Rise and Shine, Mariko-Chan!
Written by Chiyoko Tomioka, Illustrated by Yoshiharu Tsuchida
What is morning like at your house?
For little Mariko and her Japanese/Japanese-American family it’s a busy and happy time. She needs to get up, get washed and then there’s breakfast with her mom and dad, her two older sisters; Yuko and Yumi, and her “Oba-san” (grandmother).
This short book with bright and inviting illustrations is a wonderful multicultural read. It shares an experience common to all children – getting ready for the day – while allowing young readers to discover unique aspects of Japanese culture such as special names used to show affection or respect and different foods that might be part of a Japanese meal. Written by Chiyoko Tomioka, this book was originally published in Japan as: “Chiko-chan, Itterasshai”, meaning “See You Later, Chiko-chan!”
Written and Illustrated by Keiko Kasza
Choco is a little bird who is very sad. He doesn’t know who his mother is, but he is certain of one thing. His mother will look just like him…right?
This sweet little bird’s journey to find “mom” is a touching story with a happy ending. But the ending is not what Choco expected which asks and answers many important questions; such as “does a family have to look alike to be a family?”, “What makes a perfect mom or parent?”. It’s a great read for any child, but especially helpful and enjoyable as a book that addresses the issues of adoption, cross-cultural adoption or being different.
Written and illustrated by Keiko Kasza; a talented artist who was born on a small island in Japan, this is a truly charming picture book that brings home the point is that love – not looks – that make a family real!
Meet The Obamas, America’s First Family
Written By Andrea Davis Pinkney
Get a fascinating look behind the scenes into the White House and it’s first African-American President. And read on to meet the entire first family, plus the presidential dog, “Bo”.
Do you know how many people work at the White House? That there’s a swimming pool, children’s garden and much more that might surprise you? This “short but sweet” Scholastic book is a beautiful tour of President Obama’s White House complete with lots of information about the first family and moving photographs, like one young boy who asks to touch the Presidents hair to see if it was like his own.
Don’t miss the chance to chance to share these details and important aspects of the US presidency with your child through this easy-to-read, first family portrait.
How Dalia Put a Big Yellow Comforter Inside a Tiny Blue Box: And Other Wonders of Tzedakah
Written By Linda Heller, Illustrated By Stacey Dressen McQueen
Do you know about the Jewish tradition of Tzedakah? This enchanting and inspiring book will tell you all about it.
Dalia is a young girl whose teacher encourages her to start a little fund in a box and her fellow students are intrigued by what their contributions could create. Dalia shares her ideas with her younger brother who doesn’t want to be left out of the fun. And when it’s all said and done, there’s an amazing party that takes care of someone special in their community changes her life!
Although this is a book is about a specific, beautiful tradition of Judaism, it is a wonderful books for people of any faith as it delves into up the topic of giving, sharing with others and good deeds. It’s a great book for talking to kids about empathy, compassion and how meaningful it can be to express love for humanity and community.
by Carolivia Herron, Illustrated by Jeremy Tugeau
Sometimes family histories are complicated. And exciting. And amazing!
“Always An Olivia” is written as the story of an elderly African-American grandmother who lovingly passes along the details of an incredible tale to her granddaughter. It’s the story of the journey their family made as Jews escaping persecution in Spain. Then there’s a pirate ship and a brave young girl and a landing in the US Georgia Sea Isles in a community of descendants of West African slaves. And so much more! But throughout all this, one thing remains the same. There is always an “Olivia” in each generation of the family.
Critically-acclaimed author Carolivia Herron shares this amazing tale that is actually based on her own unique family history and how one daughter in each generation is given the name “Olivia” to honor the past.
Along with being an exciting and informative read, the book is a good conversation starter on topics such as multiculturalism, tolerance, Jewish history, family history and discovering your roots.
Written by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Illustrated By Diana Bryer
What a wonderful book!
It starts as young Jacobo enjoys life with his grandmother (Abuelita) in a small town in New Mexico in the United States. Although the young boy and his grandmother love their community and are active in their Catholic church, some things do seem out of place to Jacobo. Abuelita cooks differently than her neighbors and she has her own special rituals, like lighting candles on Friday nights. When a new family moves into the neighborhood who are Jewish, Jacobo starts asking more questions and finds out about his family history – one that started with an exodus of Sephartic Jews from Spain, centuries ago.
This short but powerful tale written by a woman rabbi and scholar; Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, is a perfect way to begin discussions on topics such as multicultural families, Jewish history, tolerance, religious identity and family secrets.
Read it in Spanish:
Las Matzas Secretas de Abuelita by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
Writer, poet and essaying, Julia Alvarez has crafted a great book for young readers. When Miguel’s family moves from New York City to rural Vermont, he must come to grip with a world where he is different. And he’s not so sure how he feels about it.
To make matters worse, his Aunt Lola comes to visit from the Dominican Republic. Although he loves her, he worries his friends will not accept her wonderfully colorful personality and this will might make things even more difficult with his new friends. What will it take for Miguel to understand how special his family and their cultural heritage is?
