What’s summer without ice cream, popsicles, a trip to the beach or pool, a picnic, and of course a little mischief? Those are the things I had in mind when trying to pick out the perfect list of kids Spanish books for July! These books will provide lots of practice with fun summer words in Spanish.
Choosing Spanish books for kids along a theme helps reinforce vocabulary in multiple ways and contexts. We are going to use this summer Spanish book list at our house too! I try to get most of the books from the library, and maybe choose a few to buy to add to our home library.
It can be HARD to find good books in Spanish for kids.
If you really can’t find these books below or other fun summer books in Spanish, what you can do is check out books your library has along the summer theme, and then just talk about the books in Spanish. You can translate them as you read (not for the faint of heart!) or point at things in the illustrations you know the Spanish word for and talk about them, or maybe even just use the illustrations for a game of Spanish “I Spy.”
Needing more tips for reading aloud in Spanish with your kiddos? Check out some of my ideas here.
Hey! Our family lives in the United States and speaks English as our first language. While I do try to find authentic resources, and books that are written originally in Spanish, it’s not always that easy. And sometimes I will suggest a book written first in English because it is a classic where we live, and makes my kids more inclined to want to read it in Spanish because they are already familiar with it. That means my book lists might contain a lot of books that are translated from English into Spanish, and that don’t necessarily highlight Hispanic culture. Of course I prefer it not to be that way, and I do the best I can to include authentic Spanish books! If you know of any authentic Spanish books around these themes that are easily accessible in the US please share in the comments.
All the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links.
Bebé Goes to the Beach by Susan Middleton Elya (Ages 3-5)
Susan Middleton Elya’s books are great for Spanish learners. She writes fun rhyming texts that are all in English except for one or two Spanish words integrated in to each page. Really delightful, and non-intimidating.
Un día en la playa (A Dora the Explorer Book) by Lauryn Silverhardt (Ages 1-4)
You can take a peek inside this book on Amazon. It’s very Dora style: simple and fun. Get ready to play on the beach and meet new animals.
The Little Mermaid/La sirenita adapted by Oriol Izquierdo (Preschool – age 7)
Curious George at the Aquarium // Jorge el curioso visita el acuario by Margaret & H.A. Rey
Who doesn’t adore the lovable monkey George? Of course in this story George gets into lots of mischief while meeting new ocean friends, and in the end he helps save the day with his curiosity.
Un pulpo en el mar by Connie & Peter Roop (Ages 8-12)
Kids can learn about the underwater life of the Octopus. It’s a non-fiction text in poetic form, and offers facts about where octopuses live, what they like to eat, and how they survive.
Hello Ocean // Hola mar by Pam Muñoz Ryan (Ages 3-7)
Translated by Yanitzia Canetti
A poem tribute to the ocean through the five senses. Yanitzia Canetti did a wonderful job translating this poem. The Spanish text rhymes just like the English does. Of course this makes some of the word choices slightly different, but both versions of the poem are simple and calming.
I Live Near the Ocean / Vivo cerca del mar by Gini Holland (Ages 5-8)
Written in the format of an early reader, this would be a great book for practicing new ocean or beach vocabulary in full sentence form. For example “Oigo las olas del mar,” “Los delifines saltan en el mar.” Photographs accompany each sentence and offer opportunities for talking more about things near the ocean.
Al mar / To the Ocean by April T. Evans
We’re still waiting on this one to arrive from our library. I believe it’s a story about a little turtle hatching out of his egg in the sand, and the journey he takes to get to the ocean.
Si quieres ver una ballena by Julie Fogliano (Ages 4-7)
A young boy and his dog want so badly to catch a glimpse of a whale. The poetic prose gives lots of imaginative tips on how to do just that. You are sure to love this whimsical take on whale watching.
¡Mira, una estrella de mar! by Tessa Kenan (Ages 5-6)
Photographs, diagrams, and non-fiction text will introduce young readers to the star fish sea animal. A great way to help readers develop their non-fiction thinking skills in Spanish!
La vida marina by Teacher Created Materials (Ages 5-9)
Another non-fiction text to get you talking about and learning about ocean life. You can look inside the book on Amazon’s site to see what neat photographs and animals kids will get to see.
Ballenas by Grace Hansen (Ages 4-8)
I learned a few new facts from this non-fiction book about whales! It’s an approachable text, just a few sentences and facts on each page alongside really awesome photographs.
Grandes migraciones: Las ballenas by Laura Marsh (Ages 6-9)
You’ll get to learn more facts and have more text and info about whales in this Level 3 reader. Sometimes I get these books for myself to increase my non-fiction knowledge in Spanish!
¿Debo compartir mi helado? by Mo Willems (Ages 4-8)
Easy readers, like this book, work so great for kids learning Spanish! Especially anything by Mo Willems. Kids won’t get bored with his hilarious characters and story lines. Even though the text is simple and easy to read, they are really fun stories for kids. This is one of those books that you won’t mind reading over and over again!
