Colombian Books for Kids: 9 Delightful English, Spanish, Bilingual Colombian Picture Books

Colombian Books for Kids: The Best Books about Colombia, in English, Spanish, and bilingual editions

Disclaimer: This page of Colombian Spanish books for kids and Colombian bilingual books for kids contains affiliate links which may generate me income, at no cost to you. 

Books about Colombia - Colombian Books for Kids - Great Picture books about Colombia in English, Spanish, and bilingual editions - Colombian spanish book

Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia, by Jeanette Winter

The story of Luis Soriano, a schoolteacher who decided to pack up his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, to bring books to children in the remote villages in his Colombia. This Colombian picture book brings a joy of reading to children.

 

Colombian Spanish Edition:

Biblioburro: Una historia real de Colombia

Readers say this Spanish version is different than the English version in one part, and that Luis gets held up by gunpoint in the middle of the story. The English version does not include that incident, instead having Luis stop and talk to a young girl from a village, who is very interested in books.

 

 

 

 

 

Spanish-only Edition:

La Vaca Estela y Su Viaje a Bogota, by Alex Greene and Silvia Rodriguez

 

The cow Estela lives on a farm in the outskirts of Bogota. She gets to go on an adventure into the big city. What will happen next?

 

 

 

 

 

English/Spanish bilingual book:       (English-only version here)

Waiting for the Biblioburro/Esperando el Biblioburro, by Monica Brown, illustrated by John Parra, translated by Adriana Dominguez

This book also tells the Luis Soriano story but from the opposite perspective. A little girl, Ana, loves to read but doesn’t have many books. Then, to her surprise, two burros arrive bringing carts of books. She meets Alfa and Beto (or Alpha and Beto), and librarian Luis, and discovers the joy of the travelling library. The English translation in this bilingual book introduces a nice beginner’s Spanish vocabulary for things like burro and biblioteca.

 

 

 

 

 

 

English/Spanish bilingual book:

My Name is Gabito / Me llamo Gabito: The Life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, by Monica Brown 

Born in Aracataca, Colombia, Gabriel Garcia Marquez lived in the imagination of the mind. Books of Gabriel Garcia Marquez include Love in the Time of Cholera, Hundred Years of Solitude, and Chronicles of a Death Foretold. Those are Gabriel García Márquez famous books, for which he won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Here Monica Brown writes a great Gabriel García Márquez children’s book, telling to young readers the story of this author’s life.

 

 

 

 

 

Spanish-only Edition:

Conoce a Gabriel García Márquez, por Monica Brown, ilustrado por Raul Colon

 

 

For those who prefer Gabriel García Márquez Spanish books, this version of the Colombian children’s book is also excellent.

 

 

 

Spanish-only Edition:

El sancocho del sabado, by Leyla Torres

Maria Lili’s family tradition of making chicken sancocho is interrupted when all that is in stock is eggs. The family must go to get the ingredients for sancocho, allowing the readers to see how the ingredients are procured, what is going on in the town, and giving practice with numbers. This book is in Spanish only. To finish out the book, there is a recipe for Sancocho.

 

 

 

 

 

English-only Edition:

Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutiérrez and the Library He Built, by Angela Burke Kunkel, illustrated by Paola Escobar

From one librarian to another, here is the story of a trash collector named Jose who looked for buried treasure in what was thrown out. As he did trash pick-up, he would take books out of the trash, and put them in his own library. He opened up a library for the children of the barrio of Bogata in which he lived (la Gloria Nueva), a librarian built from the trash he collected.

The story also shows the viewpoint of a little Jose, a boy from the neighborhood who longs for Saturdays and becomes enriched by the neighborhood library and a love for reading.

 

 

 

 

Spanish-only Edition:

Rescatando palabras: José Alberto Gutiérrez y la biblioteca que creó, por Angela Burke Kunkel, ilustrado por Paola Escobar

Rescatando palabras is a great Colombian book for kids, if you want to add more Spanish books about Colombia into your reading. Visit La Nueva Gloria and the two Joses through this edition of the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colombian books that are English beginner chapter books, which include some Spanish vocabulary in the story:

Juana & Lucas, written and illustated by Juana Medina

Designed to be a story about her childhood in Bogota, Colombia, the children’s book Juana & Lucas tells the story about a girl named Juana and her best friend, a dog named Lucas. The illustrations feel very much like Quentin Blake (the illustrator of Roald Dahl books, and more), a sketch-like quality that fits in well with the story. We watch as Juana goes to school, as Juana goes on adventures, and it captures her everyday life as a young child in Bogota.

The illustrations take you all over town, including to the ciclovia, and are filled with Spanish sharing words in the overall English text. It is 96 pages, an independent reading book for 2nd to 3rd graders, or a great family read-aloud to kindergarteners studying the world.

 

 

 

Juana and Lucas: Big Problemas, written and illustrated by Juana Medina

Juana enjoys her life in Bogota, Colombia with her mami and her perro, Lucas. But changes happen in the household when mami gets a friend named Luis. This ultimately leads to the announcement of a wedding between mami and Luis, and how will that affect things for Juana and her family of three? This book about Colombia is perfect for kids ages 5 to 8, or kindergarten to 3rd grade. The illustrations by Juana Medina also make this children’s book great.

 

 

 

 

 

English/Spanish bilingual picture book:

The Adventures of Pili in Colombia. Dual Language Books for Children, by Kike Calvo

This book about Colombia is in English and Spanish, and tells an environmental story about deforestation and extinction. Pili is a young girl who goes in search of the colibri, picaflor, hummingbird, to find out why it is disappearing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That concludes our list of Colombian books for kids. If you want to read more bilingual children’s books, more countries will be coming soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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