I particularly liked this book because it talks frankly about language. In the beginning Miguel understands Spanish but refuses to speak it. And Tia Lola isn’t too comfortable learning English. This book is a great conversation-starter about how hard it can be to bridge a cultural gap by learning a new language – but how incredibly meaningful it is!
Find it in English on Amazon.com here:
Or, read it in Spanish:
De como tia Lola vino (de visita) a quedarse
As an older mom, I grew up in a time when there were few choices for children’s books. Nonetheless, I fell in love with the little bird that asked “Are You My Mother”, counted in English with “One Fish, Two Fish” and balked at the idea of eating “Green Eggs and Ham”.
Now there are Spanish language versions of many of these simple but meaningful books that captured the hearts of more than one generation. Here are four of my readers absolute favorites:
What a perfect bedtime book. As comforting and lyrical in Spanish as it is in English!
A little lost bird searches for it’s mom. The Spanish is a perfect translation making it a wonderful beginner’s book for learning Spanish or for developing general reading skills and a love of literacy!
This is the Dr. Suess counting and colors classic. Although it’s hard to translate the clever wordplay of Dr. Suess into Spanish and not everyone adores this particular Spanish version, the book is still a favorite of bilingual families.
Written and Illustrated by Dr. Suess
Translated by Aida E. Marcuse
Would you like to eat green eggs and ham – in a boat or with a goat? Readers love this translation of the classic silly kids book that delights young readers in Spanish as much as it does in English!
We’re part of the MKB Hispanic Heritage Blog Hop. Please check out our last post to see how you can enter to win some new favorite books in Spanish!
Welcome to the Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop, hosted this year by Multicultural Kid Blogs and 17 of our member blogs! Don’t miss our amazing giveaway, and share your own posts at our linky!
Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year, “celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America” (from HispanicHeritageMonth.gov)
Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs (listed below) and follow our related Pinterest boards:
Don’t miss our Twitter party “Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Kids,” Tuesday, September 23, from 9 – 10 pm ET! Follow #mkbhhm to participate!
MKB Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop: Participating Blogs
Hispanic Heritage Month GIVEAWAY!
This year to celebrate we are giving away fabulous prizes! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post for a chance to win!
Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.
Grand Prize Package
Smart Play Pad (SRP $ 24.99): Interactive tablet like electronic toy makes early learning fun and exciting for little ones. More than 30 touch sensitive keys teach language and pronunciation skills to help prepare children for school. Bilingual feature helps kids learn in English & Spanish. Lightweight and truly portable for on-the-go learning. Ships to US and Canada only.
A basket of fun from Escuela Falcón in Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico. This prize includes educational games, ceramic Day of the Dead skulls, a hand-painted ceramic box, wooden toys, and a certificate for 5 hours of Skype Spanish lessons with Escuela Falcón.
A basket from Lanugo with the book “Lula la Consentida,” a limited-edition “Latino de Corazón” infant onsie, and Seventh Generation’s baby product essentials. US shipping only.
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
First Prize Package
A child’s sweater and bag from Peru courtesy of Kid World Citizen. The handmade, wool sweater is typical from the Andes and might fit a child ages 2-4. The little backpack is also handmade with gorgeous details typical of the region.
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
Chocolalala – CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
Hola Hello – A CD of children’s songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Mis primeros poemas – A book of poems and audio CD for Spanish learners from All Bilingual Press.
Digital download of Spanish Colors Activities Pack with printable minibooks, games and activity pages from Mundo de Pepita.
Spanish activity book with an audio CD with listening exercises for kids between 3-10 years old (value: 12€) from Lingua Toys.
Hand-crafted guiro (traditional instrument), hand-carved from a gourd in Bolivia with a sun and moon pattern. Great instrument as well as a piece of folk art. From DARIAMUSIC. US shipping only.
Second Prize Package
Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua courtesy of Spanish Playground.
A CD of children’s songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
ABC Fiesta – CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
Digital download of 6 printable Spanish high frequency words books from Custom Literacy.
Bonus Prize: France Shipping Only!
Beautiful piñata created especially for this contest by Piñatas de Laly.
Link Up Your Posts Now it’s your turn to share your posts! The linky will be open through October 15, so come back and share throughout Hispanic Heritage Month!
Who hasn’t sung the rhyme or played the game of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”? This adorable book shares that popular kids rhyme and game in both English and Spanish.
Although a few parents I knew were bothered that the author substituted the words “legs” for “knee” and “foot” and toes”, the Spanish lyrics work within the song perfectly and are super-singable for kids of any age.
A wonderful little board book that not only teaches new words but encourages kids to get active with language and play!
A beautiful little “first book” for young children, especially those learning in both English and Spanish. Colorful illustrations of animal families are used to share the concepts of loving and caring that children will relate directly to their own lives.
I especially appreciated how this book focuses on the simple interactions that are so meaningful to both parent and child: listening while a child talks, tucking them into bed, singing a song for them, etc. Whether you’re adding this book for home or the early education classroom, you’ll get get hours of enjoyment from this wonderful board book for bilingual babies and toddlers!
