¡Leo en Español! (I can read in Spanish)

Yay! We have finished the Spanish Playground Summer Reading Challenge, a free programme designed to encourage children of all ages to read in Spanish. Between the 15th May and 1st August children read as many books in Spanish as they want.  These can be all types of books from electronic books to poems. Parents are provided with books lists and online reading resources as well as tips on how to encourage your child to read more. At the end of the challenge the children receive a certificate!

Spanish reading challege
My snow lepoard (7) & shy jaguar (5) proudly showing off their certificates.

As we have only a very limited supply of Spanish and bilingual books at the local libraries here I created my own book swap programme with my Spanish students and parents.  We had a list of all of the Spanish and bilingual books we have and swaped them amongst our group.

My girls don’t read on their own in Spanish yet so the books that I chose were those that we could read together. Here’s a list of the books we read (with affiliate links):

Este Alce es Mío by Oliver Jeffers – being the HUGE Oliver Jeffers fans that we are in my house I didn’t mind spending a little more on this book – it was soooo worth it! I also use it to introduce possessive pronouns (mío, tuyo, suyo).
este alce es mio

The Three Billy Goats Gruff/Los Tres Chivitos by Carol Ottolenghi – A bilingual version of the classic story. My children LOVE this book and, as we are doing an animal unit (I will be posting ideas and resources for an animal unit shortly) this term in Spanish Club we have been enjoying doing some drama with this book by it together and acting the scenes out.

Oso Pardo, oso pardo, ¿qué ves allí? by Bill Martin Jr / Eric Carle – A lovely colourful book with illustrations by the illustrator of “La Orgua Muy Hambriente”. I used this book to introduce animals and recap colours with my younger students (2-7 years).

Peter Pan by Carol Ottolenghi – This is a bilingual version of the classic story of Peter Pan which is an all time favourite in our house.
la bella griselda

La Bella Griselda by ISOL – This book may not be to everyone’s taste but my girls loved it. It is by Argentine author ISOL who has won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award from the Swedish Arts Council in 2013, the biggest prize in children’s literature. The book is about a princess who is so beautiful every man that looks at her looses his head (literally).

The Little Red Hen/La Gallinita Roja by Carol Ottolenghi – The bilingual version of the traditional tale.  We find the books in this series excellent value for money.

Así Me Siento Yo by Janan Cain – This has got to be my favourite book for teaching emotions. The illustrations are so beautiful and each page captivates the children. There are so many other activities on emotions in Spanish that can accompany this book (full post on teaching emotions in spanish coming soon).

Sacha y la puerta misteriosa from the Spanish magazine CARACOLA by Bayard Revistas – I bought an annual subscription to this monthly magazine. It is full of short stories, information and activities.  CARACOLA is designed for children from age 4 and upwards which works just fine for my girls (5 & 7). canto de las palomas

Calling the Doves/El Canto de las Palomas by Juan Felipe Herrerer & Emily Simmons. This is a biography of (U.S. Poet Laureate) Juan Felipe Herrera in which he retells his family’s story as migrant farmworkers in California.  The book won the Ezra Jack Keats Award. The illustrations are truly beautiful also. We look forward to reading more of his work.



Adivina qué está creciendo dentro de este huevo by Mia Posada – A great book I use to teach in my animal unit. For younger students we look at each page and try to guess what animal is growing inside the egg which is lots of fun, there is more detailed information about each animal  that can then be used with older students. (There doesn’t appear to be any reasonably priced used versions of this book at the time of writing this post).

Te Amo by Calee M. Lee – A lovely little book in cucuSpanish that explores love with illustrations of animals.

La Abejita Curiosa – In Spanish, this is one of a series of “Había una vez…” books by SIGMAR published in Buenos Aires.

Cucú/Cuckoo by Lois Ehlert – A Mexican folktale in English & Spanish about a beautiful, but lazy Cuckoo who saves the season’s crop when it is threatened by a field fire.

What Spanish or bilingual books have you read lately? You’re invited to leave any reviews of these or any other books in the comments.

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