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Spanish Titles to Celebrate World Book Day

As teachers, we spend our time reading books to students, to our own children and grandchildren.  Here are seven gorgeous titles to celebrate reading across cultures, from Guatemala to Korea, Puerto Rico, New York and Colombia.  Dive into the magic of reading with these superbly illustrated picture books.  


¿Qué estás haciendo? is a must for little ones. In this pattern book, a young Guatemalan boy asks everyone around him: ¿Qué estás haciendo? Some are reading postcards, magazines, instructions manuals, and maps. Our favorite page is where the archeologist is deciphering Mayan glyphs. How could this young boy not be eager to read after that? A treat to read again and again in Pre-K through first grade. 

Mi abuela me lee libros is a touching story about a Korean girl who reads to her grandmother every day. Drawing from her own experience where her daughter read to her grandmother, the author InJa Kim shares this beautiful story. InJa’s mother was inspired by her granddaughter’s reading to teach herself to read. The gorgeous illustrations transport us to the worlds of other books. A moving title about sharing the love of books, as well as perseverance at any age. We recommend this title for grades 2 and above. 

We knew of the Pura Belpré award, but we had no idea who Pura really was until Sembrando historias. What a remarkable journey for a woman of her time; a woman who was passionate about stories, and who dedicated her time to sharing them with children across the United States. Poetic language and vibrant illustrations transport you from Puerto Rico to New York, and make this a springboard to talk about the immigrant experience and resilience. A perfect read aloud for grades 2 through 5. 

La montaña de libros más alta del mundo is an authentic read aloud about Lucas, a young boy who has one dream and one dream only: to fly. What he discovers is that you can fly through books. You can travel to far away lands, meet incredible people and fascinating animals. Rocio Bonilla’s illustrations convey this journey and escape to the many worlds of literature. With students young and old, talk about favorite books and places you dream of exploring.

Rescatando palabras is the true story of José Alberto Gutiérrez, a sanitation worker who, while collecting garbage, rescues discarded books in Bogotá, and brings them to Paradise, his little library in La Nueva Gloria. Told from the perspective of a young José, who awaits the opening of Paradise on Saturdays, this picture book will convey the privilege that is access to books. Read this book to inspire your students to start a little free library or make a field trip to donate books. 


La vaca que leía libros and El oso que amaba los libros are books about animals who enjoy books. The cow breaks stereotypes, and must fight prejudice and teasing as she perseveres in her desire to read. The adorable bear, drawn by talented Jim LaMarche, listens to stories read to him by a sickly woman. It is a story of both wonder and loss. We suggest reading La vaca que leía libros with first and second graders, and El oso que amaba los libros with third through fifth graders. 

Travel around the globe with your students while sending a strong message around the magic of reading and equal access to literature.

Your partners in dual language learning,

Marie Bouteillon and Sofi Rice


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