “My Town” by Nicholas Solis
This is also about immigration as cousins from opposite sides of the US-Mexican border find joy in the differences between their towns.
24. “Be Bold! Be Brave!” by Naibe Reynoso.
This book is full of the stories of groundbreaking Latinas who saw the stars, took the stage, and changed the world.
The full text is written in Spanish and English.
25. “Fearless Trailblazers” by Naibe Reynoso
Reynoso has also written a book for boys featuring famous Latinos like Jose Hernandez, Lin Manuel Miranda, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
26. “Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You” by Sonia Sotomayor
This book (by the supreme court justice herself) is about embracing difference and learning about the people around us while recognizing that it can be tough to be different.
The sequel, Just Help! How to Build a Better World was published in 2022.
And don’t forget that there’s a whole world of personalized children’s books out there.
We love the personalized bilingual books from Tim Tim Tom.
Snowflake Stories also let you incorporate up to five family members in your personalized story, so you can make a book that perfectly reflects your child’s home.
And, although they’re not bilingual, check out our list of Children’s Books about Diversity for more bookshelf inspiration.
Bilingual books about Latin culture
Despite how challenging it can be, living across two cultures allows you to celebrate two sets of traditions.
These books are great for sparking children’s natural excitement and curiosity about Latin culture.
27. “Day of the Dead” by Marisa Boan
This bilingual children’s book uses photographs to introduce the famous holiday in English and Spanish.
28. “Mi Familia: Celebrating the Day of the Dead” by Camila Hernandez
If you’re looking for more detail about Dia de Los Muertos, this is a great option for older children.
29. “The Adventures of Mr. Macaw” by Leticia Ordaz
When a colorful kite is blown away by the wind, Bronx and Maxton learn more about their Grandfather’s life in Mexico.
30. “Itzel and the Ocelot” by Rachel Katstaller
This retelling of a traditional story from central America features words and phrases from Spanish and Nawat (a language indigenous to El Salvador).
31. “The Baby Chicks are Singing” by Ashley Wolff
This sweet bilingual board book teaches a traditional Spanish folk song.
A new bedtime nursery rhyme perhaps?
32. “What Can You Do With a Paleta?” by Carmen Tafolla.
For kids aged 5–7, this bilingual book is about the delight of Paletas: traditional Mexican popsicles.
You can also check out What Can You Do With a Rebozo? about the traditional shawls that bilingual children may have seen their mothers and grandmothers wearing.
33. The Lil Libros series
This series includes bilingual biographies focusing on strong Latina women: Celia on Celia Cruz, the queen of salsa, Selena on the queen of Tejano music, and Dolores on the life of the activist Dolores Huerta.
And these were just a selection of English to Spanish books for your home library.
There are plenty of options out there for bilingual children’s books in Japanese and English, bilingual children’s books in Chinese and English, and just about any other language you can imagine.
Check out Elizavet Arkolaki, a multilingual children’s author whose books have been translated into more languages than we can count.
Her most famous book is Happiness Street.
You can buy bilingual editions in English and Spanish, as well as French, Norwegian, Ukrainian, Korean, and Vietnamese.
Embracing heritage and language is a big topic for Peanut mamas.
So if you’re looking for ideas on how to keep your culture vibrant for baby, the Peanut community has plenty!
Happy exploring! 🌎