Cheering you on in your Spanish-learning journey

Usborne Books in Spanish About the Beach & Ocean

Usborne Books in Spanish About the Beach & Ocean

At the beginning of this summer, I set out to see how many Spanish picture books about the ocean I could find. I already had in mind a few from my post a couple years back (30+ Kids Books in Spanish for July), but I wanted to see what else was out there, and what else had maybe been published since 2018 when I wrote that original Spanish booklist for the summer.

I ended up with some great finds! I plan to share with you all my discoveries from independent online Spanish bookstores, to Scholastic, to Usborne.

First up for today are the Spanish books about oceans from Usborne!

** Full disclosure: The Usborne books linked here will direct you to my consultant page. If you purchase through these links, I will get a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support! <3 **

What I love about Usborne:

  • they ship SO quickly (at least in my experience)
  • they have many Spanish options
  • if you sign up as a consultant, you get 25% back on purchases which helps you save a little money!

What you may not love about Usborne:

  • their books are translations from original English editions
  • they do not focus on Hispanic culture and heritage
  • the characters in their books are not as diverse as they could be (although I think they are working to improve this?)

Here’s what we got!

1001 cosas que buscar en el mar—This is a seek-and-find book. The website says it’s for ages 6+ but I feel like younger kids would like it too as long as an adult was there to help them read it.

This one is a great vocabulary builder for beginning Spanish learners. Each page spread has a super-detailed illustration of some part of the ocean, and around the edges there are items singled out with the quantity of each you can find hidden in the picture.

You could also use this books as a way to study the different ocean regions around the world, as well as the different ocean levels and what sea creatures live where.

Mares y océanos—I really love this lift-the-flap book! On Usborne’s website it says for ages 5 and up, but this book has more text than the one above, so an adult or bigger kid will need to be near by to read for the younger ones. I counted and there are 15-25 factoids on each page spread. This one is going to be great for me to get some good scientific vocabulary under my belt around the subject of marine biology!

Here’s one of the facts so you can get a feel for what level of reading it is: “Los chorlitejos picotean insectos entre las piedras. Como los huevos que ponen son moteados, pasan desapercibidos entre las piedras.”

Secretos de la costa—This little treasure might just be my favorite! I don’t know. Maybe it’s a tie between this one and the ¡Mira debajo! one. Either way, if you haven’t experienced Usborne’s “Shine-a-Light” series, you will want to snag this book! Each page has a secret image that you can illuminate by shining a light from behind the page you’re looking at.

This one is all about tide pools and the creatures that inhabit them.

Here are some other beach/ocean-themes books from Usborne. We haven’t purchased these yet, but you might enjoy them!

If you’re looking for some pretty, Spanish, beach/ocean-themed flashcards – check out the ones from Bilingual Beginnings!

Are you learning about the ocean this month? Tell us what resources and books you’re enjoying in the comments!

Books for St. Patrick’s Day in Spanish

Books for St. Patrick’s Day in Spanish

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner! If you’re like us—a family learning Spanish—you’re looking for St. Patrick’s Day books in Spanish. I did my best to find you some, but let me tell you it was hard! Which makes sense since St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday celebrated mostly in Ireland and the U.S. However, with the amount of Spanish speakers in the United States, I really think there should be more Spanish translations of all the wonderful St. Patrick’s Day books out there. (But maybe you weren’t asking for my two cents?)

Did I really just use sense, since, and cents in one paragraph? Ha!

Without further ado, here’s the list of St. Patrick’s Day books in Spanish to get you ready for reading in Spanish in March!

**Any Amazon links in this post are affiliate links. Any Usborne links take you to my Usborne Consultant webpage.**

Cómo atrapar a un duende por Adam Wallace; Ilustrado por Andy Elkerton; Traducido por Joana Delgado Sánchez

I haven’t read this one, but it sounds fun and has a 5-star rating on Amazon! I used to LOVE trying to set up Leprechaun traps when I was little. Is this a tradition in your family or at your kids’ school?

