It's booklist time again!! What kinds of themes do you love to talk about in September? Around here we like to talk about trees, since the leaves will be changing colors soon, and apples, and this September we're reading the story "The Three Little Pigs" as part of our Jump Into Spanish curriculum, so I added the themes of construction and the farm as well! All these should make for a fun month! So see below for:
- Books About Trees in Spanish, as well as some great tree activities and poems
- Books About Apples in Spanish, as well as a fun video describing the parts of the apple
- Books About Construction in Spanish
- Books About the Farm in Spanish (including one sing-a-long!)
Disclosure: All the links to Amazon in this post are affiliate links. Any purchases you make through those links sends a small commission my way (without any additional cost to you), so thanks! Some links Barefoot Books send you to my personal Barefoot Books ambassador website.
Books About Trees in Spanish
Written and Illustrated by Shel Silversein
A classic tale about a boy and a tree who have a friendship that grows over the years. The tree gives and gives its love unconditionally until the boy is an old man. If you buy any book from this list from your home library, it should be this one. The text is very simple (great for Spanish learners!) and near the end follows a repetitive patter (also great for learning language!) and the story has many layers and elements that makes this book one that your kids can read and re-read over the years. At the high schoo level, you could even use it for a preterit vs. imperfect lesson! (Please excuse that brief grammar speak!) You can listen to it read aloud on YouTube here.
Call Me Tree - Llámame árbol (Ages 6-10)
Written and Illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez
I LOVE this book! It's a bilingual text (which works well at our house since we are still learning Spanish and my kids are not fluent yet) written in verse. The narrator compares all the ways in which he is like a tree. "I begin within the deep dark earth..." // "Nazco dentro de la tierra profunda y oscura..." BONUS: it is written by a Spanish-speaking author, whose latina roots shine beautifully through in the verses and illustrations. This book would ALSO be awesome in tandem with yoga! The text is calming and full of strength. You can listen to it read on YouTube here.
Un árbol es hermoso - (A Tree is Nice) (Ages 4-8)
Written by Janice May Udry
Illustrated by Marc Simont
This book is a lovely tribute to trees and all the ways in which they are wonderful. Simont's alternating color and black/white illustrations give the book a reminiscent, classical children's book feel to the text; full of details and telling their own little stories, which makes for wonderful language building opportunities.
Me fascinan los árboles (Ages 5-6)
Written by Cari Meister; Spanish text by Eida del Risco
Illustrate by Terri Sirrell
One great thing about beginning readers like this one, is that they work well for language learners as well. So even if your child already knows how to read in their first language, if they are learning Spanish books like this will be the perfect level for them. "Trees, tree, trees! . . . Some are big. Some are small. . . Some have needles. Some have leaves." Those are the types of simple sentence structures that work great when learning to read OR when learning a new language!
Dulce de árbol (Ages 5-8)
Written by Gunter Pauli
Illustrated by Pamela Salazar Ocampo
A modern-day fable written from the perspective of a tree and a stalk of sugar cane. The two converse about the way humans use them, and alternatives ways they could be used. It's part of a series of books put out by Gunter Pauli to teach kids to be ecologically responsible and to learn more about science.
Jorge el curioso construye una casa en un árbol (Ages 4-7)
by H.A. Rey
A great read, especially if you are learning about construction words in Spanish as well as tree-related words like we are this fall. The text is bilingual, and a Level 2 reader, so longer sentences than the Rookie Reader mentioned above, but not too overwhelming for kids just learning Spanish. In other words, not so much text that your kids will start screaming "I hate Spanish! Why do we have to read this?! I don't understand anything you're reading!!" Oh. Your kids don't say that kind of stuff? Yeah, mine neither. ;)
Colores del otoño (Ages 5-6)
Written by Mari Schuh
Have you ever read a book by Crayola? The brightly colored photographs in this one are so pretty. Read about leaves in the fall, fall weather, preparing for winter, fall fun on the farm, and fun things to do in fall. Great opportunities for learning fall-themed vocabulary and especially learning about nature and colors in the fall!
Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English (Ages 4-8)
Written by Alma Flor Ada; Translated into English by Rosa Zubizarreta
A collection of poems from Alma Flor Ada about more than trees, but the first poem "Árboles" is about trees. Silva's illustrations for this book are gorgeous. A very warm tribute to Mexico, the land, and those who have dedicated their lives to working the land.
Great links for learning about trees:
- Definitely check out the post from Spanish Playground, Trees in Spanish: Readings with Activities for some great extension activities and a poem to go along with these books!
- Kids Learn Spanish - Habla Jorge - Trees in Spanish, a video from Spanish Playground (1:57)
Books About Apples in Spanish
Written and Illustrated by Monica Wellington
Translated by Eida del Risco
Okay, I know I say this a lot, but I really like this book!! It has a very simple text, buuuut it really does give kids a great look into what it might be like to be an apple farmer. It's a bilingual text so you can read it in English or Spanish. In the back there is a glossary of some Spanish words, and two recipes: one for applesauce and one for apple muffins. This book would be a GREAT book to do a unit study with! Apple Farmer Annie grows different types of apples, she sorts them, she makes different products with them, she takes her products to the city to sell in a farmer's market, and more!
