15 Spanish Language Nonfiction Series for Kids & Teens

These series share one thing in common: they are translated well, and in some cases flawlessly, which is an encouraging change from years past.

Language acquisition is one of the most important aspects of childhood, and it is especially pertinent for children who are dual-language learners. Beyond the practical reasons for successful acquisition, there are social and emotional benefits to fostering a knowledge of and appreciation for Spanish in children who learn it as their mother tongue. For some child immigrants, having access to materials in Spanish provides a continued emotional connection to family members and tradition, and can ease the transition to life in a new place. For others who might already speak English proficiently, maintaining a connection to their family’s language fosters cultural and linguistic appreciation throughout childhood and beyond. As evidenced by the series below, books on more specialized, nuanced topics in Spanish are emerging for early grades. Each and every child deserves books to inspire their imagination, promote literacy, and reaffirm their connection to whatever languages they speak.

Elementary

Allen, Nancy. Todo el mundo come. ISBN 9781641560245.

––––. Todo el mundo tiene una casa. ISBN 9781641560269.

Hord, Colleen. Todo el mundo usa la tecnología. ISBN 9781641560221.

––––. Todo el mundo visita a la familia. ISBN 9781641560252.

Popalis, Amy. Todo el mundo juega. ISBN 9781641560214.

––––. Todo el mundo practica deportes. ISBN 9781641560238.

Robertson, J. Jean. Todo el mundo va a la escuela. ISBN 9781641560207.

––––. Todo el mundo viaja. ISBN 9781641560276.

ea vol: tr. from English by Santiago Ochoa. 24p. (Un mundo pequeño para todos, en todas partes). glossary. index. maps. photos. websites. Rourke. Jan. 2018. pap. $8.95.

K-Gr 2 –Children will love learning how kids around the world go to school, play sports, use technology, and more. Each topic is presented with one or two lines of text, large captioned pictures, and a simple map to provide context. Many countries are represented, including Haiti, Panama, China, and New Zealand. The full-page photographs are inviting. Included in each book: detailed suggestions for educators, sample comprehension questions for students, and a photographic glossary of new vocabulary terms highlighted throughout the text. VERDICT Early geography collections can’t go wrong.

Borngraber, Elizabeth. La gente y la cultura de Venezuela. ISBN 9781508163015.

Emminizer, Ian. La gente y la cultura de la República Dominicana. ISBN 9781508163022.

Krajnik, Elizabeth. La gente y la cultura de Puerto Rico. ISBN 9781508163039.

Morlock, Rachael. La gente y la cultura de México. ISBN 9781508163046.

Shofner, Melissa Raé. La gente y la cultura de Cuba. ISBN 9781508163053.

Vargas, Maxine. La gente y la cultura de Costa Rica. ISBN 9781508163060.

ea vol: tr. from English by Esther Sarfatti. 32p. (Celebremos la diversidad hispana). glossary. index. photos. websites. PowerKids. Jan. 2018. lib. ed. $26.25.

Gr 3-5 –Students are introduced to six Spanish-speaking countries in this series. Topics covered in each volume include food, natural history, arts, sports, and cultural traditions, as well as important landmarks, notable people, and festivals. These titles are ideal for elementary students who are interested in gaining a general knowledge of each location, as the books provide only a beginner’s overview. However, the captioned photos are bright and contemporary looking. Readers will appreciate the updated information on well-known people in each country who have made a difference in the world, and the diversity of each country is positively represented in the text and photos of people and customs. VERDICT Consider this series to inspire student interest in geography.

Hansen, Grace. Alosaurio. ISBN 9781 532106484.

––––. Anquilosaurio. ISBN 9781532106491.

––––. Diplodocus. ISBN 9781532106507.

––––. Espinosaurio. ISBN 9781532106521.

––––. Estiracosaurio. ISBN 9781532106538.

––––. Iguanodon. ISBN 9781532106514.

ea vol: tr. from English by Maria Puchol. 24p. (Dinosaurios). glossary. illus. index. maps. photos. ABDO. Dec. 2017. lib. ed. $28.50.

K-Gr 3 –Lesser-known dinosaurs come to life in this series for the early grades. Basic facts, such as what each dinosaur ate and how they lived, are paired with full-page, scientifically rendered digital illustrations that will captivate and excite young readers. Words and concepts are in bold, which may prompt discussion and encourage vocabulary development. The books also provide an introduction to the fossils of each dinosaur, as well as illustrations of where the fossils were geographically discovered. Maps of each discovery site provide context; a glossary of new terms and more fast facts are included at the end of each book, inspiring further exploration. VERDICT A much-needed addition to any Spanish or bilingual collection to help mono- or dual-language readers discover dinosaurs beyond T. rex.

Hansen, Grace. ¿Cómo se hace el chocolate? ISBN 9781532106583.

––––. ¿Cómo se hace el helado? ISBN 9781532106590.

––––. ¿Cómo se hace la mantequilla de maní? ISBN 9781532106606.

––––. ¿Cómo se hace un lápiz de color? ISBN 9781532106569.

––––. ¿Cómo se hace un libro? ISBN 9781532106552.

––––. ¿Cómo se hace un suéter? ISBN 9781532106576.

ea vol: tr. from English by Maria Puchol. 24p. (¿Cómo se hace?). glossary. index. photos. websites. ABDO. Dec. 2017. lib. ed. $28.50.

K-Gr 3 –The process of making crayons, chocolate, ice cream, and other common goods is detailed from start to finish with full-page color photos capturing every step. Information about each item is presented in short vignettes, making each installment digestible and engaging for young learners. Maps depicting the origins of a few of the products provide context, and some historical information is also included. New words and concepts are in bold. VERDICT A visually pleasing guide to a handful of basic scientific concepts that will satisfy curious minds.

Higgins, Nadia. ¿Qué es el dinero? ISBN 9781624967344.

––––. Ahorrar dinero. ISBN 9781620319970.

––––. Ganar dinero. ISBN 9781620319994.

––––. Necesidades y deseos. ISBN 9781 624967320.

––––. Usar el dinero. ISBN 9781624967368.

ea vol: 24p. (Se inteligente con tu dinero). glossary. index. photos. websites. Jump!/Bullfrog. Jan. 2018. lib. ed. $25.65.

K-Gr 2 –Basic money concepts are presented in an easy-to-read format for young learners. Topics covered include: how to earn and save money and go shopping. Necesidades y deseos invites readers to make responsible decisions by giving them the choice between necessities and discretionary spending. Each volume provides introductory questions and conversation starters for caregivers to consider before, during, and after reading each book. Full-page color photographs correspond to the text, and illustrate a variety of activities related to each theme. A photographic glossary, comprehension questions, and suggestions for further learning are included. One things librarians should note: the name of the series uses the word inteligente when sabio would have been much more accurate. VERDICT An accessible introduction to currency for children.

Jacobson, Bray. Los ciclos de vida de las aves. ISBN 9781538215258.

––––. Los ciclos de vida de los anfibios. ISBN 9781538215265.

––––. Los ciclos de vida de los insectos. ISBN 9781538215241.

––––. Los ciclos de vida de los mamíferos. ISBN 9781538215234.

––––. Los ciclos de vida de los peces. ISBN 9781538215227.

––––. Los ciclos de vida de los reptiles. ISBN 9781538215210.

ea vol: tr. from English by Alberto Jiménez. 32p. (Veamos los ciclos de vida). further reading. glossary. index. photos. Gareth Stevens. Jan. 2018. lib. ed. $26.60.

Gr 1-3 –The life cycles of birds, reptiles, insects, amphibians, and mammals are thoroughly introduced. Each selection begins with the birth or beginning of the species’ life cycle; different stages of life are explained with text and large, clear pictures, which also include detailed captions on anatomy and other scientific elements. Different processes, such as metamorphosis, are presented in a way that will help students make connections between species and how they depend on their environment. Throughout the series, the vocabulary is rich, but the material remains accessible for younger students. VERDICT A much-needed addition to any Spanish-language animal science collection.

Kisloski, Carolyn. Temporadas en el kínder. illus. by Srimalie Bassani. ISBN 9781641560726.

Newman, Constance. Números en el aula. illus. by Marcin Piwowarski. ISBN 9781641560733.

Rosen, Robert & Jin Lee. ¿Dónde está mi borrador? illus. by Marcin Piwowarski. ISBN 9781641560764.

Walters, Abby. Creciendo. illus. by Nina de Polonia. ISBN 9781641560719.

Wells, Robin. El día de Sarah en el kínder. illus. by Isabella Grott. ISBN 9781641560740.

––––. Tantas clases. illus. by Marcin Piwowarski. ISBN 9781641560757.

ea vol: tr. from English by Santiago Ochoa. 24p. (Días de escuela). Rourke. Jan. 2018. pap. $8.95.

Toddler-PreS –A look at all the exciting activities that happen during the school day for soon-to-be kindergartners. Readers will find out what to expect each day: how to count, how to solve problems in the classroom, and how to prepare for school every morning. Comprehension questions and suggestions for how to present the material are included to assist educators and caregivers. Illustrations and text are presented on the same page but are spaced enough so as not to overwhelm little ones. Tantas clases includes sing-along songs, which will encourage participation when presented in a group setting. The illustrations do depict kids of color; however, differently abled children are not represented. VERDICT A series to help youngsters prepare and get excited for their school years. Day cares may want to consider.

Lamb, Jenny. El lío de los espaguetis. illus. by Marcin Piwowarski. ISBN 9781641560511.

Marks, Craig. ¡Podemos reutilizarlo! illus. by Brett Curzon. ISBN 9781641560559.

Rosen, Robert & Jin Lee. Polvo en todas partes. illus. by Chiara Fiorentino. ISBN 9781641560504.

––––. Wally y Molly van a la playa. illus. by Srimalie Bassani. ISBN 9781641560542.

Taylor, Michael. Luz roja, luz verde. illus. by Srimalie Bassani. ISBN 9781641560528.

Walters, Abby. Ahorrando agua. illus. by Chiara Fiorentino. ISBN 9781641560535.

ea vol: tr. from English by Santiago Ochoa. 24p. (Ayudo a mis amigos). Rourke. Jan. 2018. pap. $8.95.

PreS-Gr 1 –Readers will learn how to be helpful in this illustrated series. The titles focus not only on how children can help their peers, but also on situational examples of how they can be more responsible with resources. Helpful tips featured at the beginning and end of each book encourage thoughtful conversations between adults and children, considering questions like “What is happening on this page?” and “What do you use to clean your house?” The various illustration styles are all cheerful and expressive and depict a variety of racial identities. VERDICT Great for reading in a group setting or one-on-one.

McKenzie, Precious. Árboles. ISBN 9781641560177.

––––. Arco iris. ISBN 9781641560184.

––––. Cataratas. ISBN 9781641560160.

––––. Nubes. ISBN 9781641560153.

ea vol: tr. from English by Santiago Ochoa. 24p. (Madre naturaleza). further reading. glossary. index. photos. Rourke. Jan. 2018. pap. $8.95.

Gr 1-3 –This short series introduces basic natural elements to young students. Trees, rainbows, waterfalls, and clouds are explored in moderate detail, making these too advanced for kindergartners but not quite in-depth enough for older students. However, the pictures are clearly explained with captions, and quick facts are included at the end for additional comprehension value. Notable about this series is the detailed guide for teachers at the beginning of each volume, which provides a short overview on how to present new vocabulary and sample questions to ask students. VERDICT This well-translated introduction to nature is ideal for most schools.

Murray, Julie. Cachorros de perros. ISBN 9781532106194.

––––. Crías de elefantes. ISBN 9781532106156.

––––. Crías de koalas. ISBN 9781532106170.

––––. Crías de pingüinos. ISBN 9781532106187.

––––. Gatitos. ISBN 9781532106163.

––––. Patitos. ISBN 9781532106149.

ea vol: tr. from English by Maria Puchol. 24p. (Crías de animales). glossary. index. photos. websites. ABDO. Dec. 2017. lib. ed. $27.07.

PreS-Gr 1 –Kids will explore how some of their favorite animals grow and how they look in the first stages of life. Each book includes full-page photographs of baby animals, and the accompanying text directly corresponds to the activity depicted in each image. Also included is how animal young are fed and taken care of by their parents and how they survive in their natural habitats. Text in bold helps very young readers identify each animal’s unique characteristics and grow their vocabulary and will encourage dialogic reading between readers and caregivers. Each entry includes a short photographic summary of animals at different growth stages, accompanied by text, as well as a glossary to encourage reading comprehension and retention. VERDICT An endearing and essential introduction to baby animals for curious young readers.

Murray, Julie. Confiar. ISBN 9781532106262.

––––. Saber perdonar. ISBN 9781532106224.

––––. Ser amable. ISBN 9781532106231.

––––. Ser justo. ISBN 9781532106217.

––––. Ser respetuoso. ISBN 9781532106248.

––––. Ser responsable. ISBN 9781532106255.

ea vol: tr. from English by Maria Puchol. 24p. (Nuestra personalidad). glossary. index. photos. websites. ABDO. Dec. 2017. lib. ed. $27.07.

PreS-Gr 1 –An introduction to basic character development for little ones and their caregivers. Topics include how to share, forgive, and be respectful, as well as how to trust and be trustworthy. Bright, full-page action photography corresponds to simple yet thoughtful text that will inspire discussion. Examples are given in the narrative and in the photographs; some text is in bold to encourage vocabulary development. Questions at the end of each book will inspire readers to ponder how they have helped others; a glossary and a photographic summary of concepts are included at the end of each volume. The photos depict people of color and a variety of families, though differently abled individuals are not shown. VERDICT Sure to spark conversations between little ones and the adults in their lives. A great series for social emotional learning collections.

Puchol, Maria. Aa. ISBN 9781532103001.

––––. Bb. ISBN 9781532103018.

––––. Cc. ISBN 9781532103025.

––––. Ch ch. ISBN 9781532103278.

––––. Dd. ISBN 9781532103032.

––––. Ee. ISBN 9781532103049.

––––. Ff. ISBN 9781532103056.

––––. Gg. ISBN 9781532103063.

––––. Hh. ISBN 9781532103070.

––––. Ii. ISBN 9781532103087.

––––. Jj. ISBN 9781532103094.

––––. Kk. ISBN 9781532103100.

––––. Ll. ISBN 9781532103117.

––––. Ll ll. ISBN 9781532103285.

––––. Mm. ISBN 9781532103124.

––––. Nn. ISBN 9781532103131.

––––. Ññ. ISBN 9781532103148.

––––. Oo. ISBN 9781532103155.

––––. Pp. ISBN 9781532103162.

––––. Qq. ISBN 9781532103179.

––––. Rr. ISBN 9781532103186.

––––. Ss. ISBN 9781532103193.

––––. Tt. ISBN 9781532103209.

––––. Uu. ISBN 9781532103216.

––––. Vv. ISBN 9781532103223.

––––. Ww. ISBN 9781532103230.

––––. Xx. ISBN 9781532103247.

––––. Yy. ISBN 9781532103254.

––––. Zz. ISBN 9781532103261.

ea vol: 24p. (El abecedario). glossary. index. photos. websites. ABDO. Dec. 2017. lib. ed. $27.07.

Toddler-K –A fun series about the traditional Spanish alphabet for little learners. Each letter receives its own book that highlights plenty of words and concepts that begin with or include it. Food, animals, cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, and relevant activities are included to expand toddlers’ vocabulary. (“La mamá de Carlos quiere comprar una casa en Cuba.”) Alliterative text highlights the different sound variations of each letter and will inspire children and caregivers to talk about the letters they see and the sounds they hear. Color photographs correspond to the text and are inclusive of race, different types of families, and abilities; however, the majority of children featured do have pale skin. Also included in each title is a short summary of more words that feature the titular letter. ­VERDICT An essential series to refresh a basic early literacy collection in any library.

Romaine, Claire. Desiertos/Deserts. ISBN 9781538215371.

––––. Océanos/Oceans. ISBN 9781538215340.

––––. Ríos/Rivers. ISBN 9781538215333.

Youssef, Jagger. Bosques tropicales/Rainforests. ISBN 9781538215388.

––––. Lagunas/Ponds. ISBN 9781538215364.

––––. Montañas/Mountains. ISBN 9781538215357.

ea vol: tr. by Eida de la Vega. 24p. (¡Nuestra maravillosa Tierra!/Our Exciting Earth!). index. photos. Gareth Stevens. Jan. 2018. lib. ed. $22.60. BL

PreS-Gr 1 –Readers will discover elements of different biomes in this bilingual series. Mountains, deserts, and other ecosystems are introduced through basic facts about the climate, species, and food associated with each setting. The descriptions are about two sentences long, making this an ideal series for very young learners. Full-page photographs alternate with pages of text: Spanish text appears first, and the English translation is noted below it. The quality of translation varies slightly by book; most of the words and phrases used are translated accurately and will resonate with students. Each title includes a photographic “Words to Know” segment at the end. VERDICT The emphasis on observation makes this an inspiring choice for bilingual nature collections.

Stoltman, Joan. César Chávez. ISBN 9781538215302.

––––. Harriet Tubman. ISBN 9781538215326.

––––. Hillary Clinton. ISBN 9781538215319.

––––. Michelle Obama. ISBN 9781538215289.

––––. Rosa Parks. ISBN 9781538215296.

––––. Walt Disney. ISBN 9781538215272.

ea vol: tr. from English by Ana María García. 24p. (Pequeñas biografías de grandes personajes). further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Gareth Stevens. Jan. 2018. lib. ed. $22.60.

Gr 1-3 –The lives of six notable historical figures are explored in this beginning series for lower elementary schoolers. Each book covers the basic facts of each figure’s life and their contributions to social justice, politics, and the arts. Full pages of text are matched with full-page photos, with updated information that is both relevant and inspiring. New vocabulary is in bold throughout, and definitions of each word are given at the end of each book. Although the content is current, students will need to look elsewhere to obtain more in-depth information about each person’s life. VERDICT These short but sweet biographies are a crowd-pleaser. A fine addition to robust collections.

Middle to High School

Furgang, Kathy & Alberto Jiménez. Netiqueta: guía de la etiqueta digital para el estudiante. ISBN 9781499439649.

Gerber, Larry & Alberto Jiménez. ¡Citado!: Identificar la información creíble en línea. ISBN 9781499439656.

Greek, Joe & Alberto Jiménez. Inteligencia artificial: computadoras y máquinas inteligentes. ISBN 9781499439670.

Kamberg, Mary-Lane & Alberto Jiménez. Ciberseguridad: protege tu identidad y tus datos. ISBN 9781477789988.

Orr, Tamra B. & Alberto Jiménez. Tuitear con un objetivo. ISBN 9781477789971.

Poolos, J. & Alberto Jiménez. Diseñar, construir y mantener sitios web. ISBN 9781499439663.

ea vol: tr. from English by Alberto Jiménez. 48p. (Cultura digital y de la información). bibliog. further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Rosen Central. Jan. 2018. lib. ed. $31.75.

Gr 5-8 –A practical and comprehensive look at different aspects of the digital world, including online safety, artificial intelligence, how to identify credible sources online, and how to protect computers from harmful activity. Each volume includes historical information related to computer science as well as updated data that reflects current trends and practices in web design and social media use. The content is advanced and is well suited to middle grade through early high school students. Throughout the series, the photos are fresh and illustrate the concepts at hand effectively. VERDICT Educators and students alike will appreciate this in-depth and timely exploration of information science.


These series share one thing in common: they are translated well, and in some cases flawlessly, which is an encouraging change from years past. The attention to detail and the specialized subject matter featured in these series will provide more children with the personalized reading experience they deserve. The series on scientific concepts, such as Gareth Stevens’s “Veamos los ciclos de vida” and “¡Nuestra maravillosa Tierra!/Our Exciting Earth!,” rise to the top of the list.

Natalie Romano, Denver Public Library

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