Whether because of our cultural backgrounds & mixes or just because of our friendships, all of us in the ELLA family want to raise our kids bilingual (English/Spanish). (I mean, at least their first two languages 😉 We’re always on the hunt for great bilingual books that we enjoy reading over and over with our littles as they learn. Here’s a few of our favorites:

Gracias Thanks by Pat Mora Illustrated by John Parra

Gracias Thanks by Pat Mora
Illustrated by John Parra

The sweetest tale of thanks-giving, Gracias Thanks is pure gold. This bilingual work of art celebrates all the tiny things. ‘For the ladybug that landed on my finger, thanks’. Each page is a chorus of gratitude that teaches children (and reminds adults!) how to find beauty in every day, and to stop and wonder at each day’s gifts. When fall begins, we read it every day as part of our extended Thanksgiving, helping us say “Gracias” for all the every day beauties.

When the Beat was Born

Movi La Mano/I Moved my Hand by Jorge Lujan
Illustrated by Mandana Sadat

This unusual book is written in the kind of poetry I can imagine spilling out of my own three-year-old’s mouth. A little girl dances around her living room, imagining magical worlds and narrating her experience to her parents. It’s short, sweet, and absolutely gorgeous, and my daughter LOVES it.

Movi La Mano/I Moved my Hand
Jake Makes a World

My Name is Gabriela: The Life of Gabriela Mistral/Me Llamo Gabriela: La Vida de Gabriela Mistral
Written by Monica Brown
Illustrated by John Parra

The story of Chilean poet, teacher, and Nobel Prize winner, Gabriela Mistral.

Jake Makes a World

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown
Illustrated by Sara Palacios

One of our favorite characters of all time, Marisol McDonald, struggles with her identity (and what other people say about her) as a soccer-loving, paint-slinging, bilingual, biracial (Scottish-Peruvian-American) girl. She wrestles through with class and spunk, and is loveable, inspiring, and endearing.

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match
Book Fiesta by Part Mora, Illustrated by Rafael Lopez

Book Fiesta by Pat Mora
Illustrated by Rafael Lopez

This book, which celebrates Children’s Day/World Book Day is one of the most magical and whimsical pieces of literature you will ever pick up.Every time you pick it up, we promise you’ll want to revel in every turn of the page. The nutshell? Glimpses of children reading all over the world on World Book Day.  Each illustration feels straight out of the imagination of a child who has just discovered the power of stories, and reminds me to always work to get books in the hands of all the children around me. And for the rest of my life, I will now always celebrate Children’s Day/World Book Day.

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