We at HipLatina obviously love to celebrate Latinx representation all year long, but we love that Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15-October 15 each year, gives us the opportunity to highlight even more of the incredible work people of Latinx descent are doing in various fields. Personally, I’m a huge book nerd, and have amassed a collection of hundreds of books for my own children, and continue to check out new spines from the library for them on the regular. We go out of our way to look for books featuring Latinx characters and written or illustrated by Latinx authors and artists, and we always have.
So, it’s always exciting to find out about new Latinx kids books or even to learn about older ones that we haven’t read yet. Seeing our faces and hearing our voices in stories is a big deal, and fills us with pride. Here, we’re going to share some of our recent favorites in Latinx kids literature, that your kids might enjoy. But we also encourage you to tell your non Latinx friends about them, and perhaps even buy them as gifts for children that don’t identify as Latinx, because it can be just as important for others to hear and see our stories, as it is for our own children. Really, that’s what Hispanic Heritage Month is all about.
Whether you’re shopping for a toddler or a pre-teen here are some awesome Latinx kids books to check out:
I Dig by Joe Cepeda
I Dig, written and illustrated by Joe Cepeda, is an adorable guided reader for little ones between the ages of four and eight, who go on a super-fun trip to the beach with their beloved dog. It’s written using lots of sight words and words that are easy to sound out phonetically, making it a great book for emerging and new readers.
I Dig by Joe Cepeda, $8, available at Amazon
Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan
This beautiful chapter book by Pam Muñoz Ryan is geared toward middle grade readers interested in the fantasy genre. It’s a time travel story about a young boy whose abuelo tells him a tale about a “journey into tomorrow,” that he wishes were really possible. After uncovering a guarded family secret, he sets off on his own to discover the truth, using the tale as his guide.
Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan, $13, available at Target
Sing With Me; Canta Conmigo by José-Luis Orozco
This colorful book by recording artist José-Luis Orozco, is an excellent Spanish-language learning tool for young children. It features six classic nursery rhymes like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “Old MacDonald,” that are sung by the characters in both Spanish and English, which helps children make connections between the two languages.
Sing With Me; Canta Conmigo by José-Luis Orozco, $18, available at bookvine.com
Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega
This middle grades book looks like so much fun and perfect for the Halloween season or any kiddo whose into spooky things. It’s about two younger girls who unwittingly awaken some sinister spirits after attempting to cast a spell. Now, they must try to reverse the curse with only the help of a grandma and an elderly cat.
Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega, $8, available at barnesandnoble.com
Let Me Fix You a Plate by Elizabeth Lilly
Written and illustrated by Colombian-American author Elizabeth Lilly, this book is a celebration of cultures, inspired by both the American and Colombian sides of the author’s family. It takes readers on a road trip, with each stop highlighted by the wonderful foods that define her cultures. From banana pudding to arepas, it’s a tasty journey!
Let Me Fix You a Plate by Elizabeth Lilly, $18, available at Amazon
Bright Star by Yuyi Morales
From the author of the New York Times besteller, Dreamers, comes the beautiful picture book, Bright Star. It’s an interesting analogy on immigration and the border crisis told using a sweet fawn who must face her fears and work with nature to overcome difficult obstacles. It’s a powerful read, that will undoubtedly help give your little one courage to do hard things.
Bright Star by Yuyi Morales, $19, available at RJ Julia
The Children’s Moon by Carmen Agra Deedy
Set to be released on October 19, 2021, The Children’s Moon is a lovely book about how when you see the moon during the day, it’s because she’s come out just to see the little children since they’re usually sleeping when she shines at night. It’ll make for a perfect bedtime story for young children of nearly any age.
The Children’s Moon by Carmen Agra Deedy, $18, available at RJ Julia
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Esperanza Rising is author Pam Muñoz Ryan’s most well-known children’s book among the 40 she’s published. It’s a powerful story about a young girl who lives a privileged life in Mexico until tragedy strikes and she and her mother move to California where they live in a Mexican farm labor camp during the Great Depression.
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan, $5, available at Amazon
Lety Out Loud by Angela Cervantes
This middle grades novel from award-winning author Angela Cervantes is about a young Latina who learned English as a second language and sometimes struggles to find the right words in conversations. Volunteering at the animal shelter is her safe space, since the animals don’t mind when she has a hard time with words, but things get a bit more challenging when a not-very-nice classmate starts volunteering too.
Lety Out Loud by Angela Cervantes, $17, available at barnesandnoble.com
Manu by Kelly Fernández
This adorable middle grade graphic novel takes place at a magical school for girls, where Manu loves to have fun with her magical abilities. When a prank goes wrong though, and when her friend Josefina wishes for Manu to lose her magic, she does and out of desperation, Manu uses a dangerous spell to restore it.
Manu by Kelly Fernández, $12, available at The Lit. Bar/Bookshop.org
Miles Morales: Shock Waves by Justin A. Reynolds
We love the concept of this new Miles Morales graphic novel, in which despite being busy with school and his superhero duties, Miles decides to organize a fundraiser when his mother’s home island of Puerto Rico is struck by a hurricane. But when he begins to suspect the corporation sponsoring the fundraiser is involved in the disappearance of his friend’s father, he has to tune into his spidey senses.
Miles Morales: Shock Waves by Justin A. Reynolds, $11, available at Target