Children's Literature Page

"Finalmente, los latinos son frecuentemente presentados como un grupo monolítico. Como si las vastas diferencias de origen, geografía, lengua, raza, clase y lugar de nacimiento, entre otras, no existieran. La idea de que 'si has visto un latino los has visto a todos,' es perpetuada en la literatura infantil donde no hay medidas para establecer diferenciaciones." --Gerardo Marin y Barbara Vanoss Marin

"Finally, Latinos are often presented as a monolithic group, as if the vast differences in national origin, geography, native language, race, class, and place of birth, among others, did not exit. The feeling that 'if you've seen one Latino, you've seen them all' is perpetuated in children's literature when no provisions are made for such differences."--Gerardo Marin and Barbara Vanoss Marin

With lovely illustrations and delightful texts, the following picture books feature positive portrayals of Hispanic and Latin American children. Strong images of these many cultures can make Hispanic and Latin American audiences feel admired and respected, while teaching non-Hispanic and non-Latin American audiences to appreciate these communities. Most importantly, these positive images can serve to remind us all of the universality of human life.

Many of the books on this list have won writing and/or illustration awards, as indicated in parentheses after the bibliographic entries. The newest of these prizes is the Pura Belpre award, given by the American Library Association's Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the National Association to Promote Library Services to the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA), an ALA affiliate. Initiated in 1996, the Pura Belpre award honors authors and illustrators of Hispanic heritage. This biennial award was named after the New York Public Library's first Latina librarian. For a complete listing of the Pura Belpre books and honor books, see the ALA Website.

Another major prize is the Americas Award, begun in 1993. Sponsored by the National Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP), the Americas Award honors engaging and authentic representations of Latin American and Hispanic life experiences. In addition to annual award winners and honorable mentions, the committee also issues an extensive list of commended books. For a complete listing of the Americas Award winners and commended titles, see the CLASP Website.

Ada, Alma Flor. I Love Saturdays y Domingos. Illus. by Elivia Savadier. New York: Atheneum, 2002.

Ada, Alma Flor. Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English. Illus. by Simon Silva. New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1997. (Pura Belpre Honor, Americas Commended)

Ada, Alma Flor. The Lizard and the Sun/La Largartija y el Sol. Illus. by Felipe Davalos. New York: Doubleday Dell, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Ada, Alma Flor. My Name Is Maria Isabel. Illus. by K. Dyble Thompson. New York: Atheneum, 1993.

Alarcon, Francisco. Angels Ride Bikes/Los Angeles Andan en Bicicleta. Illus. by May Christine Gonazalez. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press, 1999. (Americas Commended)

Alarcón, Francisco. Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems/ Jitomatoes Risuenos y otros poemas de primavera. Illus, by Maya Christina Gonzalez. San Francisco, CA: Children's Book Press, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Alarcon, Francisco. From the Bellybutton of the Moon and Other Summer Poems/Del Ombligo de la Luna y Otro Poemas de Verano. Illus. by Maya Christina Gonzalez. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press, 1998. (Pura Belpre Honor, Americas Commended).

Alarcon, Francisco. Iguana in the Snow. Illus by Maya Christina Gonzalez. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press, 2000. (Pura Belpre Honor, Americas Commended)

Almada, Patricia. From Father to Son/De Padre a Hijo. Illus. by Marianno de Lopez. Crystal Lake, IL: Rigby, 1997. (Americas Commended.)

Altman, Linda Jacobs. Amelia's Road. Illus. by Enrique O. Sanchez. New York: Lee and Low, 1993.

Anaya, Rudolpho. Farolitos for Abuelo. Illus. by Edward Gonzales. New York: Hyperion, 1998.

Anaya, Rudolfo A. The Farolitos of Christmas. Illus. by Richard C. Sandoval. New York: New Mexico Magazine, 1987.

