Monday, February 3, 2020

Spanish Picture Books for Black History Month

There are so many amazing books available for Black History Month, but not so many are available in Spanish. I feel super lucky that my public library is amazing and I was able to get a pretty good selection, shout out to Provo Public Library! Because the selection was so limited only a few of them are actually about Black History, while the majority are books whose main characters are Black or Afro-Latinx. Here are some of the ones I was able to get my hands on:

1. Última parada de la calle Market: Jackson rides the bus with his Abuela and interacts with the other people aboard. The bus takes them to a special place that they visit every Sunday: a soup kitchen where they go to serve others. I love this book, so well done and has a great lesson.

2. Ada Magnífica, científica: Since Ada was 3 she has constantly asked, “¿por qué?” As she got older she was passionate about having her questions answered through experiments. Although her parents used to struggle with the mess that came along with experiments they eventually found a way to encourage her inventiveness without sacrificing their home or their sanity. Such a great book for your little inventors and scientists.

3. Nochecita: This book is beautifullllll, the story and the illustrations are pure magic. Nochecita, Little Night, is a little girl interacting with her mother, Madre Cielo. Nochecita plays with the moon like a ball, drinks a glass of the milky way, and has stars in her hair. As expected of any book by Yuyi Morales, this story is unique and absolutely stunning.

4. Silba por Willie: Peter learns how to whistle to his dog, Willie. I love the illustrations and the cute story about a little boy and his dog.

5. La silla de Pedro: Pedro notices lots of changes in his home now that he has a baby sister. Great book for new/future big brothers and sisters.

6. Ayobami y el nombre de los animales: Ayobami is so excited to go to school to learn to read and write but gets lost on her way to school. The animals in the jungle show her the way and allow safe passage, with the promise that she will give them each a paper with their name on it on her trip home.

7. ¡Fushhh!: This is the story of Lonnie Johnson, the inventor of the super soaker water gun. He always wanted to be an inventor since childhood and had success along the way, he even worked for NASA at one point! This book is better for school-aged kiddos because there is so much text it would be hard for younger kids to pay attention.

8. Lola: In this darling book, Lola needs to draw a picture of her native country for school, The Dominican Republic, but she was a baby when she immigrated and doesn’t remember. Everyone in her neighborhood is from la República Dominicana, so she asks them all what they remember about la isla. Such a beautiful story about remember your raíces. This is an Own Voices book, as the author is Dominican.

9. Me llamo Celia: This is a bilingual book, with English on one page and Spanish on the other. The story is told from Celia Cruz’s own point of view, telling the story of her childhood in Cuba, immigration to the United States and the rise of her music career. Celia Cruz is considered an Afro-Latina, and her history is worth celebrating this month.

10. Pelé, el rey del fútbol: Another bilingual book, about the life of the famous Brazilian soccer player, Pelé. It is worth noting that the word “Rei”, that appears throughout the book, means King in Portuguese, and is pronounced “Hey”. Pelé’s story is incredible and so inspiring! Did you know he played in the World Cup when he was only 17 years old?!

11. Lola le lee al pequeño Leo: Another sweet story about become an older sibling. Lola gets a baby brother and learns how to be helpful.

12. Sembrando historias: This is the story of Pura Belpré, a Puerto Rican Afro-Latina, who immigrated to the United States and became New York Public Library’s first Puerto Rican librarian,  and a champion for bilingual literature. That is my kind of hero, a lover of bilingual literature ❤️ Every year since 1966, the Pura Belpré Award has been given to one author and illustrator whose literature celebrates Latinx culture.

13. ¡Gracias Omu!: We adore this book and I am so thrilled that it is starting to be printed in Spanish! Omu is a sweet little grandma who is making the most delicious pot of stew. Friends and neighbors can smell it from the street and come up to ask for a bowl. At the end of the day there is no stew left for Omu, but all of the neighbors return, food in hand, and all share in the feast.

14. Los discos de mi abuela: The main characters listens to old records with his Abuela and they remind her of home in the Dominican Republic. The boy learns, through the music and his grandmothers memories, the importance of honoring our roots and our family.

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