It's an Apple Tree! ¡Es un manzano! (Ages 5-6)
Written by Elisa Peters
Another simple easy reader! It would be easy to help your kids learn each and every word in this book since there are so few words. Great for learning Spanish vocabulary, how to read in Spanish, and apple facts in Spanish. Bilingual text with photo illustrations.
La vida de la manzana (Ages 4-6)
Written by Nancy Dickmann
Learn about the life cycle of apples and how they are grown with this book. 24 pages full of color photographs showing all the parts of an apple and apples trees. Probably perfect for kindergarteners!
Los manzanos y las estaciones (Ages 5-6)
Written by Julie Lundgren
Similar to the two above, this one came recommended to me by a friend! For grades K-1, you can learn about the apple tree in all its different seasons! Lots of color photographs to go with the non-fiction science text.
Check out this fun video for learning about apples in Spanish:
- Partes del fruto - A video made by a boy about parts of an apple and peach (2:02)
Books About Constructions in Spanish
by H.A. Rey
George learns what it takes to build something. You have to have a plan and the right materials. At the end of the book there are suggestions for kids to do some STEM-themed projects to do their own constructing. All in Spanish!
En el sitio de construcción - At the Construction Site (Ages 5-11)
Written by Steven Petruccio
Translated by Oscar Gongora
While you read about construction, wouldn't it be fun to color too!? With this book you can! If you click through, you can take a peek inside on Amazon to see what the coloring pages look like. They are realistic pictures of different construction machines and workers on the job site.
Construyendo (Ages 3-7)
Written by Sally Sutton
Illustrated by Brian Lovelock
A board book for your littlest construction workers learning Spanish. I love the combination in this book of the very detailed, accurate illustrations paired with the rhythmic text chock full of Spanish onomatopoeias.
Written by Sally Sutton
Illustrated by Brian Lovelock
Created by the same duo (and also a board book), Demolición makes the perfect companion to Construyendo. It's a wonderful book for all the same reasons mentioned above. Your kids will have fun talking about demolishing and building all day long. Wouldn't it be perfect to just get out your set of wooden blocks, read these two books, and build and demolish to your heart's content?!
Construir una carretera (Ages 2-5)
Sutton & Lovelock
A truck-lovers dream of a book! Get this one for your little construction machine lovers so they can learn the names for their favorite machines in Spanish too! Also learn about all the important jobs and steps to building a highway, great for learning how to narrate what you see happening in roadwork areas around your own town!
Trucks - Camiones (Ages 1-3)
by Roger Priddy
Here's another great board book for learning the names of big machines for your tiniest construction fans. This one is part of the "Primeras palabras" series. Kids love to learn the names of all the big trucks and machines they see even as little tykes!
Books About the Farm in Spanish
En la granja (Ages 3-5)
by Priddy Books
A fun "spin and discover" board book! Turn the pictures to discover different animals on the farm. The text prompts kids to turn the wheel to find the correct photo to answer the questions in the text. Educational fun for your little tots!
¡Vivamos la granja! (Ages 3-6)
Written by Jan Dobbins
Sung by Natalia Bernal
Illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith
A fun sing-a-along about being on the farm. "A busy family and their friends spend a day working and playing on the farm. From milking the cows in the morning to closing the gate at night, learn about a day in the life of a farming family. Enhanced CD includes video animation and audio singalong." Buy new through my Barefoot Books ambassador link here or in the title link.
Ruidoso toca y levanta: Granja (Ages 3-5)
This one looks really fun! My kids love anything interactive, especially if it's noisy! Lift the flaps in this board book and make a bunch of silly noise like all the farm animals.
Scholastic Explora tu mundo: La granja (Ages 4-8)
Here's a really fun non-fiction book about the farm with LOTS of great photographs and words to learn. It says ages 4-8, but it might work for kids even a little older than that if they are learning Spanish. There's lots of great non-fiction text and descriptions of interesting facts about the farm.
Un pato en tractor (Ages 4-8)
Written and Illustrated by David Shannon
Have you read Duck on a Bike? Well watch out! He's back, but this time at the wheel of the tractor. Duck thinks if he can ride a bike, surely he can drive a tractor. But the other animals aren't so sure. And THANK YOU, Scholastic for reading it to us (with animated illustrations, no less) on YouTube in Spanish!! I'll warn you though, this one is a longer story. So if your kids are very new to Spanish, this one might lose their interest.
Los pollitos - Little Chickies (Ages 2-5)
Put out by Nick Jr.'s Canticos, this lift the flap board book is sure to entertain! The book is based on the classic Spanish nursery rhyme song "Los pollitos." You can sing along to the song while you read the book (with their free app, or on YouTube), and then also read or sing the English side as well. This one is a must for your preschoolers!!
Señor Pancho Had a Rancho (Ages 3-6)
by Rene Colato Lainez
Here's a fun bilingual twist on the song "Old McDonald Had a Farm!" You'll find that the animals have a rollicking time trying to understand each other's different languages for communicating. They all have one thing in common though, dancing!!
Please share your favorite Spanish books on these subjects in the comments below!!