Award-winning Latino picture books introduce children to language and culture.

With enchanting stories and beautiful illustrations, these award-winning Latino picture books from Candlewick Press introduce young readers to language and culture.

Board Books by Juan Felipe Herrera

Cerca and Lejos

Cover image of ward-winning Latino picture books for Spanish learners.

Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera’s board books, Cerca and Lejos are perfect for toddlers. Wonderfully sweet and calm, they use patterned sentences to illustrate spatial concepts.  Blanca Gómez’s beautiful, detailed illustrations of the settings provide the content of the stories. Toddlers ask to read these bilingual books again and again.

Award-Winning Latino Picture Books

Evelyn del Rey se muda

Meg Medina’s book Evelyn del Rey se muda is about best friends on moving day. It’s a wonderful portrait of the special bond children have when they know each other so, so well.  This is also a timely, reassuring story as children deal with the distance caused by Covid-19.


Imagina, also from Juan Felipe Herrera, is the story of the author’s journey of becoming a poet and then United States Poet Laureate.  The beautifully lyric text is also interactive as the author invites children to imagine his life and to imagine their own. The Spanish edition is new this year; the English edition Imagine is available too. We believe all children should read this inspiring, empowering book.

Gustavo el fantasmita tímido

Gustavo El fantasmita tímido is Flavia Z. Drago’s story of a shy ghost who wants to make friends. This book has amazing illustrations! In addition to the art, the story is full of cultural connections as Gustavo realizes Día de los Muertos is his moment to shine. This is a lovely story for Day of the Dead or anytime.

Nuestro huerto

Using engaging photographs and text, George Ancona documents a year in a school garden in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Nuestro huerto moves through the seasons with the students and teachers who care for the elementary school garden. This book celebrates the joy of gardening and community, and it is a wonderful non-fiction title to share with children.

More Picture Book Resources

Picture books are a fabulous source of language and culture for young readers. You can find more books by Latino authors on our Spanish Books for Kids resource page. There are also book lists and activities for specific titles to keep you reading with your Spanish learners.

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