Celebra el Día de San Patricio con Samantha y Lola por Alma Flor Ada y F. Isabel Campoy

I haven’t read this particular book, but I have checked out others from this series about U.S. holidays from Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy. I love the work they do! This duo is comin in clutch for us this March! This is the one and only book listed here that was written in Spanish originally.

If you want to read more about the series this book is a part of head to Alma Flor Ada’s website here.

¡Es el Día de San Patricio! por Richard Sebra

We’ve checked out these non-fiction easy readers from our library before. I really like them (even though there is not much to them) because they help my kids who are very much beginners learn the key vocabulary words around the theme—but in complete sentences.

On St. Patrick’s Day / El día de San Patricio por Judith Mazzeo Zocchi

My Little Book for St. Patrick’s Day is a free download available on Teachers Pay Teachers from The Dreamer Teacher shop. You can have your kids color the front, and then fill in the middle pages with facts about who San Patricio was and how he is celebrated during the holiday.

My New Spanish Words: St. Patrick’s Day por Pico Poco Kids

I couldn’t find any reviews on Amazon for this one, but if you have Kindle Unlimited you can check it out for free!

St. Patrick’s Day Activities en Español

Looking for St. Patrick’s Day activities for the classroom? Check these out from Sra. Casados.

I looove this St. Patrick’s Day preschool activity pack from Mommy Maestra!

Spanish Playground has also collected a FUN list of free printable activities you can do at home or in the classroom!

I also found some great St. Patrick’s Day FREE printables from Lorena y Lennox!

And here’s a Memory game you can make with shamrocks to help you learn St. Patty’s Day vocabulary.

Books About Rainbows in Spanish

Of course you can’t talk about St. Patrick’s Day without talking about rainbows—here are some fun books in Spanish featuring rainbows or colors of the rainbow!

Cómo los crayones salvaron el arcoíris por Monica Sweeney; Ilustrado por Feronia Parker Thomas

Los pingüinos adoran los colores (Bilingual) por Sarah Aspinall

El gran libro de los colores de Usborne

El arco iris de Lee & Low Books

¿Puedes comer el arco iris? de Lee & Low Books

One last book for you is one that I made! This is a booklet from my Jump Into Spanish club. Each week I send Spanish lesson plans straight to the inboxes of all the members . . . which include booklets like this one!

This booklet introduces a lot of St. Patrick’s Day vocabulary in different combinations.

  1. First print out the last two pages of pictures. You’ll use those to cut and paste into the book once it’s assembled.
  2. Next, print ALL but the last two pages in “booklet” format (it’s a setting when you get to the print screen).
  3. Fold the pages in half and staple in the middle. (A long-arm stapler words best.)
  4. Have your kids cut out the pictures and match them to the correct pages and paste them in!

If you need any help, I’m just an email away!

Not a member of Jump Into Spanish yet? Join here.

Our First Reading Lesson in Spanish

Our First Reading Lesson in Spanish

The other day an impromptu Spanish reading lesson happened in our house! I’m no expert. I’m not trained as a reading teacher. I didn’t grow up learning how to read in Spanish as a kid. But! My daughter seemed to have fun with what we did and I think she learned some things. 😉

So I thought it would be fun to share with you all what we did in case any of you out there are trying to teach your child to read in Spanish too!

Most of my experience with teaching kids to read in Spanish is limited to watching my friends do it on Instagram and countless hours of sorting through YouTube videos and blog articles in the wee hours of the night!

I actually have a blogger friend who plans to send out scripted Spanish reading lesson plans. We are signed up for that, and you can too. Just visit her website here. But, until those come start hitting my inbox, here’s what we’ll be up to…

**This post contains affiliate links.**

Teaching Spanish Syllables

First, I learned from my dear friend Frances that Spanish reading lessons start with learning the vowels, and then the syllables. Syllables in Spanish are the vowels paired with all the Spanish consonants and beginning sounds. (Sorry, reading teachers if I’m making you cringe with my layman’s terms.)

