The most fabulosos Latinx picture books

Who am I?

Ana Siqueira is a Spanish-language elementary teacher, an award-winning Brazilian children’s author, and a published author in the Foreign Language educational market. Her debut picture book is Bella’s Recipe for Disaster/Success (Beaming Books, 2021), Her forthcoming books are If Your Babysitter Is a Bruja/ Cuando Tu Niñera Es Una Bruja (SimonKids, 2022), Abuela’s Super Capa/La Super Capa De Abuela (HarperCollins 2023) - two-book deal auction, Room in Mami’s Corazon (HarperCollins 2024) and some others that can’t be announced yet. Ana is a member of SCBWI, Las Musas Books, and co-founder of LatinxPitch. You can learn more about Ana, by following her.

I wrote...

Bella's Recipe for Success

By Ana Siqueira, Geraldine Rodríguez (illustrator),

Book cover of Bella's Recipe for Success

What is my book about?

Bella wants to find out what she's good at. But she quits everything she (barely) tries because she's a disaster at it. Her somersaults are like clumsy jirafas rolling downhill, her piano playing like elephant feet. When she decides to learn how to bake with her wise old abuela, her first attempt at dulce de leche frosting looks like scaly cocodrilo skin. She must learn it's okay to try again or she won't be good at anything. Peppered with Spanish vocabulary and set in an intergenerational Latinx home, Bella's Recipe for Success will show all kids the value of practicing to learn a new skill, and that it's okay to make mistakes along the way.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Bisa's Carnaval

By Joana Pastro, Carolina Coroa (illustrator),

Book cover of Bisa's Carnaval

Why this book?

A festive book filled with dance, culture, family, and love. The text and the illustrations bring alive this Carnaval in Olinda, Brasil. And even though this party is all about dancing and fun, in this book, this party is also about not leaving anyone behind, especially your lovely bisa (great-grandma). I love seeing all the colors and movement of the Carnaval in Olinda. This is a great book to share with kids about another culture and the universal theme of love. 

Felíz New Year, Ava Gabriela!

By Alexandra Alessandri, Addy Rivera Sonda (illustrator),

Book cover of Felíz New Year, Ava Gabriela!

Why this book?

This is a book for all shy kids and the ones not so shy, so we can all understand each other. Felíz New Year, Ava Gabriela! is a book for all Latinx kids and not Latinx kids, so we can all learn about this beautiful culture, and that children all over the world go through similar feelings and struggles. Readers will cheer for this sweet girl to find her voice and have fun. And I smile every time I see this little Latinx girl solving her own problems. 

Run, Little Chaski!: An Inka Trail Adventure

By Mariana Llanos, Mariana Ruiz Johnson (illustrator),

Book cover of Run, Little Chaski!: An Inka Trail Adventure

Why this book?

Through this book, little ones will learn about history, the Inkas, Peru, and its animales. But all in a super fun way filled with tension. Will our little messenger - a Chaski - deliver the important message on time? Kids will be involved in this story, cheering for our little Chaski all the way. This book has received many awards. So well deserved to both the author and the illustrator.

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

By Anika Aldamuy Denise, Paola Escobar (illustrator),

Book cover of Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

Why this book?

In this story about Pura Belpre, the Puerto Rican librarian, we learn about her journey of planting story seeds throughout the country. It all starts when she moves to the United States. Working as a bilingual librarian assistant, she notices there are no Puerto Rican stories. So, she writes her own and plants also dream seeds. This is a sparse, lyrical book with vivid and sweet illustrations. 

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music

By Margarita Engle, Rafael López (illustrator),

Book cover of Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music

Why this book?

This rhythmic book will take you on a magic drum trip with this Chinese-African-Cuban girl, who broke the taboo of girls not being allowed to play drums. This is a poem song filled with rhythmic words, sounds, and heart. Beautiful words, beautiful art,  gorgeous story. I hope after reading it, you'll feel inspired to dance and to dream. I danced around the house, then I sat down and wrote beautiful stories and dreams. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Cuba?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Cuba.

Puerto Rico Explore 12 books about Puerto Rico
Brazil Explore 33 books about Brazil
Cuba Explore 38 books about Cuba

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Digging for Words, Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor, and Madeline Finn and the Library Dog if you like this list.