Spanish Christmas Books for Kids

Spanish Christmas Books for Kids

Inside: Christmas Spanish books for kids.

 

When I was growing up, my mom created little Christmas traditions we kept up for years. One of them was “the book basket.” We had a stack of annual favorites, and she would read a little bit from each one, finishing the last page or chapter of each on Christmas Eve. Every year she’d get choked up in the same parts, and even my dad would tear up on the last page of classics like A Certain Small Shepherd and The 24 Days Before Christmas.

We rolled our eyes at our sentimental parents, of course. But of course, here I am with kids of my own, boo-hooing my way through sweet books too. Now that I’ve got bilingual kids, I’ve been on the hunt for Christmas books in Spanish, so I can carry on the family traditions with our own bilingual, bicultural twist. 

In this post I’m sharing my favorite titles in Spanish, and would love to hear your suggestions as well! For more book lists and suggestions, be sure to see my Spanish children’s books page. 

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

 

Christmas Spanish Books for Kids

 

Spanish Christmas books

 

 

Christmas Traditions

 

El Niño Espíritu by John Bierhorst and Barbara Cooney
(Mexico)

The nativity story, as told by Spanish missionaries to the Aztecs and one that dates back to the 16th century. Cooney is an award-winning illustrator who brings the story to life with period illustrations.

Feliz Nochebuena, Feliz Navidad by Maricel Presilla
(Cuba, Puerto Rico)

A tour of the author’s Christmas memories from growing up in the Caribbean, centered on the delicious food and recipes, and the people who made them. 

¡Ya Llegan los Reyes Magos! by Georgina Lazaro

A beautiful book that introduces traditions surroundings Los Reyes Magos, from a child’s perspective. 

The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie dePaola
(Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Though this one isn’t in Spanish, Tomie dePaola stories and paintings are just irresistible. This story tells about a small town’s procession of Las Posadas. Mystery and miracle follow, to save the posadas on Christmas night.  

 

Contemporary Christmas Stories

 

¡Qué Montón de Tamales! by Gary Soto
(Mexico)

As María helps her mother in their family tradition of making tamales for nochebuena, she tries on her mother’s ring. It slips off and gets lost in the mountains off masa they are preparing! María enlists the help of her cousins to eat all the tamales and find it.

La Noche Buena: A Christmas Story by Antonio Sacre
(Cuba, Miami)

This year, Nina leaves behind a snowy landscape to spend Christmas with her grandmother in Miami– where it’s hot and humid. There, she learns about another side of Christmas, full of new food, dancing, music and family.

El Árbol de Navidad by Alma Flor Ada

A family decorates their Christmas tree together, as told by rhyming cumulative text with each added ornament. I love the folk illustrations in the story as well. 

Arturo and the Navidad Birds by Anne Broyles
(Central America)

Arturo is visiting his grandmother, and she tells him the story behind each ornament as they decorate together. When Arturo accidentally breaks a bird ornament, he is filled with guilt and tries to make another. A sweet bilingual story that won second place in the International Latino Book Awards for picture books.

 

Translated Classics

 

Los renos rebeldes de Navidad by Jan Brett

We love Jan Brett at our house, and I was so excited to see this one in Spanish! She retells a Ukranian folk tale in Spanish in this gorgeous book, about a young girl in charge of Santa’s reindeer. 

¡Cómo el Grinch robó la Navidad! by Dr. Seuss

It’s hard to get more classic than the Grinch for Christmas, and now you can enjoy this story in Spanish!

El Árbol de Navidad del Señor Viladomat by Robert Barry

Señor Viladomat has accidentally bought a tree that is too big for his house. What he does with the chopped-off end part brings Christmas cheer to many neighbors, both animal and human

La Navidad del Camioncito Azul by Alice Schertle

Everybody’s favorite little blue truck is back for Navidad, with a counting-Christmas-trees twist. 

 

The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola

(Mexico)

Written in English, this recounts the Mexican folktale behind the poinsettia (or flor de la Nochebuena), and Holy Night. As always with dePaola, gorgeous paintings vividly accompany the story set against a group of children waiting for Christmas. 

There are several other versions available for this classic folk tale:

El Regalo de La Flor de Nochebuena retold by Pat Mora

Milagro de la Flor de Nochebuena retold by Brian Cavanaugh

Zetta the Poinsettia by Alma Hammond

 

Bilingual or English Books

 

Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano

A bilingual introduction to Jose Feliciano’s classic songs, with lift-up flaps for little fingers. 