You can read about how Frances taught her son the syllables here and here.

(I should also mention, Frances teaches one-on-one Spanish classes for all ages…so you could have her teach your children to read in Spanish if that’s a better option for your family. Just visit her website here.)

Having Things On Hand

Second, I have found it helps to have a few resources on hand. This is especially great for strewing, which is my favorite sneaky way to get my kids engaged in learning.

Here’s what we had on hand that got my little girl playing with learning to read in Spanish of her own volition.

ABC printables—I’ve used both the ones from Mr. Printables and EducaPlanet. For my big kids I put all the letters in page protectors and then bind them all in a 3-pronged folder. For my preschoolers, I just have them color the vowel pages and we focus on those first.

Letter Tiles—We have the Pairs in Pears set. But you could easily use Bananagrams (*BONUS* if you can find the Spanish version!), or these or these. It’s soooo hard to find sets in Spanish, so if you know of any, PLEASE let me know in the comments below.

Spanish Reading Books—Most sources I’ve found that tell you how to teach reading in Spanish suggest using a silabario. It’s a book that walks your kids through, first the vowels, and then the syllables.

I bought my 5- and 7-year-old Coquito. But there are lots of others which you can see here. Nacho is one I hear mentioned a lot.

Having all this on hand is what lead to our first Spanish reading lesson!!

My daughter got out her Spanish folder (which we made last year) because she wanted to do school like her brothers.

So I got out our letter tiles for fun, and her Coquito book.

We read through one of the pages looking for beginning vowel sounds. When we found the matching ones we covered it with a tile.

You can see what we did in the picture below. This is a shot from inside our Coquito book.

After that, she thought it was funny to put the WRONG tile on top. This was even better because she thought it was soooo silly and wanted to do soooo many! We were practicing vowel sounds for way longer than if I had made her do a lesson I planned myself. 😉

Being silly is such a good idea to get kiddos involved in learning.

What she did here reminds me of these silly songs that mix up vowel sounds. They might not work for Spanish learners, but are great for Spanish-speakers that are learning to read.

You can read about the silly the Veo, veo lyrics here.

Spanish Vowel Songs on YouTube

Finally, later in the afternoon that day we watched two videos on YouTube to reinforce those vowel sounds we were learning.

My faaaaavorite song for learning the vowels is this one:

Then we watched this one as well:

I will tell you that since that first reading “lesson” we have been doing more things to learn to read in Spanish that I hope to share here soon!! Stay tuned.

xo, Kali

P.S. Tell me in the comments what you’ve done in your casas to learn to read in Spanish!!

101 Spanish Gift Ideas

101 Spanish Gift Ideas

If you’re looking for gifts for that special someone in your life that LOVES TO SPEAK SPANISH I hope this list gets you inspired! All of these gifts are in Spanish or inspired by Spanish-speaking cultures. You’ll find games in Spanish, funny or cute Spanish mugs, Spanish subscription services, funny Spanish t-shirts, and SO. MUCH. MORE.

If you have any favorite Spanish-themed shops or products that you love that aren’t on the list PLEASE share with us in the comments below.

For the Love of Spanish is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Affiliate links from Amazon or other programs are used on this website.

Food

Mexican Candy Mix

La tienda – Spanish Food Imports Store

MexiDrop Mexican Treats Subscription

Mugs

I Can Laugh in English and Spanish – from Karla and Co.

