The Strength of Inclusivity | Spanish Series Nonfiction

These 12 new Spanish and English/Spanish bilingual series cover a range of subject areas, from animals and geography to fairy tales and history. 


The print vs. digital debate infiltrates almost every aspect of collection development in public and school libraries: What to buy, what to remove, and what to keep are questions that are revisited throughout the holistic management process of any physical or virtual information environment. Media format options continue to evolve as factors like pricing, demand, budget-to-investment sustainability, and community-driven purchasing impact what is viable for libraries to provide. And even though print remains the format of choice for most educators and students, according to CoSN’s 2019 K-12 IT Leadership Survey Report, pressure to develop digital collections in school libraries keeps mounting. This conflicting information is of special concern to educators who curate material for second language learners, as comprehension and retention factors, as well as possible limited at-home internet access, come into play. To this end, quality books and media available in Spanish, both print and digital, continue to become more available to discerning librarians in schools and public libraries who provide first-language affirming material for second language learners. This season’s Spanish series will fill the gap between digital content and print material, especially for students who have limited access to digital content at home.


An, Vickie. Al rescate de los anfibios (Amphibian Rescue). ISBN 9780743926881.
Anderson, Rane. Tomar fotos desde el espacio (Taking Photos from Space). ISBN 9780743926966.
Austin, Elizabeth. Cómo quitarse el frío (Staying Warm). ISBN 9780743925921.
––––. Cómo refrescarse (Cooling Off). ISBN 9780743925914.
––––. Hacer música (Making Music). ISBN 9780743925907.
––––. Hacer sombra (Making Shade). ISBN 9780743925501.
––––. Jugar con el viento (Playing with Wind). ISBN 9780743925495.
––––. La vida en el jardín (Garden Life). ISBN 9780743925518.
Challogan, Samantha. La ciencia de las gemas (The Science of Gems). ISBN 9780743926430.
Davies, Monika. Una ayuda para ver mejor (Helping People See). ISBN 9780743926973.
Fielder, Heidi. Cultivar plantas en el espacio (Growing Plants in Space). ISBN 9780743926461.
Hernandez, Marissa. Los hermanos Wright (The Wright Brothers). ISBN 9780743926959.
Jordan, Elisa. Huesos en exhibición (Bones on Display). ISBN 9780743926386.
Kassebaum, Danica. Entrenamiento bajo el agua (Underwater Training). ISBN 9780743926935.
Lacey, Saskia. La creación de hábitats (Creating a Habitat). ISBN 9780743926393.
MacDonald, Lisa. Criar leopardos nublados (Raising Clouded Leopards). ISBN 9780743926874.
Montgomery, Anne. Ayudar a los animales a aprender (Helping Animals Learn). ISBN 9780743925884.
––––. Ayudar a los animales lastimados (Helping Injured Animals). ISBN 9780743925877.
––––. Caramelos pegajosos (Pulling Taffy). ISBN 9780743925471.
––––. El recipiente adecuado (Finding the Right Container). ISBN 9780743925464.
––––. Hacer más rosquillas (Making More Doughnuts). ISBN 9780743925488.
––––. Los gusanos de la seda (Raising Silkworms). ISBN 9780743925891.
Nussbaum, Ben. Hacer mapas (Making Maps). ISBN 9780743926416.
––––. Puentes hechos de pasto (From Grass to Bridge). ISBN 9780743926980.
––––. Una ciudad que se hunde (Protecting a Sinking City). ISBN 9780743926508.
Otterman, Joseph. Aprende sobre los tiburones (Learning About Sharks). ISBN 9780743925389.
––––. Castores constructores (Building a Beaver Lodge). ISBN 9780743925396.
––––. Con la energía del sol (Powered by the Sun). ISBN 9780743925990.
––––. Copos de nieve (Studying Snowflakes). ISBN 9780743926003.
