Colombian Books for Kids: The Best Books about Colombia, in English, Spanish, and bilingual editions
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Colombian Spanish Edition:
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
English/Spanish bilingual book:
Here Monica Brown writes a great Gabriel García Márquez children’s book, telling to young readers the story of this author’s life.
For those who prefer Gabriel García Márquez Spanish books, this version of the Colombian children’s book is also excellent.
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.
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.
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:
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.
English/Spanish bilingual picture book:
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!