6 Children’s Books (Spanglish)

Not that these books are written in ‘Spanglish’!  These six books are written in Spanish and English or Spanish only, but I also have the English version.


I’ve been trying to teach my sons Spanish since they were born.  As little babies I’d sing nursery rhymes to them in Spanish, play games like 5 cochinitos (5 little pigs) and do simple counting or colour identification.  In those early days when I thought I was the all-powerful master of all screen time, I’d only allow my eldest to watch tv if it was on something with Spanish audio.  Now with three boys under the age of seven, a full-time job and household management to contend with, I’m a little more flexible!

As I am the only Spanish speaker in their lives, it is a challenge to teach the boys Spanish and they certainly do not have an immersive experience.  That said, I’ve found playing games, using repetition and finding music they like is helping them at least develop an interest in language learning.  My husband understands and speaks some Spanish.  So when we want to discuss something that little ears shouldn’t hear, we do it in some broken Spanish.  That’s giving the boys incentive to learn!

In term of storybooks, when they were younger I’d read stories to them completely in Spanish.

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The silly rhymes in this Dr. Seuss book offer a very quick and fun rhythm that my children enjoyed listening to, even if they could not understand the words.  I used it later on to help teach colour identification.

As they got older, they asked for stories in English.  We compromised by using bilingual books and reading both language versions of the story.

These are two short and simple favourites in our house:

A great one for helping the two-year old learn his colours in both languages:

We also have English and Spanish versions of some books.

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What baby nursery and library is complete without Good Night Moon?   We were given the English version when my eldest was a baby and I bought the Spanish version to read to the boys.  The soothing rhythm translates into the second language as well and both books have been well-received by my tiny audience.

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Mo Willem’s Pigeon books are a great favourite in my house.  I started off reading the Spanish versions to my boys when they were younger.  As they are starting to read on their own now, they have switched to the English versions.  The two year old still listens to me read the Spanish… when he deigns to be read to.

Those are a few of the books we use at home.  There are a couple more… I just can’t seem to find them at the moment.  Do you use any bilingual material at home?  Any recommendations?

Have a great Friday!

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six children's books in spanish

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  1. Diana Tyler (Eccentric Muse) April 27, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Some good selections. My Spanish is limited. I only know a little that might get me around town, but it’s my best friend’s second language so I can count on her to translate. 😃

    1. Kim April 27, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      A good kind of friend to have! 😉

      1. Diana Tyler (Eccentric Muse) April 27, 2018 at 4:04 pm

        She sure is! 💙

  2. lindamaycurry April 27, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    Your children are fortunate to get such a good start. Will they be learning Spanish at school?

    1. Kim April 27, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      Yes. Very little at their current levels but later on, more. My eldest is very interested in travelling and seeing ‘other places’ so I keep telling him he ought to try languages too. Lol.

  3. Lesslie February 24, 2019 at 2:20 am

    Hi! My husband and I are working on teaching our son spanish. We are learning the language ourselves as we teach him. What do you think made your children lose interest in Spanish especially since you’ve been avid about them learning the language at a young age? I look forward to your response.

    1. K D February 24, 2019 at 10:31 pm

      Hi Lesslie,
      I think their interest waned as other than me, everyone else around them spoke in English. If they got to watch television in other places (e.g. their after-school-care place), it was in English and they wanted to continue that at home. I also think that a lot of the Spanish voice overs are a bit harsh on the ear and less attractive to kids in general.
      Once they started to read in school they wanted to keep practicing and that was in English. These days they’ve been enjoying Latin music so they have some more interest in the language. Also, my husband speaks some Spanish so when we want to discuss something in front of them without them understanding we do it in Spanish. That’s driving them nuts and providing incentive for them to learn! Lol
      And bottom line, it’s also a matter of consistency. I could have been more regimented with them about learning it but I never wanted to cross the line over from a ‘fun’ activity to ‘work’. I needed to find a better balance there.
      Hope this helps… and buena suerte!


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