––––. Una osera para Bei Bei (A Den for Bei Bei). ISBN 9780743925372.
––––. Veamos más estrellas (Seeing More Stars). ISBN 9780743926010.
Rice, Dona Herweck. Arte ensamblado (Piecing Art Together). ISBN 9780743926409.
––––. Casos extremos de luz solar (Living in Sunlight Extremes). ISBN 9780743926423.
––––. Castillos de arena (Building Sandcastles). ISBN 9780743925945.
––––. Como las mariposas (Being Like Butterflies). ISBN 9780743925952.
––––. Cómo se hace una momia (Making a Mummy). ISBN 9780743926904.
––––. Cómo se hacen los crayones (Making Crayons). ISBN 9780743925433.
––––. Doblar papel (Folding Paper). ISBN 9780743925457.
––––. El arte del teatro de sombras (The Art of Shadow Puppets). ISBN 9780743925938.
––––. Máquinas creativas (Creative Machines). ISBN 9780743926447.
––––. Navegar por el mar (Navigating at Sea). ISBN 9780743926911.
––––. ¿Qué hacen los juguetes? (What Toys Can Do). ISBN 9780743925440.
––––. Salir del cascarón (Hatching a Chick). ISBN 9780743926379.
Schwartz, Heather. Imitar la naturaleza (Mimicking Nature). ISBN 9780743926515.
––––. Secos y contentos (Staying Dry). ISBN 9780743926485.
Sipe, Nicole. Mapas de la Vía Láctea (Mapping the Milky Way). ISBN 9780743927000.
––––. Recuperar el arroyo Muddy (Restoring Muddy Creek). ISBN 9780743926898.
––––. Seguros en bici (Safe Cycling). ISBN 9780743926454.
Stark, Kristy. Enfrentar los incendios forestales (Dealing with Wildfires). ISBN 9780743926492.
––––. Predecir terremotos (Predicting Earthquakes). ISBN 9780743926997.
Urquhart, Kristina Mercedes. La ilustración botánica (Botanical Illustration). ISBN 9780743926942.
Wallace, Elise. Salvar la cultura en una catástrofe (Saving Culture from Disaster). ISBN 9780743926928.
Ward, Lesley. El regreso del cangrejo azul (Blue Crab Comeback). ISBN 9780743927017.
––––. Innovaciones en la cocina (Cooking Innovations). ISBN 9780743926478.
Wilder, Nellie. Agua segura para todos (Making Water Safe). ISBN 9780743925976.
––––. Así flotamos (Staying Afloat). ISBN 9780743925426.
––––. Comida para llevar (Taking Food To-Go). ISBN 9780743925402.
––––. Construir faros (Building Lighthouses). ISBN 9780743925969.
––––. Iluminar la noche (Lighting the Night). ISBN 9780743925419.
––––. Problemas en el zoológico (Solving Problems at the Zoo). ISBN 9780743925983.
ea vol: 24p. (Smithsonian Informational Text). Teacher Created Materials. Mar. 2020. Tr. $8.99.
K-Gr 3 –One of the most common dilemmas of school and public librarians is whether to direct students to print or online resources for projects. Both formats are useful depending on the project’s scope, but for students with limited online access at home or a preference for print material, an encyclopedic collection is indispensable for teachers, students, and librarians. “Smithsonian Informational Text” fills the gap with this visually exciting collection that covers interesting topics in many subject areas (geography, history, life science, social science, and more). Although this comprehensive series is divided by grade levels, these books could easily appeal to readers in the upper elementary grades. Like the publisher’s other books, this series delivers on its promise of reliability and appeal for a broad range of readers. Each book includes a history of the topic at hand, different applications of each, and plenty of high-quality photographs, maps, and artistic renderings that illustrate the featured concepts. Simple and complex ideas and processes are communicated well thanks to quality translations. Comprehension questions and an outline of the scientific method are provided in each volume. VERDICT An essential, standout purchase for any collection; libraries serving homeschooled students should consider.