No Prob-llama Mug

Spanglish Mug

Counting in Spanish Mug

Otras tías Mug

Rae Dunn Mugs

Rae Dunn Caliente Mug

Rae Dunn Orar Mug

Rae Dunn Besos Mug

Rae Dunn Mamacita Mug

Rae Dunn Señor Señora Mug Set

Games

Ocho Locos Card Game

What Do You Meme? EN ESPAÑOL

Familia Table Topics

Juego de palabras

Gestos Game

Scrabble in Spanish

Sopa de letras – Set of 6

Don Clemente Autentica Lotería

Basta Board Game in Spanish

100 Mexicanos dijeron

Lotería from Lil’ Libros

Lil’ Guadalupe Designer Doll

Pirinola – Traditional Mexican Game

Another Pirinola option from Etsy shop Werito9

Spellable Bilingual Spelling Game

Código secreto

Triatlón – Tres competencias en una

Basic Spanish BINGO – from Carson Dellosa

¡Dios mío! – Adult Game Night game

Lumuku has THE cutest bilingual card games!

Clothing

Sé amable T-Shirt

Matén la calma T-Shirt

¿Cómo te llamas? T-shirt (available in Navy, Gray, Red, Green & Black)

Avogato T-Shirt

No entiendo T-Shirt

Spanish Class con mi abuela onesie

I’m Nice pero no te pases hat from Karla and Co.

Karla and Co. T-Shirts – I can’t pick a favorite of theirs!

Ellie Elote shop on Etsy

Flor de luz Shop – Check out their chulo Baja Hoodies!! *star eyes*

Chasing Camila shop on Etsy – I can’t even telllll you all the amazing things this shop has!!!! Please go check them out!

Shop Sols – Handmade Mexican Leather Shoes – My pal Madison over at parenting.sinfronteras introduced me to this company! Love their products and mission. <3

Frida Kahlo Sweatshirt

Frida Kahlo Socks

Cuentology – one of my favorite online bookstores for Spanish books – has some apparel as well! Check out their t-shirts…

MamaTortuga.org – one of my fave bloggers has a cute tiendita with shirts and totes for sale like this one!

Muy bendecida Sweatshirt – from CorazónMioBoutique

Vestido Campesina Lola from Glamlindo.com

Religious


Promesas de Dios Coloring Pages

Los Salmos en Color – Coloring Book

Biblia de apuntes – Journaling Bible – RVR 1960

Un año con Dios – Devotional

Home

Alexa, lava los platos Dish Towel

Spanish Tortilla Pan – This maaay be cheating, but I would totally need this to flip a tortilla española!

Familia Birthday Sign – from WoodlandShanty Etsy Shop

Personalized Wooden Signs in Spanish – from PearlandHandmadeStuff Etsy Shop

Mejor Abuela del mundo almohada

If Life Give You Lemons… Pillow

El arpa Pillow – This Etsy shop, WeLoveCMYK, has lots of fun lotería pillows, totes, and t-shirts. Check ’em out!

Abuela Announcement Gift

Bienvenidos Door Mat

The Complete Works: Velázquez – This collection of the complete works of Velázquez would be a beautiful addition to the coffee table of your favorite art lover!

“Te quiero mamá” Jewelry Dish

Office & Accessories

Pan Dulce notebook from Sew Bonita

Stressed pero Blessed notebook from Sew Bonita

Spanish Daily Phrase Calendar

365 Days of Spanish 2020 Wall Calendar

Ama, enseña, inspira Pop Socket

Lotería Magnet Set – Under $10!

Keychain from Karla and Co. – Limited Edition!

For the Love of Frida 2021 Calendar

Chingaderitas Make-Up Bag – from CorazónMioBoutique

Passport Holder from Glamlindo.com – They are bringing artesanía to the states!

Conchitas Washi Tape – from AiciteltDesigns on Etsy

Chingona Washi Tape Dispenser – from AiciteltDesigns on Etsy

Especially for Spanish Teachers

Keep Calm Soy la maestra T-Shirt

Estudiantes T-Shirt

Maestra (Friends-style) T-Shirt

Spanish Stickers

Spanish Verb Conjugation Posters

Easy Read Reloj Infantil

Homeschooling & Classroom

Kloo Card Game

Spanish Syllable Flip Books

Spanish Magnetic Letters

Montessori Sandpaper Spanish Letter Set

Spanish Letters Wooden Blocks

Carson-Dellosa Spanish Classroom Calendar

Spanish Magnetic Poetry Kit

Music

Buenos Diaz Album – by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

Canta la letras by 123 Andrés

Subscriptions

Booklandia Book Subscription

Sol Book Box Subscription

Spanish Seeds Box

Aventuras Letter

Becko Books

Discover Spain Food Box – from La tienda

Hola Amigo Box

Spanish Classes

Spanish Play Dates – Online classes for preschoolers

Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes – Online Spanish Lessons with Frances for any age

