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Books del Sur curates Latin America Spanish-language literature to support dual language curriculum.
Books del Sur curates Latin America Spanish-language literature to support dual language curriculum.
Spanish Children's Literature poster

Spanish Fiction Book Collections

The following is a webinar sharing examples of Spanish Fiction books.

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 reading aloud 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 

Most books in our classrooms and libraries are translations. These books represent the U.S. popular literary culture and are affordable. Translated books also represent English language structures. While translators work to great lengths to translate for meaning they cannot avoid the cultural implications of the stories.  For example, Ramona Quimby lives on Kilckitat Street. This word cannot be translated. I would argue it shouldn't be either! The author intended to use the name of a street near her actual childhood home in Portland, Oregon and well that's what it is - a name of a street in the United States. So, it is cultural nuances like this that make translations reflect the U.S. culture they come from. Most of our students are born and raised here in the United States, so it is not a bad thing. However, let's not let it be the ONLY thing!

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 illustrations 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 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

This is Books del Sur's specialty. There are a few other companies that do this work as well Cinco Books, La Libreria, Lectorum, Lorito Books, and Santillana.  Books del Sur imports children’s literature and textbooks 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:
  • Free 30 minute consultation we can talk about your needs and how to best meet them! 
  • Order a Read Aloud or Classroom Library Set - get to know the books so that you can determine where they best fit in your curriculum and or readers!
  • Watch our Monday - LIbros de Lunes Facebook Live Book Talks and learn about so many incredible books in our collection!
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