El Mejor Regalo del Mundo: La Leyenda de la Vieja Belen by Julia Alvarez

(Dominican Republic)

Julia Alvarez is one of my favorite Latina authors, and you won’t want to miss this delightful bilingual re-telling of the Dominican folk character La Vieja Belen. 

Tres Reyes Mago: Colors – Colores by Patty Rodriguez

This sweet and simple board book introduces colors to kids in the context of the Christmas story. 

The Santero’s Miracle by Rudolfo Anaya
(New Mexico)

This bilingual story takes place in a small village, where Andrés is visiting his grandpa. When a big snow hits, Andres worries his family won’t be able to join them for Christmas. A sweet story of a surprise miracle and family. 

Miracle on 133rd Street by Sonia Manzano

A sweet story about a roast too big to fit into Mami’s oven. What started as a simple cooking problem ends up being an opportunity for the neighborhood to come together and spread the Christmas spirit. 

Twas’ Nochebuena by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

A retelling of The Night Before Christmas that introduces the tradition of Nochebuena, along with Christmas vocabulary in Spanish:

’Twas Nochebuena and all through our casa

every creature was kneading tamale masa

N is for Navidad by Susan Middleton Elya

A bilingual alphabet book that introduces different Latino Christmas traditions and words. 

A Piñata in a Pine Tree by Pat Mora

El Regalo de Navidad by Francisco Jiménez
(US – Immigration Theme)

Renowned author Francisco Jiménez recounts one Christmas from his childhood, the year in which all he wanted was a red ball. His parents explain that they have no money, and are on the constant move. A poignant surprise waits for us in this tale.

El Hombrecito de Mazapán by Louise Martin

The classic tale of the gingerbread boy, told in Spanish. 

A Doll for Navidades by Esmeralda Santiago

The author recounts one childhood Christmas when all she wanted was a doll, in this heartwarming story about love and family. 


 

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The Ultimate Guide to Spanish Teacher Gifts

The Ultimate Guide to Spanish Teacher Gifts

Inside: Ideas for meaningful Spanish teacher gifts. 

 

Are you looking for ideas to spoil your favorite Spanish teacher? Whether you’re a student, coworker, friend, or significant other, spoil your favorite Spanish teacher, I’ve got you covered with ideas for every budget.

Teachers work SO hard, and appreciation goes along way. You don’t have to spend any money (those handwritten notes often get treasured for years), but a thoughtful gift really can lift our hard-working teachers’ spirits. 

Some of these suggestions are things any teacher would love, and some are specific to Spanish teachers. I’m going to say this right away: I am one of those people who loves gift cards. They make me feel so pampered, and don’t have to be pricey– a $5 card for coffee is huge treat. You can’t go wrong with a card for coffee, Amazon, Target, or Teacher Pay Teachers. Trust me.

Okay, but let’s say you’re here looking for actual gift ideas! Here are a bunch of ideas. This list is female-heavy, but I’ve tried including ideas that include a wide range of interests and tastes. Let me know if you have some great ideas I missed (especially tips for guy teachers)!

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Spanish Teachers gift guide

 

 

Spanish Teacher Gifts $10 And Under

 

1. Office Supplies

 

Teachers often spend their own money, especially in the second half of the year as supplies get used up. If you can, find out what they need, or even consider including a gift receipt. Pro tip: you really can’t go wrong with Flair Pens when gifting a teacher (or possibly anyone).

2. Desk Stash 

 

Almost every teacher stashes snacks and little pick-me-ups in their desk! Be sure to check on food allergies before deciding what snack to give. 

2. Stamps 

 

Help that teacher make grading and feedback on papers more efficient with these stamps in Spanish. 

3. Lanyards or Key Fobs

 

This one’s a super-practical choice to help busy teachers keep track of their keys or ID. Choose from a variety of options for a fun gift or stocking stuffer. 

5. Travel Gear

 

If your favorite Spanish teacher is a frequent jet-setter, something travel-related would definitely be appreciated. Try something practical that adds style for a gift that’s sure to used often. 

 

Spanish Teacher Gifts $20 And Under

 

1. Room Decor

 

Meaningful poster and decor items that go beyond moustaches and sombreros are another great gift for teachers. (As long as you recognize it’s their room, and can display/use the items as they want!) Here are some tasteful suggestions that should be durable and outlast room changes and moves. 

2. Apparel

 

You can’t go wrong with gifts for Spanish teachers, made by Spanish teachers! A pair of earring, a tote, or T-shirt would be very appreciated. Here are some favorites, but be sure to browse the whole Tapas for Two Gifts Store for more. 

