I love books. I love the feel of a new book. I love the smell of a new book. Before I had kids, I used to tell my husband, “We will never say no when our kids ask for a new book.” Seven years into this parenting gig and so far, I’ve held up my end of that deal, which is a fancy way of saying we have a lot of books around our house.
Children’s books go through a life cycle of sorts. Starting with the Goodnight Moon board book that seemingly every pregnant mama brings home from a baby shower. To finding that just right series for your tween to help them retain that love of reading you worked so hard to cultivate on your lap for so many years. Both expected steps along the path. But constantly searching for Spanish children’s books? That’s a bit more difficult. Here are a few resources I’ve collected along the way to keep my promise and my kid’s book shelves fully stocked.
Remember when you were a kid and the Scholastic book fair came to school? All those books, so many choices, all shiny and new. Or when the teacher sent home the book order fliers? I would scour over those things, circling all the things I thought we should order, if only my mom would write that big check. Well, as a parent, I find it just as exciting. And even more so when my son brought home the flyer Club Leo, the Spanish book order. So many great choices at such great prices. If your child’s teacher doesn’t send home book orders, no worries. You can still order through Scholastic.com, where, if you use the keyword Spanish, you’ll come up with a long list of affordable options to keep your kid in Spanish texts.
While not as easy as Scholastic, thriftbooks.com also provides some affordable options to add to your Spanish book collection. I like this site because I can find some more unusual titles that my kid hasn’t likely seen before. Nothing is more disappointing when we go to the public library and my son says he’s “read them all before.” A few helpful hints when using thriftbooks.com. To find the right books, search the keyword “Spanish” at the top and from there select children’s books under genres. Lastly, make sure you uncheck the box next to “show out of stock items.” This will remove what’s not available, and leave you with an eclectic list of options.
Dos Tomatillos is a fun website featuring not only a wide variety of books, available by genre and age level, but also a subscription service that will bring two Spanish books a month to your door. Truth be told, I have not tried this site but I find the subscription idea very intriguing. I think we can all agree that finding authentic Spanish texts for our kids can be a lot of work. It’s not really a “Target Run and Done!” sort of thing. So, someone else is doing the hunting for books for me? Sure, why not! For free the first month and then $21.95 monthly thereafter, you are sent 2 Spanish books a month at your child’s reading level. Super easy. You can also order books individually without the subscription service, where there are a ton of choices. Books are not only separated by age group but also by genre. For the 5-8 years age group alone, there are 212 books to choose from! With the holiday season quickly approaching, this seems like a great gift option (Hint, hint Grandma…).
App Based Resources
Like many parents, I’m not crazy about my kids getting tons of screen time. But if it can be productive time spent learning and reading, I’m cool with it most of the time. It’s no secret there are tons of apps for just about everything. If you’re anything like me, though, you may tend to value a physical book more than a book in it’s digital form. At first, it didn’t seem as legit when my son did his reading through app based reading programs. But the more I explored, I realized just what a valuable resource this form of reading can be, especially for more reluctant readers. Our favorite reading app in our house is Epic! In this app, kids can choose from a variety of genres and reading levels, have books read to them, read along with the computer or all by themselves. Epic! also boasts a large selection of Spanish texts right there, at the ready. My son, while a very successful reader, is also a more reluctant reader. Yet, he’s all in when I tell him he can do his reading on the iPad. So this tends to be one of those times old mom just needs to go with the flow and do what works, even if those books don’t have actual pages to turn.
Good ol’ Amazon. I debated even stating the obvious Amazon here. I mean, it’s 2019, it feels like if you can’t find it on Amazon, you probably don’t need it. But sometimes Amazon can seem overwhelming. “Your search has produced 18 million results.” Finding an appropriate book for my kid in English is hard enough, let alone finding those titles that also come in Spanish. But once I searched a bit more and treated filters like a friend, I found there are tons of really great options for Spanish books at a variety of levels. You can filter books by language, reading level, type of book and more. When in doubt, add more filters. Click the “Prime Only” box and tada! In two days I can have tons of affordable reading choices ready to go. Seriously, what did we really do before Amazon?
Network in the Neighborhood
Lastly, never underestimate the power of asking. I have acquired so many books just by asking fellow parents of immersion students if they had any books to pass along. Chances are as you look for more books, others have some they are looking to get rid of. It seems those early reader books just multiple and with lots of practice, your kid won’t need those easy ones in no time at all and you’ll be ready to pass them along. Ask around to see if your school has a parent Facebook group and if not, start one yourself. We have both a school PTO page as well as a “moms” page where I have asked and received some great books. In these groups you can call upon the hive mind and work together to make the most of everyone’s resources. Beyond these groups, check out local thrift stores near your school. Chances are they have a few random books other parents in the area of donated. Stick your nose in every Little Free Library you walk past; you’d be surprised what you’ll find in these little sidewalk treasure troves.
With a keen eye and an open mind, you’d be surprised by all the different resources you’ll come across locating children’s Spanish books. Whether you’re like me and can never have too many books or you’re more of a less is more type reader, using these resources, you’ll no doubt have no trouble having more than enough books to occupy your little readers.