A friend who just had a baby asked me if I could send her a list of books for babies in Spanish. “Of course!” was my answer.
As I thought back to when my baby was actually a baby, remembering the books she loved, I realized I should have have collected our favorite books into a post long ago. So here it is. Michelle, this is for you, but also for anyone else that’s interested!
These are not the best or even essential for your library, They are just some of the ones we loved and remember fondly.
Pio peep: rimas tradicionales en español
Oh íPío Peep!. This really was a favorite. The colorful illustrations are full of chubby-cheeked kids and playful animals. Nearly all of the nursery rhymes are actually traditional Latin American children’s songs (“Aserrín, Aserrán”, “Un Elefante se Balanceaba”, “De Colores”). So if you get familiar enough with them, the songs will come easily, and you’ll have something to sing in Spanish. The version of the book linked above even comes with a cd.
primeras 100 palabras
Bilingual Baby liked to look at the pictures in this book and play ¿donde está la pelota? (where’s the ball?), “Cómo hace el perro? (what does a dog say?). Good for recognizing colors and shapes, animals sounds, and all that baby stuff. Great for building a parent’s vocabulary too depending on your Spanish level.
mi libro de las caras
Babies love babies. Plain and simple—they love looking at other baby faces. It’s fascinating to them, and I think this book is a great tool for teaching and exploring emotion early on since every page runs the gamete of emotions from the squishy-faced crier to the wide-eyed observer.
¿donde esta el bebé?
So. much. fun. Each page of this board book asks “¿Dónde está el bebé?” And we are presented with a different possible place that baby could be hiding “Está en la silla?” (Is she in the chair?). Pull back the flap and, surprise! There she is. Serious fun for a 7-month-old. The repetition in books like these is soothing and really important for language learning.
I got this book after seeing the author, Yuyi Morales, speak at the Texas Book Festival. I love that Mother Sky and Little Night are both the backdrop and the main characters for this book as mother and baby play hide-and-seek while also getting ready for bed. The dreamy and dusk-color illustrations were also lovingly done by the author.
diez deditos de las manos y diez deditos de los pies
This book is full of delightful rhymes that land beautifully in both English and Spanish. It’s a poetic read and the illustrations of international babies are so cute you could almost pick them up and twirl them around. But it’s the singsong-y refrain at the end of each page that brings home the point of the book. No matter how different we are, we are also the same. We all have diez deditos de las manos and diez deditos de los pies.
Not an exhaustive list, but a great place to start, I hope. Enjoy.