Benavidez, Max. Day and Night. ISBN 9781604481006.
––––. The Planets. ISBN 9781604481129.
Del Monte, Daniela. Kittens and Puppies. ISBN 9781604481020.
Del Monte, Katherine. Bees. ISBN 9781604480979.
Del Rio, Adam. Animals at Night. ISBN 9781604481112.
Luna, Tom. The Amazing Fig. ISBN 9781604481143.
––––. Farm Animals. ISBN 9781604480948.
––––. Monkeys. ISBN 9781604481099.
––––. The Roadrunner. ISBN 9781604481044.
Reyes, Victoria. Bears of the World. ISBN 9781604481105.
ea vol: 20p. (Early Reader). Lectura. Mar. 2020. pap. $4.99.
PreS-Gr 2 –Short sections of text and full-spread color photographs make these books suitable for one-on-one sharing with toddlers or independent reading for preschoolers and kindergartners. Some of the pages include side-by-side English/Spanish text, while others present English above the Spanish text, which may present challenges for less experienced readers. On a positive note, English-Spanish translations are accurate and the content is packed with information without being overwhelming. This series is also available in monolingual Spanish and English editions. An English-Spanish glossary is included in each book, providing readers with context between the native and target languages. VERDICT Visual elements will support the needs of second language learners in early childhood education classrooms and public libraries.


Gunderson, Jessica. Blancanieves: 4 cuentos predilectos de alrededor del mundo (Snow White Stories Around the World). illus. by Colleen Madden. ISBN 9781515857112.
––––. Caperucita Roja: 3 cuentos predliectos de alrededor del mundo (Little Red Riding Hood Stories Around the World). illus. by Carolina Farías. ISBN 9781515857129.
Meister, Cari. Cenicienta: 4 cuentos predilectos de alrededor del mundo (Cinderella Stories Around the World). illus. by Carolina Farías. ISBN 9781515857105.
––––. Hansel y Gretel: 4 cuentos predilectos de alrededor del mundo (Hansel and Gretel Stories Around the World). illus. by Teresa Ramos Chano. ISBN 9781515857150.
––––. La Bella y la Bestia: 3 cuentos predilectos de alrededor del mundo (Beauty and the Beast Stories Around the World). illus. by Colleen Madden. ISBN 9781515857143.
––––. Rapunzel: 3 cuentos predilectos de alrededor del mundo (Rapunzel Stories Around the World). illus. by Colleen Madden. ISBN 9781515857136.
ea vol: 32p. (Cuentos multiculturales). Capstone/Picture Window. Jan. 2020. Tr. $27.99.
K-Gr 2 –Fairy tales and folklore from all around the world are highlighted in these books. Many countries and cultures and their versions of each tale are featured, including Albania, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Mozambique, Russia, and Turkey. Whimsical, colorful illustrations accurately and appropriately depict the skin tones and geographic settings specific to each culture. Images are well balanced and integrated with short sections of well-translated text. Some readers may struggle to decipher some of the text, which is written in a script font, but overall this series provides a well-rounded offering of stories that appeal to a wide audience. Critical thinking questions and ideas for how readers can write their own stories correspond well to the Common Core curriculum. VERDICT Recommended for larger school and public library collections that need a multicultural refresh.


Hansen, Grace. Cristales. ISBN 9781098200954.
––––. Gemas orgánicas. ISBN 9781098200992.
––––. Mineraloides. ISBN 9781098200985.
––––. Rocas ígneas. ISBN 9781098200961.
––––. Rocas metamórficas. ISBN 9781098200978.
––––. Rocas sedimentarias. ISBN 9781098201005.
ea vol: tr. from English by Maria Puchol. 24p. (¡Súper geología! Set 2). ABDO/Abdo Kids Jumbo Spanish. Dec. 2019. Tr. $28.50.
PreS-Gr 2 –Rocks and minerals get a deserved update in this six-part series on different kinds of geologic formations, including crystals, mineraloids, sedimentary rocks, and more. These books successfully explain the origin of each geologic object by including simple maps that correlate to the main content. On average, each page features three sentences and large, full-color photographs, with plenty of space around letters and words to support recognition and comprehension. However, these books contain slightly more advanced syntax and vocabulary, which makes them a good choice for second grade readers, and the Spanish translations are excellent. Educators will appreciate the visual glossary at the end. VERDICT This series corresponds to science curricula for the elementary grades, making it an essential purchase for school libraries.