Ancona, George. Barrio: José's Neighborhood. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace, 1998. (Pura Belpre Honor, Americas Winner)

Ancona, George. Carnaval. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace, 1999. (Americas Commended)

Ancona, George. Cuban Kids. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish, 2000. (Americas Commended)

Ancona, George. Fiesta Fireworks. New York: Lothrup, Lee & Shepard, 1998. (Americas Commended)

Ancona, George. Harvest. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish, 2001. (Americas Honor)

Ancona, George. Mayeros: A Yucatec Maya Family. New York: Morrow, 1997. (Americas Honor)

Ancona, George. Pablo Remembers: The Fiesta of the Day of the Dead. New York: Lothrop, 1993. (Pura Belpre Honor)

Argueta, Jorge. A Movie in my Pillow. Illus. by Elizabeth Gomez. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press, 2001. (Americas Winner)

Argueta, Manlio. Magic Dogs of the Volcanos/Los Perros Magicos de los Volcanes. Illus. by Elly Simmons. San Francisco, CA: Children's Book Press, 1990.

Belafonte, Harry and Lord Burgess. Island in the Sun. Illus. by Alex Ayliffe. New York: Dial, 1999. (Americas Commended)

Bloom, Valerie. Fruits: A Caribbean Counting Poem. Illus. by David Axtell. New York: Henry Holt, 1997. (Americas Honor)

Brusca, Maria Cristina. On the Pampas. New York: Holt, 1991. (Parents' Choice Picture Book Award)

Buffett, Jimmy. Trouble Dolls. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanvich, 1991.

Bunting, Eve. How Many Days to America? A Thanksgiving Story. Illus. by Beth Peck. New York: Clarion, 1988.

Bunting, Eve. A Day's Work. Illus. by Ronald Himler. New York: Clarion, 1994. (Americas Commended)

Bunting, Eve. Going Home. Illus. by David Diaz. New York HarperCollins, 1996. (Americas Commended)

Cameron, Ann. The Most Beautiful Place in the World. Illus. by Thomas B. Allen. New York: Knopf, 1988.

Capellinni, Mary. The Story of Dona Chila/El Cuento de Dona Chila. Illus. by Gershom Griffith. Crystal Lake, IL: Rigby, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Carling, Amelia Lau. Mama and Papa Have a store. New York: Dial, 1998. (Pura Belpre Honor, Americas Winner)

Carlson, Lori Marie. Sol a Sol. Illus. by Emily Lisker. New York: Henry Holt, 1998.

Castaneda, Carlos. Abuela's Weave. Illus. by Enrique O. Sanchez. New York: Lee and Low, 1993. (Americas Commended)

Castilla, Julia Mercedes. Emilio. Houston, TX: Pinata, 1999.

Castillo, Ana. Mi Hija, Mi Hijo, El Aguila, La Paloma: Un Canto Azteca/My Daughter, My Son, the Eagle, the Dove: An Aztec Chant. Illus. by S. Guevara. New York: Dutton, 2000. (Americas Commended)

Cazet, Denys. Born in the Gravy. New York: Orchard, 1997.

Chin-Lee, Cynthia and Terri de la Pena. A is for Americas. Illus. by Enrique O. Sanchez. New York: Orchard, 1999. (Americas Commended)

Cooper, Martha and Ginger Gordon. Anthony Reynoso: Born to Rope. New York: Clarion, 1996. (Americas Commended)

Corpi, Lucha. Where Fireflies Dance/Ahi, Donde Bailan Las Luciernagas. Illus.b y Mira Reisberg. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Cowley, Joy. Big Moon Tortilla. Illus. by Dyanne Strongbow. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mill, 1998. (Americas Commended)

Cuyler, Margery.  From Here to There. Illus. by Yu Cha Pak. New York: Henry Holt, 1999.

Delacre, Lulu. Arroz con Leche: Popular Songs and Rhymes from Latin America. New York: Scholastic, 1989.

Delacre, Lulu. Las Navidades: Popular Christmas Songs from Latin America. New York: Scholastic, 1990.

DeRubertis, Barbara. Count on Pablo. Illus. by Rebecca Thornburgh. New York: Kane Press, 1999.

Dorros, Arthur. Abuela. Illus. by Elisa Kleven. New York: Dutton, 1991.

Dorros, Arthur. Isla. Illus. by Elisa Kleven. New York: Dutton, 1995. (Americas Commended)

Dorros, Arthur. Tonight Is Carnaval. Illus. with arpilleras sewn by the members of the Club de Madres Virgen del Carmen of Lima, Peru. New York: Dutton, 1991.