3. Jewelry

 

Chances are your Spanish teacher studied abroad, traveled, or was born in another country. Give a super-special piece of jewelry connected to that place, or a geography-themed piece. These examples are gorgeous!

 

Spanish Teacher Gifts $30 And Under

 

1. Travel Mugs 

 

Truthfully, most teachers receive an overabundance of mugs. But travel mugs are completely different category! These are perfect for teachers who leave their houses at the crack of dawn on cold winter mornings.

3. Water Bottles

 

Like coffee travel mugs, water bottles are always welcome. (They’re constantly getting lost, too, so you can’t have too many!) Of course, they don’t have to say cute things in Spanish– any quality water bottles would be a nice gift. 

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Where To Find the Best Online Spanish Books for Free

Where To Find the Best Online Spanish Books for Free

Inside: How to find online Spanish books for free.

 

We all know that reading is one of the top ways to improve your language skills. And there’s good news for Spanish learners: more and more books in Spanish are available these days. Though I’ve already got lots of physical book lists for you (and a Spanish audio book list!), this post will concentrate on online books to read and enjoy for free. 

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Online Spanish Books 

 

For parents of bilingual kids, or homeschool families, online books can be a great way to supplement your Spanish collection. 

For teachers, you can print some of these books as you set up a classroom library, or project them onto the board and use them in a whole-class setting. 

And now, let’s get started! If you have more suggestions, please let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

1. Maguaré

 

 

Sponsored by the Colombian Ministerio de Cultura, Maguaré is a one-in-a-million find for Spanish materials. You can access over 100 picture books, poems, and tongue twisters. (A few are set to music or include audio as well).

 

 

All the books are available as free downloads, and a few even have the option to print in black and white for kids to color. Definitely bookmark this site if you are looking for high-quality printable Spanish books!

 

Recommended for intermediate Spanish learners and up. 

 

 

2. Reading A-Z

 

 

Reading A-Z is a huge resource of leveled readers, with an extensive collection in Spanish as well. (And when I say huge– we’re talking hundreds of books!) Their site is extremely user-friendly and the books are organized by level, skill, topic, and type. 

 

 

If you are looking for books to print, Reading A-Z does require a subscription. However, if you are just looking for online Spanish books, this may be the perfect fit for you. 

Recommended for novice Spanish speakers and up. 

 

 

3. Read Conmigo

 

Although you have to sign up with an email, Read Conmigo offers free online books in Spanish, targeted for ages PreK – 5th grade. Currently, they have over 45 bilingual titles. Though the books are not printer-friendly, you have the choice to download onto your phone, a computer, or onto a Kindle. They also have an App available, if you’d like a kid-friendly version on-the-go. 

 

read conmigo

 

Recommended for novice Spanish speakers and up.

 

 

4. International Children’s Digital Library

 

The International Children’s Library currently has 100+ books in Spanish for kids. They have lots of search options, for looking by age and topic, once you get the hang of it. 

 

international libray

 

Recommended for intermediate Spanish speakers. 

 

 

5. Children’s Books Forever

 

Children’s Books Forever also has a small collection of online books, in a variety of languages. They are available for free and are printable. 

Recommended for intermediate Spanish speakers. 

 

 

6. Unite for Literacy

 

 

Although I include this one on my list of audio books in Spanish, Unite for Literacy is such an asset for beginners I’m including it here too. All the books are written in very basic Spanish, with non-fiction themes like colors, toys, art, animals, and more. The site includes many other languages, in addition to Spanish!

 

 

Recommended for noviceSpanish speakers. 

 

 

7. Grimm Stories

 

Technically, this site is full of online stories, not books. Grimm Stories offers dozens of fairy tales in Spanish, from the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. All are available as a PDF for easy printing!

Recommended for intermediate Spanish speakers and up. 

 

8. Fables in Simple Spanish

 

 

 

If you are looking for online Spanish stories in told on a novice level, I have a few options on my site as well. You can check out my Fables in Spanish page, where I’ve retold famous fables in beginner language. My preschool Spanish lessons also include free beginner stories. A few a narrated; we’re working on turning all of them into read-aloud videos!

 

 

Recommended for novice Spanish learners. 

 

 

9. El Huevo de Chocolate

El Huevo de Chocolate is an extensive site in Spanish with all sorts of links: guessing games, fables, folk tales, books, and more. The books section and stories section contain text from mostly classic works in Spanish. The comic sans font and design make the site less user-friendly, but if you are on the search for more authentic texts in Spanish, definitely check them out.

Recommended for intermediate Spanish speakers and up. 

