The Diverse BookFinder currently includes 308 titles with Latinx characters, which we have coded in these categories. The most obvious takeaway from our statistics is that Latinx characters are overwhelmingly represented (more than 60%) in books of cultural particularity, the category we call “Beautiful Life: A Focus on Culture.”
19 Latin American countries are referenced in 170 of these picture books, either as the setting of the story and/or as the ancestry of Latinx characters. Mexico and Mexicans are featured most prominently by far — in 86 titles! — followed by Brazil (15 titles), Puerto Rico (15), and Cuba (12). The Dominican Republic (8), Guatemala (5), and El Salvador (5) are somewhat represented. Twelve other countries are mentioned in 1-3 titles, and others don’t appear in picture books at all.
One thing that stands out in this collection of picture books is the power and beauty of work by Latinx artists. Here are examples of books by six prominent illustrators, showing the range of representation of Latinx characters.
Set in Cuba and the U.S., this title tells an immigrant story with its sense of connection to two places.
When five year old Gabriella hears talk of Castro and something called revolution in her home in Cuba, she doesn't understand. Then when her parents leave suddenly and she remains with her grandparents, life isn't the same. Soon the day comes when she goes to live with her parents in a new place called the Bronx. It isn't warm like Havana, and there is traffic, not the ocean, outside her window. Their life is different- it snows in the winter and the food at school is hot dogs and macaroni. What will it take for the Bronx to feel like home? ~from publisher
Set in Argentina, Colon’s illustrations in this book preserve the richness of rural traditions.
Together, a young boy and his abuelo (grandfather) go camping, ride horses, and even confront a mountain lion. Soon, the boy's family moves to the city from the country, away from Abuelo, and it is the boy's memories that help him adjust to his new life. --Provided by publisher
This story, with an unspecified setting, explores the immigrant experience of a monolingual parent and a bilingual child.
A young boy and his papa may speak both Spanish and English, but the most important language they speak is the language of love. A multigenerational picture book that portrays the close bond between father and son, and emphasizes the overall message of love between a parent and child. ~provided by publisher
Set in Brazil, this book focuses on soccer, as our Advisory Council member Marcela Peres finds that the majority of titles do, in this post on Brazilian books.
Do you know how a poor boy from Brazil who loved futbol more than anything else became the biggest soccer star the world has ever known? Turn the pages of this book to read the true life story of Pelé, King of Soccer, the first man in the history of the sport to score a thousand goals and become a living legend.
This beautiful collection of poems is an important contribution to the 29 Latinx biographies in our collection.
Musician, botanist, baseball player, pilot—the Latinos featured in this collection come from many different countries and from many different backgrounds. Celebrate their accomplishments and their contributions to a collective history and a community that continues to evolve and thrive today! Bold, graphic portraits and beautiful poems present famous and lesser-known Latinos from varied backgrounds who have faced life's challenges in creative ways. -- Provided by publisher
Here’s an exuberant, bilingual presentation of a Mexican festival with universal appeal.
Children read aloud in various settings to celebrate of El día de los niños, or Children's Day, in this bilingual story. Includes facts about Mexico's annual celebration of children and the book fiestas that are often included. Children’s Day/Book Day; El día de los niños/El día de los libros has been observed on April 30th for over twelve years. Founder Pat Mora’s jubilant celebration of this day features imaginative text and lively illustrations by award-winning illustrator Rafael López that will turn this bilingual fiesta into a hit for story time! Toon! Toon! The book includes a letter from the author and suggestions for celebrating Children’s Day /El día de los niños. ~Provided by publisher
This lively book is a companion to Morales’ award-winning title, Nino Wrestles the World.
Señoras y señores, niños y niñas, the time has come to welcome the spectacular, two-of-a-kind . . . LAS HERMANITAS! No opponent is too big a challenge for the cunning skills of Las Hermanitas, Lucha Queens! Their Poopy Bomb Blowout will knock em' down! Their Tag-Team Teething will gnaw opponents down to a pulp! Their Pampered Plunder Diversion will fell even the most determined competitor! But what happens when Niño comes after them with a move of his own? Watch the tables turn in this wild, exciting wrestling adventure. ~Provided by publisher
This autobiographical award-winner brings to light the underestimated space of the public library to find and build community in new places.
In 1994, Yuyi Morales left her home in Xalapa, Mexico and came to the US with her infant son...A celebration of what migrantes bring with them when they leave their homes. A story about family. A story to remind us that we are all dreamers, bringing our own gifts wherever we roam. Beautiful and powerful at any time but given particular urgency as the status of our own Dreamers becomes uncertain, this is a story that is both topical and timeless.
Tonatiuh’s books are drawn from his Mexican ancestry.
A celebration of the life of Amalia Hernandez, dancer and founder of El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico, and of the rich history of dance in Mexico. As a child, Amalia always thought she would grow up to be a teacher, until she saw a performance of dancers in her town square. She was fascinated by the way the dancers twirled and swayed, and she knew that someday she would be a dancer, too. She began to study many different types of dance, including ballet and modern, under some of the best teachers in the world. Hernandez traveled throughout Mexico studying and learning regional dances. Soon she founded her own dance company where she integrated her knowledge of ballet and modern dance with folkloric dances. The group began to perform all over the world, becoming an international sensation that still tours today. Tonatiuh's distinctive Mixtec-inspired artwork and colorful drawings leap off the page. --Provided by publisher
This biography is a rare example of a book that chronicles the Hispanic experience of Oppression.
Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a “Whites only” school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.
This title is one of several in which the Afro-Puerto Rican author-illustrator tells a story based on his own life.
The author describes Christmas at his grandmother's apartment in Spanish Harlem the year she introduced him to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Diego Velazquez's portrait of Juan de Pareja, which has had a profound and lasting effect on him.
Velasquez’s bilingual story could be about Any Child.
A boy's beloved stuffed toy, Bongo, is missing. No one can help him. When he asks his abuela where Bongo is, she answers, "Yo no sé. I don't know." Mom and Dad haven't seen Bongo either. Gato just says "Meow" and runs away. When Bongo finally turns up behind Dad's drum, the problem of Bongo's whereabouts is resolved, but it doesn't answer how Bongo got there! The boy decides to set a trap to catch the Bongo thief. -- Provided by Amazon
To find more books, search our collection by any of these illustrators; by authors Arthur Dorros, Monica Brown, Margarita Engle, and Pat Mora (to name a few notable Latinx writers); or by this list of all titles featuring Latinx characters.