This list, along with the list of adult books, is part of the slice of Mexican culture our friends provided us when we were getting excited for our trip to Mexico. It’s compiled by our friend M, who is the mom of 2, an amazingly talented artist, and an all around awesome gal.
She, like me, first started at the library, and notes the caveat that available selection will of course vary from place to place. We were able to find some at NYC libraries, and we did already own the Tito Puente one.
The below represents her list of recs of the books she has so far come across and read to her girls (3 and 9 at the time), about various Mexican traditions/food/celebrations. All of these are in English and in Spanish. Don’t forget to check out the adult list, too!
1. Celebrate! It’s Cinco de Mayo by Janice Levy
For the younger reader, very briefly describes why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo in simple terms.
A book that explains the celebration of the Day of the Dead, through a little girls grandfather’s passing and how they celebrate.
3. A Gift for Abuelita: Celebrating the Day of the Dead by Nancy Luenn
This one is also similar to the one above, talks about a girls Grandmother who dies and explains how they celebrate and remember the people they love.
4. Our Lady of Guadalupe by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
This book retells and illustrates one of the most important story in Mexican culture of how the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego. Its pretty similar to the story my family has told me growing up. We visited the Virgin of Guadalupe at the Basilica near Mexico city 10 years ago, it was amazing.
This is such a fun Christmas Story in English and Spanish that illustrates all the things that happen the night before Christmas. When I read this, I snapped photos and sent them to my siblings because everything was exactly like how we celebrated as kids.
6. My Nana’s Remedies by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford
This story is fun, talks about a little girl’s grandmother’s recipes which always heal any type of ailment. This is totally my mom too, she’s got a different homemade tea for anything that may be happening to you. Also, we call her Nana. 🙂
7. My Tata’s Remedies- by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford
This one is a bit longer and similar to the one above. AJ enjoyed reading this recently when she became more interested in gardening and chatting with Nana about her teas. Not as exciting for the little ones.
8. Tito Puente- Mambo King by Monica Brown
This is a fun book about Tito Puente, a musician (no he’s not Mexican but Puerto Rican I think) but his music is loved by all Latinos.
9. My Name is Celia- The life of Celia Cruz by Monica Brown
Another book about the salsa queen, Celia Cruz. She’s also Cuban but again, her music is loved by all Latinos and her salsa certainly influenced many contemporary musicians.
10. Mi Musica by George Ancona
A basic book that talks about Latin Music (not just Mexican Mariachis but also Flamenco, Salsa)
M is also a folklore lover for any given culture so a few of these are pretty fun, too. Some are a bit older reading, though.
1. How Music Came To The World by Hal Ober
About the Sky God, Tezcatlipoca and the Wind God, Quetzalcoatl stealing music from the sun 🙂
2. The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote by Tony Johnston
About that trickster Coyote 🙂
3. Horse Hooves and Chicken Feet selected by Neil Philip
This is a collection of Mexican Folklore