When considering Spanish Fiction books, often the most used and sought out resource is a basal reader like Tesoros or Calle a la lectura. These resources provide solid shared readings and often lend themselves to whole group instruction. I really enjoy using books for read alouds because of their colorful art and powerful words, which can also be found in a basal. However, in order to differentiate for our learners reading levels and interest we must provide alternatives and facilitate reading in guided groups. When looking for books to use in your bilingual or dual immersion classroom, I think about them in three ways.
1. Popular English books translated into Spanish
2. Translated, Bilingual, & Spanish books published in the U.S.
Lee & Low Books – They prioritize diversity. On their website they claim to be the largest multicultural children’s book publisher in the U.S. and I agree. Not only are their stories and illlustrations reflective of our children, but they also publish and hire people of color. The owner Jason Lee has started a campaign to challenge other publishers to hire people of color – they are serious about diversity and you should get to know them. They have beautiful picture books like Marisol McDonald Series of bilingual books and Parrots Over Puerto Rico a favorite from this year. In addition they have a large collection of emergent Spanish leveled guided reading books. Pinata Books – They are a a part of Arte Publico Press in Texas. In their words, “Piñata Books, is dedicated to the realistic and authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States.” My favorite is again, a Monica Brown book, Butterflies on Carmen Street.” It highlights the migration of butterflies between the U.S. and Mexico, which if your teaching lifecycles – it’s a must read! Cinco Puntos Press – In their words “With roots on the U.S./Mexico border, Cinco Puntos publishes great books which make a difference in the way you see the world.” My favorites are the Maximilian series and other luchador books by author Xavier Garza.
3. Spanish books published in Latin America and Spain distributed in the U.S. by:
Lectorum is the largest Spanish book distributor in the United States. Their website states they carry 25,000 titles and are adding more daily. They carry translated and original Spanish texts of all levels. Lorito Books distributes Spanish children's books and audio book sets from domestic and foreign publishers. They carry some very high quality picture books and audio books which are unique. Books del Sur imports children’s literature and text books from Spanish speaking countries to the USA. Our goal is to increase multi-literacy in the United States through high quality, authentic children’s Spanish literature. I formed Books del Sur after reading a translated version of Ramona Quimby to my class and it failing miserably to engage my students. I personally select all of the titles in our collection and focus on books for intermediate bilingual classrooms. The other companies I feel fill many of our resource needs, but chapter books for intermediate bilinguals were challenging to find until now. We have many high quality chapter books and would love to get them into your classroom, school, or district. There are a few ways we can collaborate:
Call me: 608-301-5442.
Email me: email@example.com.
Go to our store www.booksdelsurstore.org and download our Chapter Book Order form and submit it with a purchase order. I will also be posting soon, some suggestions for building your Spanish guided reading book collection.