Whether you’re part of a bilingual family, living in a country not your own, or wanting to give your kid a head start on learning another language, these bilingual children’s books will help you bring Spanish, French, Mandarin, and more into your life.
Bilingual Spanish/English Board Books
Alrededor Del Mundo Con Cantinflas by Patty Rodriguez, Ariana Stein, and Citlali Reyes
Introduce your littles to their first English and Spanish words while you travel around the world – including by train through the U.S. and in a hot air balloon through France.
This book is one of the few from the Li’l Libros series, worth investigating for more great bilingual board books.
Cerca – Close by Juan Felipe Herrera and Blanca Gómez
This book will help your child understand the notion of things being near to each other – and people, too.
Good Morning – Buenos Días by Meritxell Martí and Xavier Salomó
This pop-up book narrates what a morning can look like: dad shaves, the rooster crows, people drink coffee.
Good Night – Buenas Noches by Meritxell Martí and Xavier Salomó
In the companion volume, sliding tabs illustrate everyone and everything going to sleep: the cat, the trees, baby’s house.
La Oruga Muy Hambrienta – The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
There’s a reason this kids’ classic about a caterpillar eating his way through the world and becoming a butterfly has sold 12 million copies worldwide. It’s delightful!
What Am I? by Diane de Anda and Sara Sanchez
This lift-the-flap book used rhymes to introduce new Spanish words with a transport theme.
Bilingual Spanish/English Picture Books
Arroz con leche: Canciones y Ritmos Populares de América Latina by Lulu Delacre
A collection of traditional songs from Latin America, with an English translation included alongside the original words.
Canta Conmigo/Sing With Me by José-Luis Orozco and Sara Palacios
This collection of songs includes preschool classics like The Wheels on the Bus and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in both English and Spanish.
La Manta de Maya – Maya’s Blanket by Monica Brown and David Diaz
A delightful book about making memories and keepsakes and preserving them through the generations.
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown and Sara Palacios
This book is great for any kids of mixed heritage to be able to put their feelings into words and know they are not alone. Marisol celebrates her differences and so can the child reading her story.
Martí y sus versos por la libertad/Martí’s Song for Freedom by Emma Otheguy and Adriana Dominguez
A biography in verse of José Martí, who fought, among other things, for the abolition of slavery, political independence for Cuba.
Una Sorpresa Para Teresita/A Surprise for Teresita by Virginia Sánchez-Korrol and Carolyn Dee Flores
Teresita turns 7 today in a Puerto Rican neighbourhood of New York City and her Tío Ramón is going to bring her a surprise.
A Bilingual Spanish/English Book for Elementary School Kids
Booklist has said of this inspirational memoir that it’s “a welcome alternative to the usually bleak portrayal of the migrant farmworker experience…an inspirational self-portrait of a loving Latino family.”
Bilingual Kids’ Books in French
Animals in French and English by Oui Love Books
Whether in the ocean, in the Arctic, or on a farm, meet dozens of animals in their natural habitats, with labels in both languages.
Ma journée de neige/My Snow Day by Ally Nathaniel and Milena Radeva
Three siblings all learn to work together to build a snow-woman, and learn about family, creativity and teamwork in the process.
Le Chat au Chapeau/The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
The Dr Seuss classic is available in both French and Spanish.
Où est le bébé/Peekaboo baby by Sujatha Lalgudi
Designed for kids learning French as a foreign language, this book features a baby on each page, and the reader must find the partly hidden eyes, ears, or nose.
Bonus tip: for more bilingual French/English books, head to a Canadian online bookstore.
Bilingual Kids’ Books in Mandarin and Cantonese
First Words in Chinese by Jane C Thai
This book is full of animals and everyday objects to help children build their vocabulary.
Mina’s Scavenger Hunt by Katrina Liu and Rosalia Destarisa
Learn everyday words with Mina and her dog as they unearth clues to find hidden treasures. If you enjoy this one, you might also want to check out Mina’s First Day of School.
This book will help your child pick up some common counting and measuring words while learning about Lunar New Year.
Bilingual Kids’ Book Available in Several Languages
The Kindergartener’s Handbook by Dayna Martin and A.R. Roumanis
This book will help teach letters, numbers, colours, shapes, time, seasons, weather, and more – 19 basic concepts in all – so that your child can be ready for first grade. Versions exist in Spanish, French, German, Japanese, and Mandarin.
Want even more suggestions for bilingual children’s books? Check out these posts!