Hansen, Grace. El diablo espinoso. ISBN 9781098200862.
––––. El dingo. ISBN 9781098200817.
––––. El emú. ISBN 9781098200824.
––––. El koala. ISBN 9781098200831.
––––. El ornitorrinco. ISBN 9781098200848.
––––. El quokka. ISBN 9781098200855.
ea vol: tr. from English by Maria Puchol. 24p. (Animales de Australia). ABDO/Abdo Kids Jumbo Spanish. Dec. 2019. Tr. $28.50.
PreS-Gr 2 –What do emus eat? Where do thorny devils get their name? Readers in the early elementary grades will find out thanks to this series covering six animals native to Australia, from koalas to platypuses. Each creature and its diet, habitat, special characteristics, and more are introduced in simple, clear text that corresponds well to plenty of high-resolution, full-page photographs. Slightly more advanced vocabulary in this series makes it ideal for first or second grade readers who are curious about their favorite Australian creatures. Although the wildfires aren’t mentioned in this series, these titles are a timely choice for any collection considering the tragic loss of wildlife in Australia in 2019. These books might answer some readers’ questions about current events while satisfying their curiosity about some of the most popular and well-recognized animals. VERDICT School libraries will definitely want to consider this slightly more advanced series on adorable Australian critters.

Martin, Emmett. ¿Es áspera? (What Is Bumpy?). ISBN 9781538249765. ISBN 9781538249987.
––––. ¿Es duro? (What Is Hard?). ISBN 9781538249802. ISBN 9781538250006.
––––. ¿Es liso? (What Is Smooth?). ISBN 9781538249840. ISBN 9781538250020.
––––. ¿Es suave? (What Is Soft?). ISBN 9781538249963. ISBN 9781538250082.
––––. ¿Está mojado? (What Is Wet?). ISBN 9781538249888. ISBN 9781538250044.
––––. ¿Está seco? (What Is Dry?). ISBN 9781538249925. ISBN 9781538250068.
ea vol: 24p. (Aprendemos sobre texturas (Let’s Learn Textures!)). Rosen/Gareth Stevens. Jan. 2020. Tr. $22.60.
PreS-Gr 1 –Written in Spanish and English, this essential early literacy series introduces the concept of textures and where they appear in environments that are familiar to children. The layout is attractive and eye catching; pages alternate between photo only or text only, captivating even the youngest readers. When selecting books for this reading level, text is an important consideration, and luckily, this series nails it. The number of words on each page, on average, doesn’t exceed five, and all pages have text set against a white background. Pages are numbered clearly, adding to the appeal of this basic series that the discerning educator or caregiver will appreciate. VERDICT This well-suited series is a smart addition to any early literacy collection; day cares and nontraditional environments serving preschoolers should consider.