Dorros, Arthur. When the Pigs Took Over. Illus. by Diane Greenseid. New York: Dutton, 2002.

Ehlert, Lois. Cuckoo/Cucu. Trans. By Gloria de Aragon Andujar. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Elya, Susan Middleton. Home at Last. New York: Lee & Low, 2001.

English, Karen. Speak English for us Marisol!  Illus. by Enrique D. Sanchez. Morton Grove, IL: A. Whitman, 2000.

Eversole, Robyn. The Flute Player/La Flautista. Illus. by G. Brian Karas. New York: Orchard, 1995.

Freedman, Russell. America’s First True Cowboys. New York: Clarion, 2001. (Americas Honor)

Freschet, Gina. Beto and the Bone Dance. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2001.

Galindo, Mary Sue. Icy Watermelon/Sandia Fria. Illus. by Pauline Rodreguez Howard. Houston: Pinata, 2000. (Americas Commended)

Garay, Luis. Pedrito's Day. New York: Orchard, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Garcia, Maria. The Adventures of Connie and Diego./Las Aventuras de Connie y Diego. Rev. ed., Illus. by Malaquias Montoya. San Francisco, CA: Children's Book Press, 1987.

Garza, Carmen Lomas. Magic Windows. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press, 1999. (Pura Belpre Medal, Americas Honor)

Gershator, David and Phyllis. Bread Is for Eating. Illus. by Emma Shaw-Smith. New York: Holt, 1995.

Gershator, Phyllis and David. Greetings, Sun. Illus. by Synthia St. James. New York: DK Ink, 1998. (Americas Commended

Gonzalez, Lucia M. Senor Cat’s Romance and Other Favorite Stories from Latin America. Illus. by Lulu Delacre. New York: Scholastic, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Gonzalez-Jensen, Margarita. Mexico’s Marvelous Corn/Maravilloso Maiz de Mexico. Crystal Lake, IL: Rigby, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Grossman, Patricia. Saturday Market. Illus. by Enrique O. Sanchez. New York: Lothrop, 1994. (Americas Commended)

Hansen, Regina. The Face at the Window. Illus. by Linda Saport. New York: Clarion, 1997. (Americas Winner)

Hausman, Gerald and Ashley Wolff. Doctor Bird: Three Lookin’ Up Tales from Jamaica. New York: Philomel, 1998. (Americas Commended)

Hayes, Joe. A Spoon for Every Bite. Illus. by Rebecca Leer. New York: Orchard, 1996.

Heide, Florence Parry and Roxanne Heide Pierce.  Tio Armando. Illus. by Ann Grifalconi. New York: Lothrup, Lee & Shepard, 1998. (Americas Commended)

Herrera, Juan Felipe. Calling the Doves/El canto de los Palomas. Illus. by Elly Simmons. New York: Children's Book Press, 1995.

Herrera, Juan Felipe. Laughing Out Loud, I Fly: Poems in English and Spanish. New York: HarperCollins, 1998. (Pura Belpre Honor)

Hewett, Joan. Hector Lives in the U.S. Now: The Story of a Mexican American Child. Photos by Richard Hewett. New York: HarperCollins, 1990.

Holzworth, Werner. I’m Jose and I’m Okay: Three Stories from Bolivia. Trans. By Laura McKenna. Illus. by Yatiyaw Studios. La Jolla, CA: Kane Miller, 1999. (Americas Commended)

Horenstein, Henry. Baseball in the Barrio. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Hoyt-Goldsmith, Diane. Las Posada: An Hispanic Christmas Celebration. Illus. by Lawrence Migdale. New York: Holiday House, 1999.

Hurwitz, Johanna.New Shoes for Silvia. New York: Morrow, 1993.

Isadora, Rachel. Caribbean Dream. New York: Putnam, 1998. (Americas Commended)

Jiminez, Francisco. The Christmas Gift/El Regalo de Navidad. Illus. by Claire B. Cotts. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. (Americas Commended)

Jimenez, Francisco. La Mariposa. Illus. by Simon Silva. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1998.

