Last week we shared five extraordinary books for young boys to read this summer. Today, we’ve put together list of five more culturally-inspired reads – just for little girls.
Adelita by Tomie dePaola. Puffin.
A beautiful Mexican Cinderella story, Adelita is my own daughter’s favorite book. The illustrations are colorful and rich with Mexican imagery. The text itself is sprinkled with Spanish words and expressions which are easily understood thanks to the skillfully interwoven English translations. A glossary is included in the back. Ages 4 to 8. Paperback.
Shake It, Morena by Carmen Bernier-Grand. Illustrated by Lulu Delacre. Millbrook Press.
Shake It, Morena! will easily capture the hearts of your children with its lively songs, games and riddles. Bernier-Grand does not include the more traditional rhymes that are popular throughout Latin America, but instead features folklore that is unique to Puerto Rico. Written with full text in both English and Spanish. It also includes musical arrangements, historical facts and descriptions of finger plays. Ages 4 to 8. Paperback.
The Storyteller’s Candle by Lucia Gonzalez. Illustrated by Lulu Delacre. Lee & Low Books.
Thes story of New York’s first Latina librarian, Pura Belpré. A gifted storyteller, puertorriquena
Belpré reaches out to her local community using the library as a way to reconnect Latino families with their culture. Delacre’s creates a sense of time and place with her sepia-toned illustrations that are filled with historical details that complement and enrich the written story. Full text in English and Spanish. Ages 4 and up. Hardback.
Lola’s Fandango by Anna Witte. Illustrated by Micha Archer. Narrated by the Amador Family. Barefoot Books.
Lola’s Fandango is a heart-warming story about a young girl named Lola, who feels trapped in the shadow of her vibrant, older sister, Clementina…until one day when she discovers a pair of dancing shoes in her Mami’s closet. After a little bit of pleading, Lola’s Papi finally agrees to teach Lola the art of flamenco. But does Lola have the duende needed to really master the dance? The books is available in English or Spanish and includes an audio CD. Ages 4 and up. Hardback.
Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa by Veronica Chambers. Illustrated by Julie Maren. Puffin.
A bold and vibrant tribute to the extraordinary Cuban, salsa singer, Celia Cruz, this book shares the story of her childhood and her inspiring rise to worldwide fame and recognition. According to the School Library Journal, “The text records her early life in an overcrowded household but also emphasizes her love for learning and her classical training, her devotion to her birth country, and her international fame.” Maren’s lively illustrations convey the movement and vibracy associated with the flamboyant singer. Written in English. Ages 4 to 9. Hardback.
Monica Olivera Hazelton, NBC Latino contributor and the founder and publisher of MommyMaestra.com, a site for Latino families that homeschool, as well as families with children in a traditional school setting who want to take a more active role in their children’s education. She is the 2011 winner of the “Best Latina Education Blogger” award by LATISM.