4 Books to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month All Year Long

Gary Jimenez is Jumpstart's Senior Vice President of Development.

As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to an end, it’s important to continue celebrating cultural traditions and sharing family histories. For young children, exploring their cultural heritage with family members offers many opportunities to learn. For families, celebrating cultural roots is a way to pass on recipes, crafts, songs, and traditions, keeping them alive for generations to come.

There are 11.6 million Hispanic family households in the United States*, and we need to ensure that we celebrate Hispanic culture not just this month, but year-round. We compiled a list of our favorite books that are both developmentally appropriate for preschool-aged children, and offer all families an avenue to celebrate Latino culture long after Hispanic Heritage Month ends on October 15.

In My Family / En mi familia by Carmen Lomas Garza

In My Family / En mi familia is Carmen Lomas Garza's continuing tribute to the family and community that shaped her childhood and her life. Lomas Garza's vibrant paintings and warm personal stories depict memories of growing up in the traditional Mexican-American community of her hometown of Kingsville, Texas.

Mis abuelos y yo / My Grandparents And I by Samuel Caraballo

This ode to family depicts the special influence of a young boy’s grandparents in his life. His voice rings as he catalogs the various ways his grandparents impact him. Set in Puerto Rico, the book pays homage to a unique childhood on the island, colored by descriptions of El Morro, the cruise-liners and big freighters in the ocean, and frolicking in the sea with stingrays. The verses sparkle with this island song, flitting from the joys of the seaside to the cool nights under the stars.

La Isla by Arthur Dorros

Rosalba is going on an imaginary journey to the Caribbean island where her grandmother grew up. Through her abuela's eyes, Rosalba visits with relatives who still live on la isla and sees the beautiful terrain of the island, from the lush, tropical rain forest to the bustling old city. Along the way Rosalba and her grandmother visit a busy fruit market, then cool off with a swim in the turquoise sea filled with colorful fish.

Gracias / Thanks by Pat Mora

In a series of poetic sentences, a young multiracial boy tells about some of the everyday things for which he is thankful. Come share the joy, and think about all the things for which you can say, ¡Gracias! Thanks!

*Source: Families and Living Arrangements: Table F1

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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