Johnston, Tony. Uncle Rain Cloud. Illus. by Fabricio Vanden Broeck. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2001. (Americas Commended)

Johnston, Tony and Jeanette Winter. Day of the Dead. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Keane, Sofia Meza. Dear Abuelita/ Querida Abuelita. Illus. by Enrique O. Sanchez. Crystal Lake, IL: Rigby, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Keister, Douglas. Fernando's Gift. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1995. (Americas Commended)

Kleven, Elisa. Hooray, a Pinata! New York: Dutton, 1996. (Americas Commended)

Kroll, Virginia. Butterfly Boy. Illus. by Gerardo Suzan. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Kurusa. The Streets Are Free. Trans. from Spanish by Karen Englander. Illus. by Monkia Doppert. Copenhagen, Denmark: Annick, 1985.

Leiner, Katherine. Mama Does the Mambo. Illus. by Edel Rodriguez. New York: Hyperion, 2001. (Americas Commended)

Levy, Janice. Abuelito Eats with his Fingers. Illus. by Layne Johnson. Austin, TX: Eakin, 1999.

Lewin, Ted. Amazon Boy. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.

Lomas Garza, Carmen. Family Pictures: Cuadros de Familia. San Francisco, CA: Children's Book Press, 1990. (Pura Belpre Honor)

Lomas Garza, Carmen. In My Family/En Mi Familia. San Francisco: Children's Book Press, 1996. (Pura Belpre Honor)(Americas Winner)

Lopez, Loretta. The Birthday Swap. New York: Lee & Low, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Luen, Nancy. A Gift for Abuelita: Celebrating the Day of the Dead/Un Regalo para Abuelita: En Celebracion del Dia de los Muertos. Illus. by Robert Chapman. Flagstaff, AZ: Rising Moon, 1998. (Americas Commended)

Madrigal, Antonio Hernandez. Erandi’s Braids. Illus. by Tomie de Paola. New York: Putnam, 1999. (Americas Commended)

Markum, Patricia Maloney. The Little Painter of Sabana Grande. Illus. by Robert Casilla. New York: Bradbury, 1993. (Americas Commended)

Martel, Cruz. Yagua Days. Illus. by Jerry Pinkney. New York: Dial, 1976. (runner-up in the Council on Interracial Books for Children competition)

Maury, Inez. My Mother and I Are Growing Strong./Mi Mama y Yo Nos Hacemos Fuertes. Illus. by Sandy Speidel. Berkley, CA: New Seed Press, 1979.

Montex, Marisa. Juan Bobo Goes to Work. Illus. by Joe Cepeda. New York: HarperCollins, 2000. (Pura Belpre Honor)

Mora, Pat. A Birthday Basket for Tia. Illus. by Cecily Lang. New York: Macmillan, 1992.

Mora, Pat. Pablo's Tree. Illus. by Cecily Lang. New York: Macmillan, 1994. (Americas Commended)

Mora, Pat. Tomas and the Library Lady. Illus. by Raul Colon. New York: Random House, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Mora, Pat. The Rainbow Tulip. Illus. by Elizabeth Sayles. New York: Viking, 1999.

Moreton, Daniel. La Cucaracha Martina: A Caribbean Folktale/La Cucaracha Martina: Un Cuento Folklorico del Caribe. New York: Turtle, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Orozco, Jose-Luis, ed. Diez Deditos/Ten Little Fingers and Other Play Rhymes and Action Songs from Latin America. Illus. by Elisa Kleven. New York: Dutton, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Perez, Amada Irma. My Very Own Room/Mi Propio Cuartito. Illus. by Maya Christina Gonzalez. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press, 2000. (Americas Honor)

Presilla, Maricel E. Mola: Cuna Life Stories and Art. New York: Henry Holt, 1996.

Presilla, Maricel E. and Gloria Soto. Life Around the Lake: Embroideries by the Women of Lake Patzcuaro. New York: Henry Holt, 1996.

Rahaman, Vashanti. A Little Salmon for Witness: A Story from Trinidad. Illus. by Sandra Speidel. New York: Lodestar, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Reiser, Lynn. Tortillas and Lullabies. Illus. by Las Corazones Valientes. New York: Greenwillow, 1998.

Riecken, Nancy. Today Is the Day. Illus. by Catherine Stock. Boston,MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1996.

