Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 every year. This month-long recognition is an excellent opportunity to educate children on the histories, cultures and contributions of Hispanic Americans. To help you celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Hispanic Heritage Month children’s books written by Hispanic authors sharing their stories. Below is our list of books that we know you and your little reader will love and can be checked out next time you visit your local Osceola County Library branch!
“Across the Bay,” by Carlos Aponte follows Carlitos, who lives in a happy home with his mother, his abuela, and Coco the cat. His hometown is cozy, but Carlitos desires to travel across the bay to the capital city in search of his father. Jolly piragüeros, silly cats, and musicians fill the story of the true meaning of home.
“Carmela Full of Wishes” by Matt de la Peña celebrates Carmela on her birthday and waking up to her first wish coming true - she can join her big brothers in running the family errands! They all travel through the neighborhood and the crowded bus stops until they arrive at the Laundromat, where Carmela finds a single dandelion growing in the pavement. Before she blows the white fluff away, her brother explains she must first make a wish. But what is the right wish to make?
“Just Ask!: Be Brave, Be Different, Be You” by United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. From her own experience growing up with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with different challenges and their special powers. As they build a community garden, they ask questions to each other and encourage you to do the same: When we come across someone who is different from us, but we're not sure why all we have to do is… just ask!
“I am Frida Kahlo,” by Brad Meltzer, features Frida Kahlo, the renowned Mexican painter and activist. After surviving a bus crash, she made her mark in art history for her unique way of looking at the world and integrating her own image and life into her paintings.
“Alma and How She Got Her Name” by Juana Martinez-Neal is about Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela and her many names! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to her dad for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and her other names, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think her name is a perfect fit and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell.
“Islandbborn,” by Junot Díaz, tells the story of a young girl named Lola. When it’s time for her to draw a picture of where her family immigrated from, Lola is not excited because she can't remember the island she came from.. With the help of her family and friends, their memories help her imagine and journey back to the island. As she nears the heart of her family's story, Lola understands the truth of her abuela's words: “Just because you don't remember a place doesn't mean it's not in you.”
These Hispanic Heritage Month children’s books may be some of our favorites, but there are more books you can read this month! With five library branches located throughout Osceola County, the Osceola County library has more books you can check out to celebrate the Hispanic voices and stories in our community and nation. Make sure to log your child’s 15 minutes of reading and books in Beanstack for special rewards and, if you aren’t signed up already, you can do so right on the Osceola County library’s website!