Christmas Gift Guide: Latin Books for Children

This week I’m hosting a tamalada, a tamale making party and couldn’t wait to read, Too Many Tamales to my 4th and 5th grade Spanish classes. They loved it! I even took some masa and cornhusks to school to teach them how to spread masa on a cornhusk. They especially enjoyed the visual prior to my reading the book. Yesterday I decided to bring the book home and read it to my own children. They too loved it! It’s such a fun and whimsical way of introducing the idea of making tamales; even though my children take part in our annual tamalada they still enjoyed the book. Which got me thinking, “How many other books are there that teach about Latino cultural events and holidays that my kids would enjoy?” I tried to recall the titles of books I own at home and in my classroom and could only think of a handful of titles, so I went online to search for other titles.

After some searching I found some books I’ve never heard of but I also found some books I have heard about but do not own. Yvette and I have been talking about posting a gift guide this holiday season and then it dawned on us — Why not share a top ten children’s book list for our gift guide! I know, this is a food blog, so you can bet our Muy Bueno cookbook will be on our list. Ha, yes, a shameless plug for our cookbook, after all, every recipe has a brief story about our childhood. Our children have enjoyed reading our stories about cooking with grandma and our mother and reading all about the traditional holidays we celebrated and all memories that revolved around food. We have a feeling if you have similar memories your children might enjoy the cookbook too.

So back to our Christmas gift guide. Some of you may still have small children, or you might know someone who does. My children are 13 and 9 and I know they will enjoy reading these books and learning about different Latin cultures and traditions so we hope you like this list as much as we do. Look over the list and we hope you delight in finding a title or two you’d love to buy this holiday season.

We were not compensated for promoting any of these books. We just want to share and support Latino children’s literature and hope you do too.

  1. Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto and Ed Martinez
  2. The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola
  3. Uno, Dos, Tres Posadas by Virginia Kroll
  4. Mama Goose: A Latino Nursery Treasury by Alma Flor Ada
  5. Listen to the Desert/Oye al Desierto by Francisco Mora
  6. Miracle of the First Poinsettia by Joanne Oppenheim
  7. Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
  8. The Pumpkin Moon Empandas by Clementina Llanes
  9. No Is No, Si Is Yes by Ana Galán
  10. Muy Bueno by us

Written by Veronica

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6 Responses to “Christmas Gift Guide: Latin Books for Children”

  1. 1
    Monica — December 13, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

    Love ALL these book suggestions! And so thrilled you shared one with your class. And to make it come alive by allowing them to make their own tamales? Genius! Such a great idea. Thanks, Yvette!!

  2. 2
    Ernie Estrada — December 13, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

    We relocated from El Paso to Long Beach and find cooking on weekends a great time to enjoy our home life. Both my wife and I cook and take turns finding new ways to enjoy home cooking.

    Sending an e-mail to my relatives in El Paso and other locations to inform them of your book and to try out the receipies.

  3. 3
    vangie — December 14, 2012 @ 8:42 am

    This is a wonderful idea. I say to you, my daughters, you never cease to amaze me with your ideas. love you. Mom

  4. 4
    Raquel (Quelle Books) — December 14, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

    I’d like to also recommend the bilingual board book Maisy’s Food/Los Alimentos de Maisy http://www.candlewick.com/cat.asp?browse=Title&mode=book&isbn=0763645192&pix=n Great for little ones.

  5. 5
    Jen Greyson — December 17, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

    Great list! And the tamale making party sounds like a blast. I’m so excited about this push for more Latin voices in publishing.

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