 



 

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where to find spanish books online

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A Guide to Finding Spanish Audio Books for Kids

A Guide to Finding Spanish Audio Books for Kids

Inside: The best Spanish audio books for kids.

 

When raising bilingual kids or teaching Spanish, audiobooks are a great resource to have in your stash of Spanish-language materials. The only problem is this: they’re really hard to find! I’ve been searching in all my favorite groups and readers have sent in their top sites. I wish I had even more options for you, but here are some great resources to help you get going.

 In addition to the online options below, be sure to check your local public library for Spanish audiobooks, or books with CDs. Many library actually have extensive collections, and you might find some goodies there! 

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Spanish Audio Books for Kids

 

If you’re using audiobooks at home, you can be creative. Listen in the car or on road trips. Let your kids do something with their hands while listening (puzzles, coloring, building, etc.), or turn on the Spotify playlist below at bedtime.

For teachers in the classroom, Spanish audio books could make a good station or alternative activity for native/heritage speakers. If you have older students who are still struggling to read, giving them a simple audio option can also be a helpful alternative.

And now, let’s get started! If you have more suggestions, please let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

1. The Spanish Experiment

 

The Spanish Experiment currently has nine free stories for listening, including classic fairy and folk tales. When you click on the link, the first five will show as free, and the last four with a membership. But if you click on over to The Fable Cottage, they are free too! These stories are narrated with a very high-quality audio and include a script you can follow. Although there are a few images, it is more for listening and not an actual “audio book.”

Recommended for intermediate Spanish speakers. 

 

 

2. Unite for Literacy

 

 

Unite for Literacy is a huge collection of Spanish audio books for children, with digital books you click on to turn the pages and listen to the audio. All the books are written in very basic Spanish, with non-fiction themes like colors, toys, art, animals, and more. The site includes many other languages, in addition to Spanish!

Recommended for young children and novice Spanish learners. 

 

3. Spotify Playlists

 

Spotify is actually a goldmine of online stories in Spanish, and one of the best free options out there. Of course, you won’t have the visuals to follow along with, but you find some quality narrators. I’m sharing several playlists that you might like.

 

Recommended for intermediate Spanish speakers. 

 

 

 

 

4. Storybooks Canada

 

Storybooks Canada is an amazing project that highlights African stories, and provides books with audio in dozens of languages– one of which is Spanish!

Recommended for beginning Spanish speakers. 

 

 

5. 123 Teach Me

 

123 Teach Me provides audio of short stories for kids, along with a script of the story. There are currently 18 stories available, some of which were familiar fables, along with some new stories to me. 

Recommended for elementary kids and intermediate Spanish speakers.  

 

 

6. LibriVox

 

LibriVox is another free option. A lot of the content is for adults or very advanced learners, and only the audio is available. However, there are over 400 titles available, with more in progress. Most are original titles in Spanish (lots of poetry), along with translated classics. It’s a lot to sort through, so here are some titles you might be interested in: El Ratón Perez, La Biblia, Cuentos de Hadas (Grimm’s Fairy Tales), Alice in Wonderland. Don Quijote, Las Fábulas de Esopo, Shakespeare. 

Recommended for older students and advanced Spanish speakers. Also available as an App. 

 

7. The Bible App for Kids

 

The Bible App is free, and technically more than a simple audiobook. You can download the stories, which include text, audio, and images that are slightly animated. This is a huge resource to have at your fingertips, if you read the Bible with your kids!

Recommended for intermediate to advanced Spanish speakers. Available as an App. 

Amazon Audible 

 

There are several paid options for Spanish audio books. Amazon Audible seems to have the largest collection, with titles like Buenas Noches, Luna, stories from Beatrix Potter, and popular folk takes. It also includes many chapter books like Esperanza Renace, Manoltio Gafotas, y El Prinicipito. (There is a monthly fee.) Click here to go directly to the collection of Spanish-language books



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Spanish Songs for Kids: The Best Spanish Children’s CDs and Playlists

Spanish Songs for Kids: The Best Spanish Children’s CDs and Playlists

Inside: The best Spanish songs for kids, in Spanish-music albums.  

As we raise our own kids bilingually, we’ve tried to make our home atmosphere bilingual. That means music on both languages! Since I’m not a native Spanish speaker myself, I’ve always relied on music to put us in touch with Hispanic traditions and authentic language. Spanish-speaking culture varies widely across countries, so there’s a rich musical tradition for kids across many genres.

If you’re looking for songs in Spanish for kids on YouTube, I’ve got a ton of themed lists. But sometimes you want a physical or digital album you can turn on in the car or put on in the background, without screens or ads happening. So today I’m sharing a list of Spanish-language albums for families learning together, or creating that rich bilingual atmosphere. 

(And psst… if you have a bilingual baby shower coming, a Spanish board book coupled with a Spanish music CD would be a perfect gift!)

 

Spanish Songs for Kids: The Best Albums

 

Many of the classic and folk songs were new to me a few years ago, and it’s been so fun to learn together with my kids. Here I’ve got a collection of favorite traditional songs and newer songs. Please let me know if you have an album you love, that I should check out!

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Traditional Spanish Songs

 

Here I’ve collected all kinds of nursery rhymes and folk songs for kids in Spanish. 

Recent Spanish Songs for Kids

 

Here you can listen to newer songs in Spanish, written for children. 

José Luis Orozco

José Luis Orozco is an iconic singer for kids, and one of my very favorites. His music tends to be just his voice, sung with a clear accent and accompanied with a guitar, which is helpful for Spanish learners just getting to know these songs. His two albums below are a nice mix of songs and traditional rhymes in Spanish. 

 

Marta Gomez

Marta Gomez is another artist covering traditional children’s music in Spanish, and the arrangements in her songs are just as beautiful as her voice– “On her songs, Marta mixes the joy of the Caribbean with the nostalgia of the Andes adding jazz and pop elements, taking the authenticity of South American indigenous folk music into a new realm.” I can have her on in the background all day!

 

Sonia de los Santos

Sonia de los Santos is another artist which parents can enjoy along with the kids. On ¡Alegría!, a bilingual album for families, “Sonia thought deeply about the elements of her life that bring her joy and tried to capture them in her songs to share with others as she believes that these days it is more important than ever to find reasons to smile and stay grateful.” With a bicultural childhood herself, her albums will especially appeal to Spanglish families like ours. 

 

Nathalia

I totally have a soft spot for Colombian artists, and Nathalia’s music has that rich, lyrical, range of sound that takes me to my happy place. There’s everything from lullabies to vallenato-inspired to reggaton-ish songs, in a mix of Spanish and English. 

 

Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés

123 Andrés shares with us a wide range of musical styles (salsa, bachata, mariachi, Latin pop and more), in a bilingual format that families will love. He shares positive messages that range from immigration themes (Mi Padre Fue Un Trabajador Migrante) to friendship and manners (Mi Amigo Paul), that also work in learning topics. I love his songs like Dame una A for the vowels, and Diez Pajaritos with math concepts. Clever, fun music that belongs in every bilingual home!

 

Mister G

 A former indie rockstar, Mister G is a an award-wining Latin Grammy winner who produces bilingual songs. His music is mix of styles that will appeal to younger kids as well as older kids too. His albums are so prolific it’s hard to know which ones to show below from Amazon!

Lullabies

Something I regret is not having a bilingual set of lullabies to play for my babies or put on for bedtime. I learned some of the traditional ones to sing myself, but didn’t have a great playlist ready to go.

La Luna (Caciones para Soñar) from 123 Andrés is full of beautiful, folksy covers and a few original songs for bedtime. 
Putumayo Kids Latin Dreamland features various artists and a mix of lullabies with a very rooted-in-Latin-America sound. 
Canciones de Luna from Marta Gomez is another lovely collection of traditional and new lullabies in Spanish. 
Arullos: Lullabies in Spanish from José-Luis Orozco features well-known lullabies, gentle and with a touch of Mexican flavor. 

Here are some recommendations to buy, and the Spotify playlist I wish I’d made before!

Spanish Lullabies Playlist

 

Spanish Learner Songs

Some of you reading this might be just beginning to learn Spanish together. Though I still recommend listening to and learning traditional Spanish nursery rhymes and folk songs, you might want an album that specifically teachers some concepts like numbers, days of the week, greetings, etc. If that’s you, here are some options!

Caramba Kids from José-Luis Orozco Presents Caramba Kids

Perfect for newbies, these songs alternative between Spanish and English versions and they stick to more basic language (lists of vocabulary like the ABCs, numbers, etc., while still providing whole language.)

¡Sabor! Spanish Learning Songs from Whistlefritz & Jorge Anaya

These songs are really nicely done, but might be complicated for absolute beginners. If you and your kids speak a little bit, this is a good choice because it provides whole sentences, so you’re getting language in context. 

 

 

Hope these suggestions fill your Spanglish home with good music! As always, leave your suggestions in the comments below and let me know what other great music is out there. 

Spanish children's CDs

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Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

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