5 Children’s Books That Celebrate Latino Diversity

Growing up is hard enough. We live in a melting pot that makes most of us, if not everyone, go through identity issues at some point in life. As unavoidable as that may be, it’s not completely impossible to make the roller coaster ride a whole lot easier for our children. These five books are a great way to engage with your niños about identity, in a way that’s easy for them to understand – so they can feel proud of their roots!

1. My Colors, My Wolrd

My Colors My World/Mis colores, mi mundo

My Colors, My World/ Mis colores, mi mundo is a bilingual book about a Latina child who experiences life in the desert. She reflects on all the different colors that surround her environment – including the pink that illuminates her street and the brown that makes up the mud beneath her feet. (The illustrations are fantastic, as well!) Readers are taught to fall in love with colors and indulge in the characteristics that make something special and unique, and we love that lesson.

2. I Pledge Allegiance

I Pledge Allegiance

I Pledge Allegiance is a story about a girl named Libby and her great aunt Lobo. Aunt Lobo has immigrated to the United States from Mexico and now wants to acquire her citizenship. At the same time this is happening, Libby is learning how to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at school and has to lead her class in the Pledge at the end of the week. In the book we get the story of why Lobo left Mexico and came to the United States for a better life. The story of Lobo and Libby takes two different generations and ultimately intertwines them together into what it means to be a proud Mexican American.

 

3. My Havana

My Havana: Memories of Cuban Boyhood

Rosemary Wells shares a story about a Cuban immigrant named Dino, inspired by the life of Secundino Fernandez. Dino, 6, lives in Havana until his family moves to Spain in 1954. Dino and his family eventually return to Havana, only to flee to New York shortly after when Fidel Castro and the communist party take over the government. The story chronicles Dino’s experiences with culture shock, getting lost in language and exploring a new city. While dealing with homesickness Dino finds a way to bring to live his memory of Havana by recreating them in his sketch notebook. Readers also get a glimpse of history with political figures like Che Guevara and Hitler. Even though this story takes place in the 1950s, the struggles that come with assimilation ring true to present day and make it relatable in many ways. My Havana: Memories of Cuban Boyhood is available at Amazon.com.

 

4. Yes! We Are Latinos

Yes! We Are Latinos

Yes! We Are Latinos! teaches children about the diversity within the Latino community. The reader is introduced to 13 different fictionalized Latino children from different backgrounds – like Juanita who lives in New York and is Mexican and Michiko who lives in Los Angeles and is Peruvian and Japanese. Each character has a story and poem that gives readers an insight of what it means to create an identity as a Latino in the United States. This book serves as an educational tool and demonstrates the complexity of being Latino in a positive way.

5. Harvesting Hope

Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez

In Harvesting Hope, children are told the history of Cesar Chavez, who played an important role as a civil rights activist for the migrant worker. The book follows a young Chavez in the classroom, when speaking Spanish was forbidden and he is humiliated by his teacher. The reader sees Chavez and his family struggle in the fields with inhuman working conditions. The Mexican-American activist is ultimately shown as a hero for standing up for what was right and obtaining the change in working conditions farm laborers deserved.