~ Alexis Dallara-Marsh
Colors, animals, and more- there are so many fun topics out there to teach to babies and toddlers. This is the ideal time to expose our children to a second language, as it comes so much more naturally to them than when older.
Reading in Spanish is a natural and effective way to introduce the language, while pointing to the pictures and talking about the illustrations. Here’s a list of some of the best books in Spanish for toddlers to be exposed to and to develop their language.
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Spanish Books for Toddlers about Colors:
¿De Qué Está Hecho el Arco Iris? is a translation of Betty Schwartz’s “What makes a Rainbow?” Part of the fun about this book is that the child actually gets to make their own interactive rainbow through use of colored ribbons as they go along with the reading.
Books in Spanish about Counting:
A Contar con Dora teaches kiddies both counting 1-10 as well as different fruits. Dora is always fun for toddlers, and great exposure to español.
Por el Camino, is a gorgeous rhyming and counting text by Mariana Ruiz Johnson, an author-illustrator who has published all over the world. It is one of the great Spanish books for toddlers.
Spanish Books for Little Kids about Animals:
¿De Quién es esta Cola? is one of a few different books published by Combel (others include ¿De quién es esta nariz? and ¿De quién son las rayas?). This sweet book lets little hands explore by turning flaps to uncover mystery animals.
¿Tu Mamá es una Llama? While a translation of Deborah Guardinos “Is your Mama a Llama?,” the book is able to maintain a rhyming text when translated to Spanish. It features a baby llama going around asking other animals if their mama is a llama.
Books in Spanish about Parts of the Body:
¿Dónde está el ombliguito? a translation of the classic peek-a-boo book by Karen Katz, the board book features very simple text and bright colors.
My First Spanish Body Board Book is another one of our favorite books in Spanish for toddlers teaches body parts and clothes using adorable photos.
Spanish Books about Favorite Songs:
The book series by Canticos features lyrics and accompanying cartoon images of classic Spanish children’s songs such as Los Pollitos and Un Elefante Se Balanceaba. Kids love to sing, and these books have an app you can download to sing along with them!
Cántale a tu Bebé is a very special book that encourages parents to sing to their baby first-hand. The illustrations demonstrate the love a parent has for his/her child. It also includes a CD and online downloads for all the music and for each song, you can listen to it in either a female or male lead vocal, done by professionals Sonia De Los Santos and Jorge Anaya.
Another series of books in Spanish for toddlers is by Annie Kubler. She has familiar songs and poems that kids love, with illustrations of babies and toddlers.
Spanish Books for Toddlers about Fun Characters:
Agrupa y aprende: Plaza Sesamo is a super fun board book that also functions as a matching puzzle, quizzing the kids on vocabulary terms featuring common toys, musical instruments, and clothing, amongst others.
Libro de Palabras de Dora is a fun read, loaded with vocabulary about different places, such as the farm, the beach, and the circus. Kids push and pull a flap at the bottom of the page to display all the vocabulary terms back and forth between English and Spanish, so that in essence you can practice guessing each word’s translation!
Books with High Yield Vocabulary in Spanish:
Buenos Dias Bebé is a little board book published by DK publishing, which follows a baby throughout the course of waking up and getting ready to start his day, great for an infant to hold and scroll through. A nighttime version, Buenas Noches Bebé, is also available.
My First Spanish Word Board Book/Mi Primer Libro de Palabras en Espanol. I love anything by DK publishing, who provides great educational texts for young ones. This is book has gotten so much use by my infant that it’s falling apart. But I think it’s probably his favorite book out of all the books on this list because of that. Their Spanish word book has loads of photographs great for pointing at and identifying new words!
Mis Primeras Palabras en Casa and Mis Primeras Palabras Afuera are two board books published by Star Bright company again loaded with tons of photos. As a non-native speaker of Spanish, I myself learned so many new vocabulary terms with these! The books are extremely useful for everyday vocabulary in and outside the home!
The Classic Books in Spanish for Little Kids:
Eric Carle’s The Hungry Catepillar is probably the pinnacle of all the above as it combines many of the same topics (counting, foods, as well as days of the week and the life cycle of a caterpillar) all into one! Plus the outstanding artwork can’t be beat! Of course, there are tons of other great Eric Carle books in Spanish out there as well to share with your children while teaching them the beauty of a second language!
Kids all love the repeating text and colorful illustrations in the classic favorite Oso pardo, oso pardo, ¿qué ves ahí? by Bill Martin Jr and illustrated by Eric Carle. Perro grande… Perro pequeño by P.D. Eastman is also a favorite in Spanish with toddlers. Another classic book in Spanish for toddlers is Buenas Noches Luna, by Margaret Wise Brown. Finally, a book that my kids loved as toddlers is ¿Eres Mi Mama? by P.D. Eastman.
Did I leave any out? Share your favorites with us!
Don’t miss these other favorite books for kids! Click on the photos below for bilingual stories for kids, and also board books for little global citizens.
Alexis Dallara-Marsh is a part-time stay at home mother who blogs about foreign language activities for children. Follow her on Facebook in her Facebook group “Kids Spanish Book Club.”