Murray, Julie. El águila calva. ISBN 9781098200749.
––––. El himno nacional. ISBN 9781098200770.
––––. La bandera de los Estados Unidos. ISBN 9781098200794.
––––. La Campana de la Libertad. ISBN 9781098200756.
––––. La Constitución de los Estados Unidos. ISBN 9781098200787.
––––. NASA. ISBN 9781098200763.
ea vol: tr. from English by Maria Puchol. 24p. (Símbolos de los Estados Unidos). ABDO/Abdo Kids Junior Spanish. Dec. 2019. Tr. $27.07.
PreS-Gr 2 –Six books, each on a different U.S. iconic symbol or cultural object, are presented to young readers in this series. The bald eagle, the National Anthem, the U.S. flag, the Liberty Bell, and the Constitution are identified in multiple contexts, with simple yet descriptive text to complement the imagery. Because the associated concepts are more advanced than other titles for this age group, these books are best suited to first and second graders, although the books’ patriotic content will have far-reaching appeal. Some readers, especially Spanish-speaking children who are new to the States or young readers with relatives who have recently immigrated, will need additional explanation and context as Latinx populations are not visually represented in this series. This could be a drawback for professionals who serve diverse communities. Still, the books do an excellent job providing information to young readers and can be adapted to fit different size collections and curricula. VERDICT A basic series in Spanish for early readers that may require additional contextual information and explanation.


Murray, Julie. Longitud. ISBN 9781098200671.
––––. Peso. ISBN 9781098200725.
––––. Posición. ISBN 9781098200688.
––––. Tamaño. ISBN 9781098200695.
––––. Tiempo. ISBN 9781098200701.
––––. Volumen. ISBN 9781098200718.
ea vol: tr. from English by Maria Puchol. 24p. (¡A medir!). ABDO/Abdo Kids Junior Spanish. Dec. 2019. Tr. $27.07.
PreS-Gr 2 –This series introduces different units of measurement and real-life examples of how quantities of various objects, distances, and materials are measured. Included in this six-part series are volumes on the following topics: the basics of measurement, distance, relative positions of different objects, size, time, volume, and weight. Young readers will be able to easily identify some of their favorite household items and exotic animals. One or two basic sentences per page and simple pictures make this an ideal series for kindergartners, but this will also appeal to preschoolers and early elementary grade readers who are learning basic measurement skills in school. VERDICT Ideal for any early literacy collection in a school, public library, or day care.


Murray, Julie. Árboles. ISBN 9781098200640.
––––. Cuevas. ISBN 9781098200619.
––––. Guaridas. ISBN 9781098200626.
––––. Madrigueras. ISBN 9781098200602.
––––. Nidos. ISBN 9781098200633.
––––. Telarañas. ISBN 9781098200657.
ea vol: tr. from English by Maria Puchol. 24p. (Casas de animales). ABDO/Abdo Kids Junior Spanish. Dec. 2019. Tr. $27.07.
PreS-Gr 2 –Cuddly creatures and their homes—trees, caves, dens, burrows, nests, and webs—are the focus of this series that will hold the attention of young readers. Highly appealing photographs fill every page, with one or two short sentences of simple text that inform without being overwhelming. This series is designed for one-on-one, point-and-talk reading but could also be a good choice for a smaller read-aloud crowd. VERDICT Readers young and old will marvel over this sweet early ­literacy series that is ideal for collections serving Spanish-speaking children and families.



Bodden, Valerie. El cocodrilo. ISBN 9781
.––––. El león. ISBN 9781640262645.
––––. El mono. ISBN 9781640262638.
––––. El oso polar. ISBN 9781640262652.
––––. El tiburón. ISBN 9781640262669.
––––. La jirafa. ISBN 9781640262614.
––––. La serpiente. ISBN 9781640262676.
Riggs, Kate. El delfín. ISBN 9781640262607.
––––. El lobo. ISBN 9781640262683.
––––. El murciélago. ISBN 9781640262621.
ea vol: 24p. (Planeta animal). Creative Company/Creative Education. Jan. 2020. Tr. $29.95.
Gr 1-4 –Whether readers are looking for information to use for a school project or want to learn more about their favorite animals, there’s something for everyone in this comprehensive, Common Core–aligned nonfiction series. Each of the books in this 10-volume series focuses on a different animal. Crocodiles, dolphins, giraffes, monkeys, snakes, and more are featured in abundant, full-color photographs and sections of text that are detailed without overwhelming the reader. The animals’ habitats are accurately represented in well-translated text, which includes cross-disciplinary vocabulary that will provide additional context to the reader. Short stories about the cultural significance of each animal are presented at the end of each book. The volumes are short, making this adequate for supplementing an already robust or larger collection. VERDICT With an attractive format, sensational imagery shines in this exciting series for animal lovers.