Online Spanish Lessons with Flor García from Little Nomadas

Spanish Audio Books on Audible

Spanish Audio Books on Audible

Reading is one of THE best ways to improve your fluency level in a language. So whether you are wanting to improve your own Spanish skills, or those of your kids, you’ll definitely want to check out all the Spanish audio books Audible has to offer. Each time I found another Spanish audio book that was available I did a little happy dance. I was freaking out how many are available. I hope you enjoy this list!

Most of the Spanish audio books listed here you can click through and listen to a sample of the Audible version in Spanish to make sure you like the voice of the narrator. I know that for some people, the narrator can make or break the ease of listening. Each sample I listened to had great narrators in my opinion though!

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a qualifying purchase through the links here, I receive a small advertising fee. As always, thank you for supporting For the Love of Spanish!

For Big Kids

You can find all the Harry Potter series on Audible! The 7th one comes out February 25, 2020, but you can pre-order it now.

De cómo Tía Lola vino de visita a quedarse por Julia Álvarez (How Tía Lola Came to Visit Stay by Julia Alvarez)

I love the Tía Lola books!! Not all of them are available on Audible, so be sure to check out the paperback versions of the other stories in the series.

De cómo Tía Lola aprendió a enseñar por Julia Álvarez

El principito por Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Wonder: La lección de August por R.J. Palacio

I am in love with this story. In our family it has helped so much to exemplify the importance of kindness, self love, and familial closeness. And it happens to be at the perfect reading level for me in Spanish. Ha!

For Older Kids

La ciudad de las bestias por Isabel Allende

El reino del dragón de oro (Libro 2 de la trilogía La ciudad de las bestias) por Isabel Allende

El bosque de los pigmeos (Libro 3 de la trilogía La ciudad de las bestias) por Isabel Allende

Yo no soy tu perfecta hija mexicana por Erika L. Sánchez

La casa en Mango Street por Sandra Cisneros

I read this book in college. Such a GOOD read, especially if you live in the United States. Cisneros gives a wonderful voice to the Chicano experience.

Don Quijote de la Mancha por Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

My first-ever Audible purchase!! There are no words for this book. It’s written in old-time Spanish – even an advanced listen for native Spanish speakers. If you’ve never read it and English is your first language . . . be prepared to look up lots of words. It might even help to have a hard copy for jotting down notes or following along. But it’s SO worth it!!

For Adults

Mi historia por Michelle Obabma (Becoming by Michelle Obama)

Who has read this one?! I’ve been wanting to, so I was very excited to see it’s available in Spanish!!

Cien años de soledad por Gabriel García Márquez

Another must-read. This list is full of them. Ha! If you haven’t had the experience of reading a magical realism story – this one is a good place to start!!!

El amor en los tiempos del cólera por Gabriel García Márquez

Or this one!

La casa de los espíritus por Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende is another magical realism author. This book is one of her most well-known. I’ve read her collection of short stories in English, The Stories of Eva Luna, but I’ve yet to read any of her novels.

Have you read any of her works? I’m curious to know your favorites.

Paula por Isabel Allende

Como agua para chocolate por Laura Esquivel

Another classic of magical realism. We watched the Spanish movie adaptation of this novel in one of my Spanish classes in college. Raise your hand if you love to read books that have been turned into films? (Me! Me!)

Man! What an amazing list of books. There are soooo many more available, so be sure to head over to Audible and look around!! And let me know which book you choose to listen to first!!

¡Feliz Spanish audiobooking! xo, Kali