In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I’ve made a list of five books that not only celebrate the cultural heritage of our Latino community but also highlight Latinx and Hispanic artists. And although these are “childrens” books, they are for everyone to read and enjoy. So, if you’re looking for books that will help connect you or your students to their Latinx roots and reading, check out the below list of award-winning books about Latino artists written and illustrated by Latino authors and illustrators.
Now, many of us know about Latinx artists like…
Bad Bunny – Puerto Rican rapper – Learn more here!
Shakira – Colombian singer who performed at the 2020 Super Bowl with JLo!
Pedro Pascal – Chilean actor and mega movie star. Learn more here!
Selena Gomez- Mexican American singer and actor – Learn more here!
Sandra Cisneros – Mexican American Award-winning author – Learn more here!
But what about the other Latino/Hispanic artists who have enriched the world by their art and brilliance? Do you know about Celia Cruz? Graciela Iturbide? Diego Rivera? Gabriel Garcia Marquez?
If you don’t know the above mentioned artist, keep reading! Below are five books that should be in your classroom or on your bookshelf at home. Not only do these libros tell the story of some truly inspiring artists, but the illustrations are spectacular!
My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz
by Monica Brown (author) | Illustrated by Rafael Lopez
Book description: Celia Cruz (Queen of Salsa) popularized salsa music in the United States. This book tells the whole story about a young woman from Cuba who rose to fame in Cuba and later conquered the United States. !Azucar! Share this book with your students who love Salsa music and dancing! 🙂
My Name is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez
by Monica Brown (author) | Illustrated by Raul Colón
Book description: A Pura Belpré Honor Book that tells the story of young Gabriel García Márquez and provides children with an introduction to magical realism by showing how young Gabriel’s surroundings and imagination merged in fantastic ways, fostering his creativity and building the foundation for the legendary characters and stories he would later create.
If you loved Encanto and all of the amazing magical realism of that story then you should have Gabito on your bookshelf. 🙂
Diego Rivera: His World and Ours
Written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh
Book description: Everyone knows about Diego Rivera’s iconic artist wife, Frida Kahlo, but how much do you know about Diego? Diego Rivera believed that art should be seen and enjoyed by all people. Through his murals, Diego told powerful stories about the struggles of the workers, and he emphasized the history and diverse peoples of Mexico. This is a wonderful book to display on your shelf for Hispanic Heritage Month.
When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana
by Michael Mahon | Illustrated by José Ramirez
Book description: Winner of a Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor and a Robert F. Sibert Honor! Celebrate music icon Carlos Santana in this vibrant, rhythmic picture book. Share this book with a child or student who loves to play a musical instrument!
Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide
by Isabel Quintero (Author), Zeke Peña (Illustrator)
Book description: The amazing story of world-renowned Mexican photographer, Graciela Itubide, whose extraordinary works can be found in prestigious museums all around the world. Pass this book along to your student who loves to take photos or has a love for Mexican art.
By Duncan Tonatiuh (author and illustrator)
Book description: Award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the story of Amalia Hernandez, dancer and founder of El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. This book is a celebration of Mexican heritage, culture, and dance that will inspire young readers and parents. Share this book with your young students who love Mexican culture and with those who dream of being artists but aren’t sure if they can achieve it. 🙂