Mikoley, Kate. Las árqueas (What Are Archaea?). ISBN 9781538250648.
––––. Las bacterias (What Are Bacteria?). ISBN 9781538250686.
––––. Las plantas (What Are Plants?). ISBN 9781538250761.
––––. Los animales (What Are Animals?). ISBN 9781538250600.
––––. Los hongos (What Are Fungi?). ISBN 9781538250723.
––––. Los protistas (What Are Protists?). ISBN 9781538250808.
ea vol: 32p. (Conoce las ciencias biológicas (A Look at Life Science)). Rosen/Gareth Stevens. Jan. 2020. Tr. $26.60.
Gr 3-6 –Teachers of life sciences can find it challenging to hold the attention of students who might not have an interest in topics like bacteria, cell growth, or fungi. But the right book can allow those exciting scientific concepts to take hold. This series focuses on a different aspect of the life sciences. Although new vocabulary terms are explained in an accessible manner, some of the images are not captioned with the appropriate geographic location (for example, the photo of Yellowstone National Park in the book about archaea isn’t marked, forcing readers to search the back of the book to identify what they’re looking at.) Discerning educators will also note the wasted space on some of the pages with text. There’s a somewhat distracting background that may make the text difficult to read. Still, this series offers subject-specific information in Spanish that is critical for second language learners in the early grades. VERDICT While some of the pictures in this series lack captions, this is a strong choice for medium or large collections.


Lassieur, Allison. 25 mujeres que se atrevieron (25 Women Who Dared To Go). ISBN 9780756565404.
Sherman, Jill. 25 mujeres que dieron batalla (25 Women Who Fought Back). ISBN 9780756565374.
––––. 25 mujeres que fueron las primeras en pensar en algo (25 Women Who Thought of It First). ISBN 9780756565398.
Stanborough, Rebecca. 25 mujeres que gobernaron (25 Women Who Ruled). ISBN 9780756565381.
ea vol: 64p. (Mujeres valientes). Capstone/Compass Point. Jan. 2020. Tr. $35.32.
Gr 7 Up –What do Shirley Chisholm, Betty Friedan, Temple Grandin, Wangari Maathai, and Margaret Thatcher have in common? Readers will find out in this four-part series about women who made history in a variety of fields, including the arts, astronomy, math, medicine, politics, and social sciences. There is something for everyone; each volume focuses on a different action or accomplishment and highlights trailblazers in each category. Women of many races, nationalities, and ethnicities are represented. Middle and high school students will find inspiration in the quotes by the women highlighted in each section and will benefit even further from the critical thinking questions at the end of each book. Pictures and text complement each other well and are detailed enough without overwhelming the reader, while remaining academic enough to satisfy complex research assignments. VERDICT An essential, up-to-date series that presents many new and familiar female role models.

Educators and librarians have many bases to cover when considering what to buy for their libraries, especially when looking to meet the needs and interests of second language learners. Nonfiction collections for children in any language should attract and excite learners with a diverse array of interests. These series offer something for readers at all levels. An obvious choice for any collection in this year’s series selections is “Smithsonian Informational Text” (Teacher Created Materials). These books act as upgraded encyclopedias that are engaging and widely appealing and provide ­subject-specific information in Spanish that is credible and well translated. “Mujeres valientes” (Capstone/Compass Point), ­offered as both English and Spanish editions, is an excellent investment for libraries serving bilingual readers in the middle and high school grades. “Aprendemos sobre texturas” (Rosen/Gareth Stevens) stands out for its eye-catching photos and bright, colorful accents.

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