Rodriguez, Luis J. America Is her Name. Illus. by Carlos Vazquez. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone, 1997.

Rodriguez, Luis J. It Doesn’t Have To Be this Way: A Barrio Story/No Tiene Que Ser Asi: Una Historia del Barrio. Illus. by Daniel Galvez. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press, 1999. (Americas Commended)

Rohmer, Harriet. Uncle Nacho's Hat. Illus. by Mira Reisberg. San Francisco, CA: Children's Book Press, 1993.

Rosa-Casanova, Sylvia. Mama Provi and the Pot of Rice. Illus. by Robert Roth. New York: Atheneum, 1997.

Rossi, Joyce. The Gullywasher. Flagstaff, AZ: Northland, 1995. (Americas Commended)

San Souci, Robert D. The Little Seven-Colored Horse: A Spanish American Folktale. Illus. Jan Thompson Dicks. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 1995.

Schoberle, Cecile. Esmeralda and the Pet Parade. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990.

Sisnet, Ana. Grannie Jus’ Come. Illus. by Karen Lusebrink. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Skarmeta, Antonio. The Composition. Ilus. By Alfonso Ruano. Toronto: Groundwood, 2001. (Americas Winner)

Slate, Joseph. The Secret Stars. Illus. by Felipe Davalos. Tarrytown, NY: Martin Cavendish, 1998. (Pura Belpre Honor, Americas Commended)

Sola, Michele. Angela Weaves a Dream. Illus. Jeffrey Jay Foxx. New York: Hyperion, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Soto, Gary. Big Bushy Mustache.Illus. by Joe Cepeda. New York: Knopf, 1998. (Americas Commended)

Soto, Gary. Chata and the Party Animals. Illus. by Susan Guevara. New York: Putnam, 2000. (Pura Belpre Winner)

Soto, Gary. If the Shoe Fits. Illus. by Terry Widener. New York: Putnam, 2002.

Soto, Gary. The Old Man & His Door. Illus. by Joe Cepeda. New York: Putnam, 1996.

Soto, Gary. Snapshots from the Wedding. Illus. by Stephanie Garcia. New York: Putnam, 1997. (Pura Belpre Winner)

Soto, Gary. Too Many Tamales. Illus. by Ed Martinez. New York: Putnam, 1993.

Stanek, Muriel. I Speak English for My Mom. Illus. by Judith Friedman. New York: Albert Whitman, 1989.

Stevens, Jan Romero. Carlos and the Cornfield/Carlos y la Milpa de Maiz. Illus. by Jeanne Arnold. Flagstaff, AZ: Northland, 1995.

Stevens, Jan Romero. Carlos and the Skunk/Carlos y el Zorrillo. Illus. by Jeane Arnold. Flagstaff, AZ: Rising Moon, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Taha, Karen T. A Gift for Tia Rosa. Illus. by Dee de Rosa. Minneapolis, MN: Dillon, 1986.

Tamar, Erika. The Garden of Happiness. Illus. by Barbara Lambase. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1996. (Americas Commended)

Taylor, Harriet Peck. Two Days in May. Illus. by Leyla Torres. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1999. (Americas Commended)

Thomas, Jane Resh. Lights on the River. Illus. by Michael Dooling. New York: Hyperion, 1994.

Torres, Leyla. Liliana’s Grandmothers. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1998. (Americas Commended)

Van Laan, Nancy. La Boda: A Mexican Wedding Celebration. Illus. Andrea Arroyo. Boston, MA: Little Brown, 1996.

Van Laan, Nancy. The Magic Bean Tree: A Legend from Argentina. Illus by Beatriz Vidal.  Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. (Americas Commended)

Van West, Patricia E. The Crab Man/El Hombre de los Cangrejos. New York: Turtle, 1998. (Americas Commended)

Viesti, Joe and Diane Hall. Celebrate in Central America. New York: Lothrup, Lee & Shepard, 1997. (Americas Commended)

Winter, Jonah. Beisbol! : Latino Baseball Pioneers and Legends. New York: Lee & Low, 2001.

Zamorano, Ana. Let's Eat! Illus. Julie Vivas. New York: Scholastic, 1996.

Children's Literature Page

Created September 22, 1995 and is continuously revised
SCILS, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey