Need Sources for Spanish Books for Kids? Look No Further | Libro por Libro

Guest columnist Alexandra Gomez rounds up distributors offering Spanish-language and bilingual materials with highlights from their recent titles.

The demand for Spanish-language educational programs and resources has grown exponentially. One out of every four children in the United States is Hispanic. According to Child Trends, “Latino children make up the majority of dual language learners, those who are acquiring two languages simultaneously.” However, bilingual or dual language education systems are not just increasingly popular among Spanish-speaking families; many non-Spanish-speaking parents are also enrolling their children in these programs, hoping to enrich their children’s cultural knowledge and create more opportunities for them in the expanding global marketplace. As these programs increase, so does the need for Spanish- language resources for children.

Distributors of Spanish-language materials attribute a large percentage of their children’s book sales to the rise of these programs, and many of them go the extra mile to help librarians place Spanish-language books into children’s hands. Despite potential difficulties attending shipment of titles imported from Latin America and Spain, many distributors tout consistently good fulfillment rates, crediting their success to well-established relationships with publishers and long histories of serving public institutions.

The following distributors offer originals, bilingual titles, and translations of English-language best sellers. They work with libraries either starting a Spanish-language children’s collection or looking to enhance an existing one, and they offer recommendations, Opening Day Collections (ODC), standing orders, and On Approval Plans (OAP). Larger distributors also offer cutting-edge custom-tailored collection development tools, including Print on Demand (POD) and shelf-ready services. Smaller distributors operate like “Book Boutiques,” performing hard searches to locate titles to meet particular needs. In the following list, each distributor selected one recommended title.

Libro-Rodriguez_Kiki-KokiBaker & Taylor (B&T) is a major distributor of books and media, started in 1828. They provide a collection management tool custom-tailored for libraries’ title selection and ordering purposes, notification carts, POD, standing orders, OAP, and shelf-ready services. Rodríguez, Ed. Kiki Kokí: La leyenda encantada del coquí. illus. by author. 40p. Roaring Brook. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781626721043; pap. $8.99. ISBN 9781626721326. Gr 1-2–A little Taíno Indian boy learns the values of courage, dedication, and friendship.
Libro-Tocalli-Beller_xocalatlBilingual Publications has been distributing Spanish-language books for more than 30 years. Bilingual Publications stays in communication with clients to monitor needs and screens all children’s book selections to ensure collection standards. Book recommendations, list customizations, ODC, OAP, and shelf-ready and book fair services also available. Tocalli-Beller, Augustin. Xocolatl: El xoloitzcuintle mexicano. illus. by Inés Huni. 45p. Artes de México. 2015. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9786074611779. K-Gr 2–A sad and hairless dog is ignored by the museum visitors until he proves to be the guardian of his ancestry.
Libro-Curato_El-Pequeno-ElliotBrodart has more than 30 years of experience selecting and recommending Spanish-language titles for all ages. Each title is individually read and released on their monthly recommended list of titles available as FASTips lists. Book recommendations, ODC, OAP, and shelf-ready and book fair services are also available. Curato, Mike. El Pequeño Elliot, en la gran ciudad (Little Elliot, Big City). illus. by author. 12p. Ediciones B. 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9788416075348. PreS-Gr 1–Little Elliot leads a quiet life and finds a friend amid the big crowds and big buildings in the big city.
Libro-Salzano_Te-quiero-tal-ComoChulainn Publishing Corp. has been providing collection development services to public libraries in the United States since 1993. Book recommendations, customized invoices, and shelf-ready and book fair services available. Salzano, Tammi. Te quiero tal como eres (I Love You as You Are). illus. by author. 28p. Editorial Bruño. 2015. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9788469603482. PreS-K–This picture book charmingly captures the tender bond between parents and children.
Libro-Spiegelman_Perdidos-en-NYCConsortium Book Sales & Distribution (CBSD) provides distribution and sales support to various independent multicultural publishers, as well as to large and small distributors of Spanish-language titles. Its website offers libraries information about titles correlated to the Common Core. Spiegelman, Nadja. Perdidos en NYC: una aventura en el metro (Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure). illus. by Sergio García Sánchez. 52p. Toon Bks. 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781935179856. Gr 2-3–A graphic novel illustrating the adventures of Pablo, who learns to navigate the New York City subway after he gets lost on a school field trip.
Libro-Ycaza_Los-dias-rarosFondo de Cultura Económica (FCE) is a publisher and distributor of Spanish-language titles, with many branches in Latin America and the United States. Book recommendations and shelf-ready services are available. Ycaza, Roger. Los días raros (Strange Days). illus. by author. 40p. Fondo de Cultura Económica. 2015. Tr $10.95. ISBN 9786071626301. Gr 4-6–This work captures the way a normal day can become a strange day for a child who doesn’t feel well.
Libro-Molina_Conoce-a-CristobalGrupo Santillana USA has affiliates in many Spanish-speaking countries and has been distributing books to schools, libraries, and the U.S. trade market for over 40 years. Santillana owns the Spanish rights to various classics published in English and other languages. Molina, Maria Isabel. Conoce a Cristóbal Colón. illus. by Pablo De Bella. 27p. Santillana USA. 2015. pap. $13.95. ISBN 9780882723303. Gr 3-4–Part of the best-selling “Personajes del Mundo Hispánico” series, which introduces children to the lives of important people of the Spanish-speaking world.
Libro-Kinney_Diario-de-GregoryIngram Library Services is part of Ingram Content Group, a global distribution network with hundreds of Spanish-language materials for all ages. It provides a custom-tailored collection development database, notification carts, standing orders, ODC, OAP, and shelf-ready services. Kinney, Jeff. Diario de Greg 9: el arduo viaje (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Bk. 9: The Long Haul). illus. by author. 224p. Lectorum. 2015. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781933032979. Gr 3-4 –A family road trip promises lots of fun but takes several comical wrong turns.
Libro-Land_NumerosIndependent Publishers Group (IPG) is a distribution program with thousands of Spanish-language titles across numerous subjects, including original works and translations of award-winning English titles. Land, Fiona. Números (Numbers). illus. by author. 10p. Combel Editorial. 2015. Board. $10.95. ISBN 9788498259346. PreS-K–Part of the “Toca Toca” series, this book helps children count the friendly animals with touch-and-feel items on every page.
Libro-Chirif_-Mas-te-valeLatin American Book Source Inc. has been distributing Spanish-language books since 1989. They develop selection list proposals according to a library’s profile and provide book recommendations, OAP, and shelf-ready and book fair services. Chirif, Micaela. ¡Más te vale, Mastodonte! (You Better, Mastodon!). illus. by Issa Watanabe. 42p. Fondo de Cultura Económica. 2014. pap. $18.99. ISBN 9786071619273. PreS-Gr 1–The protagonist of this story has a very unusual pet: a mastodon. To tame such a huge animal is not easy, but it proves rewarding.
Libro-Peirce_NAte-El-GrandeLectorum Publications has specialized in importing and distributing Spanish-language books for more than 50 years. Lectorum reads each children’s book in its collection and publishes a line of children’s books, including popular translations and authentic literature. Monthly bulletins, standing orders, ODC, OAP, and shelf-ready and book fair services are available. Peirce, Lincoln. Nate el grande #5: Al revés (Nate the Great: Bk. 5: Flips Out). 224p. Lectorum. 2015. Tr. $14.99. ISBN 9781933032986. Gr 3-4–Nate’s mess may get his best friend in big trouble, unless he decides to clean it up.
Libro-Brown_Mayas-BlanketLee & Low Books is an independent publisher and distributor of diverse books created to support classroom curricula and libraries serving beginning readers through young adults. Lee & Low is the sole-source vendor for Bebop Books imprint, also available in Spanish. Brown, Monica. Maya’s blanket/La manta de Maya. illus. by David Diaz. 32p. Children’s Pr. 2015. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9780892392926. Gr 1-2–This bilingual picture book tells the story of Little Maya and the special blanket that Grandma stitched for her.
Libro-Pita_quienpuedevencerlalvientoesp_0Lorito Books has been a distributor and curator of children’s books and audiobook read-along sets since 2009. Their audiobook sets contain a bilingual book and multiple CDs spoken by native Spanish speakers. Pita, Charo. ¿Quién puede vencer al viento? (Who Can Defeat the Wind?). illus. by Marion Arbona. 48p. OQO Editora. 2014. pap. $23.95. ISBN 9788498715071. PreS-Gr 1–An updated version of a traditional folktale that tells the fable of the tortoise outwitting faster and smarter animals to save his village from a drought.
Libro-No-marta-altesMulticultural Books & Videos (MCBV) has been distributing World Language materials for more than 25 years, including Spanish-language books for children. Monthly new releases and shelf-ready and book fair services are available. Altes, Marta. No! 32p. Thule Ediciones. 2014. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9788415357308. PreS-K–A likable dog with good intentions is a bit unruly because he believes his name is “No.”
Libro-Nichols_ArceSpanish Publishers specializes in distributing and importing Spanish-language books. Monthly new releases/presentations, list customizations, standing orders, OAP, and shelf-ready and book fair–services are available. Nichols, Lori. Arce (Maple). 32p. Obelisco. 2015. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9788416117253. PreS-Gr 1–Arce’s tree is her favorite confidant. Her parents planted it when she was a baby, and they grew up together.
Libro-Dominguez_El-ChavoScholastic has been publishing and distributing educational materials for children in grades K–8, parents, and teachers worldwide since 1989. Scholastic en Español and Club Leo en Español present hundreds of books each year, including audiobook programs, TV series, encyclopedias, and magazines, along with educational materials and software programs for Learners of English as a Second Language. Domínguez, María. El Chavo: Estrella de fútbol (Soccer Star). illus. by Juan Pablo Lombana. 32p. Scholastic. 2015. pap. $3.99. ISBN 9780545842358. Gr 1-2–Part of a new book series based on an iconic television show that shares the adventures of El Chavo and his friends in their neighborhood.

Alexandra Gomez is a selector for Spanish and other world languages titles at BookOps, the shared technical services organization of the Brooklyn Public Library and New York Public Library.

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Mubarak N M

I would like to get free Spanish book for beginners by post . Please give me directions this side ..

Posted : Nov 21, 2019 09:25


Thanks for the resources. I am a non-native speaker and would like my child to learn spanish. I want to reinforce what she learns with storytime books. Are there any that would easy for me to read while she still gets exposed to the language?

Posted : Dec 10, 2015 04:55

Mary Gibson

Hello, Seems like you are missing a Publisher on your list! STAR BRIGHT BOOKS! We offer Spanish and Spanish/Bilingual Books for ages 0- 7. We are at 44 titles and growing in Spanish/English! We exhibit at most National Conferences - ALA Summer, Mid Winter and will be at AASL, in November, Columbus, OH, November 5-8. Please stop in and visit us at Booth #430. We are one of the few dedicated multicultural children's book publisher's. We are celebrating our 21st year in Children's Book Publishing this year!

Posted : Oct 14, 2015 10:33

Jennifer Smith

How about some secondary Spanish resources? We have students that have received instruction in Spanish and English since Kinder. Finding authentic (non-translations) Spanish resources that are appropriate and engaging for middle school has been extremely difficult.

Posted : Oct 14, 2015 12:30

Nathalie Hrizi

HI Jennifer, I would recommend you check out Devolver Al Remitente by Julia Alvarez. It is a translation but a really wonderful immigration and cross-cultural story and appropriate for middle schoolers. Nathalie

Posted : Oct 14, 2015 07:40

Alexandra Gomez

In addition, please refer to these resources (Lugares en español para niños) compiled by The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association: Also: Reading is fundamental: leamos en familia! Biblioteca Digital Internacional para Ninos: Thank you.

Posted : Oct 04, 2015 01:27

Gay Patrick

We are constantly looking for online resources in Spanish to help support our early learners. Any recommendations?

Posted : Oct 02, 2015 10:32

Shelley Diaz

Thanks so much for your comment. Alexandra is currently en route to Spain for a conference, but she emailed these resources in the meantime: In addition to the U.S. Department of Education: And the American Academy of Pediatrics: Early Literacy Resources I would recommend the following: Colorin Colorado PBS Kids Canal Lector Guia Infantil Cuentos infantiles: Cuentos clásicos para niños

Posted : Oct 03, 2015 03:42



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