What Can You Do With a Paleta? // ¿Qué puedes hacer con una paleta? by Carmen Tafolla
You can tell this story is written by a poet. Rhythmic lines carry you through the barrio following the paleta wagon. The colors of the illustrations are as vivid as the words and you will have no trouble imagining the tastes, smells, flavors, and sounds of the neighborhood as the paleta wagon starts ringing its bell.
¡No, David! by David Shannon (Ages 3-5)
Maybe it’s because I have the most lovable mischievous boys, but I just LOVE these David books, and I was happy to see they are available in Spanish. There isn’t much text, but the hilarious illustrations of what mischief David gets into will give you plenty of opportunity to speak in Spanish about the story.
La canción del Yukon by Bill Watterson
The Spanish versions of Bill Watterson’s classic comic strips are really pricey, but I am seriously considering buying some! Calvin and Hobbes turned my firstborn into a reader, so their stories hold a special place in my heart. I love this mischievous (and smart!) duo.
Papelucho by Marcela Paz
I recently heard about this famous character of South American kids lit. Papelucho is an eight-year-old boy that keeps a diary of all the fun he gets into while trying to avoid boredom. Think Dennis the Menace or Ramona Quimby.
Un pez, dos peces, pez rojo, pez azul by Dr. Seuss (Ages 8-12)
Dr. Seuss might be overrated, but it never hurts to find a book your child has memorized in one language and introduce it in a language they are learning! This one is also translated by Yanitzia Canetti, and she did a great job making sure the text still rhymes. Kids can learn about colors, opposites, counting and more. You can watch it read on YouTube if you want to read it before deciding to buy it or not.
Nadarín by Leo Lionni (Ages 5-8)
Leo Lionni has a special way of telling stories that show us how important it is to be ourselves even if we feel different from others. The little fish Nadarín finds out that he was made perfect just the way he is, and that he can use his differences to help others.
Es hora de hacer un picnic by Richard Moore (Ages 3-6)
Read about Jenna and her family’s picnic day. See what they do to prepare, what they take to eat, and where they go. Perfect for learning how to narrate a picnic you take with your own family!
Hormigas by Grace Hansen (Ages 8-12)
What’s a picnic without ants, right? Ants also tie-in to our theme of insects we started in June. I really do love making sure to check out non-fiction books about things we are learning about in English too. It helps us to build our non-fiction vocabulary so we can talk about things in Spanish too.
Uncle Chente’s Picnic / El picnic de tío Chente by Diane Gonzales Bertrand, Pauline Rodriguez Howard, Julia Mercedes Castilla (Ages 5-8)
A fun bilingual book about a Fourth of July party, but will an impending thunderstorm ruin all the plans? Great book about family and togetherness.
¡Hay un panda en mi picnic! by Jo Lodge
Strange and exotic animals keep popping up in this lift-the-flap picnic adventure!
Dragones y tacos by Adam Rubin (Ages 3-5)
Dragons love tacos, but watch out if they eat something too spicy!!
Build a Burrito: A Counting Book in English and Spanish by Denise Vega (Ages 3-5)
We have borrowed this one a few times from our library. The flaps in the book are shaped like the food that goes in the burrito. Learn Spanish for vegetables, beans, rice, and more! It would be so fun to eat burritos when you read this book and talk about the foods each person chooses to add in his or her own burrito.
Verduras / Vegetables by Sarah Anderson
Frutas / Fruits by Sarah Anderson
Anderson’s neat cut-paper illustrations feature mouth-watering vegetables and fruits on each page of these board books. A fun alternative to flashcards, and great to have handy in the summer when so many of these foods are in season.
My Favorite Food / Mi comida favorita by Scholastic Children’s Press (Ages 5-6)
You’ll want to have this book handy when you are packing your picnic for the beach or the park! Or for when you’re making your tacos and burritos.
Let’s Eat! / ¡A comer! by Pat Mora (Ages 4-8)
It’s dinner time! Who’s hungry? This is a short and simple story about a family eating together. Good practice for food and eating vocabulary.
Jorge el curioso: El puesto de limonada by H.A. Rey (Ages 4-7)
An easy-reader about fractions and problem solving. George opens a lemonade stand to earn money for a soccer ball. See what kind of fun his curiosity gets him into!
La guerra de la limonada by Jacqueline Davies (Ages 10-12)
Translated by Alma Flor Ada
We are currently reading this chapter book together as a family. It’s a great summer read! And knowing that Alma Flor Ada did the translation, I’m sure it’s great in Spanish as well. Evan and his sister Jessie love to run lemonade stands together during the summers. This summer though, they run into a conflict and decide to compete against each other and run their own lemonade stands. Will they both succeed? Will they work through their differences?
I hope this list helps you get in some fun Spanish learning over the summer! Remember you can sign up for my email newsletter and I will send you monthly vocabulary lists to go along with the books.
Also, if you do calendar time with your preschoolers, here is the set we use which goes along with the picnic theme!