Find This Book on Amazon.com here: Quiero a mi Mama Porque (I Love my Mommy Because Eng/Span ed) (Spanish Edition)
Abuelita (Grandmother) has come to stay in Jose’s house and changes are afoot! In this beautifully illustrated book, we see the world through Jose’s eyes as Abuelita comes to stay and life transforms in the most wonderful and meaningful ways. For instance, José has to share his room with his grandmother, but he doesn’t mind it because she tells him stories long into the night. New smells appear in the kitchen but also delicious hot chocolate for José in the mornings! Things are different, but they are good, and Abuelita adds so much to the household because she is so “full of life”!
This is a great book for starting conversations about ancestry, relatives and cultural backgrounds. It’s also a good book for discussing what happens when new members come or go from a household. Each page (or set of pages) has the text in English and Spanish, making it a great book for both bilingual readers as well as those learning either Spanish or English.
This short but fact-filled book tells the complete history of the island of New Zealand through illustrations and one or two page descriptions of important events.
It starts with the arrival of the first Polynesians peoples around 800 BC and the volcanic eruptions that shaped the island and moves forward to more modern times of British and European settlers. It describes the culture clash between the old and the new, with a special emphasis on Maori history.
Written and illustrated by a graphic designer from NZ TV, this is an amazingly complete cultural history of New Zealand. My only complaint is that there are not similar books for other countries all over the globe – this book is a great mini-lesson in world history!
This 14 page E-book available as an immediate digital download from TeachersPayTeachers shares a dozen different instruments from world cultures plus a map of where you might find them. Instruments included are ones that are easily recognized – like the guitar – but also more unusual instruments that come from Russia, India, China, Hawaii and South America as well.
What if you lived on a beautiful island before the time that Europeans came to the New World? This book is set in just that time and place.
Morning Girl and her brother, Star Boy, live in a close-knit family and clan on an idyllic island. But they are as different as night and day. Set in Taino culture, the story follows both children as they discover who they are and how they belong to their family and their world.
Michael Dorris; the author, is a member of the Modoc tribe and an exceptional writer as well as a trained anthropologist. His portrayal of life in this early Native American setting is both accurate and unforgettable. This is a beautifully written and memorable book with an interesting historical twist at the end.
Written by Michael Rose Ramirez
There’s a certain magic to hummingbirds that makes them popular in folktales wherever they are found. But how did this unusual bird first come to be?
The hummingbird myth from Taino cultures tells of a beautiful young girl and a brave young man. Unfortunately their parents did not feel they should be friends and so they are separated.
Do they find a way to be together? And how does the hummingbird come into the story? This tale of young love and devotion weaves a magical tale around a beautiful creature and may make you think twice the next time you see hummingbird in real life!
Written and Illustrated By George L. Crespo
If you lived on an island, the sea would probably be an important part of any legend or creation tale. This creation tale; retold and illustrated by George Crespo, was collected over 500 years ago by a Spanish friar who came to the island now known as Puerto Rico.
Author, painter and sculptor; George Crespo, changed a few minor details but kept a powerful story of how the ocean came into being. The story involves a family, a great hunter, a big storm and four boys who could not do as they were told.
How did one giant expanse of land turn into a series of islands in a deep blue sea? You’ll have to check out “How The Sea Began” to get the full story!
I love books that take you to exciting new locations.
Terri Thompson’s new e-book for young kids is a perfect example of how to travel and learn about the world from the comfort of your family’s kitchen table or armchair. In her 25 page e-book, there are lots of fun facts about Alaska and it’s history, plus all the type of topics that really intrigue young learners – dog sled races, Northern lights, glaciers, totem poles, black bears and bald eagles.
I especially love the hands-on crafts and the list of additional resources at the end of the book that point to great places to visit if you want to learn more. The crafts are wonderful ways to bring different aspects of Alaska’s heritage to life and include projects to make “shiny salmon”, moose silhouettes, crayon resist Northern lights and personal totem poles.
This book is highly recommended, especially for young learners and homeschoolers – it’s packed with both learning and fun!
Find out more or purchase this book here:
Written by and Meera Sriram and Praba Ram, Illustrations by Koel Basu
One of the great things about books is that they can take you and your family around the world. You can visit another country or explore a different culture. And some books – like Bijoy and the Big River – have just the right combination of great information, rich photography and an engaging story.
In this book you get to visit with a young boy from the state of Assam in Northeast India. Their family lives close to an important river that flows out of the Himalaya mountains and past their village. A great deal of their lives revolves around the river as well as their occupation of raising silkworms and making silk. On one special day, Bijoy gets to accompany his dad on his first ferry trip to a village famous for making some of the finest silk in the land.
Traveling with Bijoy, the wonders of this area unfold, combining details of day-to-day life with exciting experiences such as seeing river dolphins, a beautiful sunset on the river or passing a cruise ship bound for a nearby wildlife park. Bijoy and the Big River is a wonderful, children’s book that will intrigue readers of any age and encourage them to discover more about this exciting and important region of the world.
You can purchase this book from Tulika Press, a publishing house offering exceptional books for young readers in a variety of languages including English, Telegu, Bengali, Gujarati and Tamil. Find out more here: