Teaching Your Kids About Hispanic Culture with Picture Books

Teach About Hispanic Culture with Picture Books -- Huge Collection of Books and Unit Studies
Do you want to teach your kids about Hispanic culture? Not all of Latin America has the same customs. For example, a tortilla is made of flour in some countries whereas in other countries like Spain and Argentina, a tortilla is a potato omelette. Here in the United States we all know what tacos are, but in some countries in South America, tacos are not something you eat, but rather something you wear…high heel shoes! Just because Spanish-speaking countries all speak the same language doesn’t mean they share the same culture. One way to introduce your kids to different Hispanic cultures is through picture books and unit studies.  Here is a long list of books, unit studies, and lapbooks you can use to teach about the many Spanish-speaking cultures. All the unit studies and lapbooks can be found on Homeschool Share.



Gauchada-The story of a necklace made by a gaucho {Argentine cowboy} that is given to several people.  While this book may be out of print it is not to be missed!!  As of the time of this posting it can still be found cheaply on the used market. Here is the HSS unit.

On the Pampas-This is an excellent book to teach various aspects of Argentine culture on the pampas {Argentine grasslands}.  Kids will learn about mate, the rhea {South American ostrich}, and gauchos. There is a HSS unit available for this book.

The Magic Bean Tree: A Legend from Argentina-A legend from the pampas about a carob tree.


A Pen Pal for Max-This book tells the story of Max from Chile and what happens when he slips a note into a box of grapes that his family has grown headed for the United States.

Mia’s Story: A Sketchbook of Hopes & Dreams-A girl from a village in Chile searches for her lost puppy.

My Name is Gabriela/Me llamo Gabriela (Bilingual): The Life of Gabriela Mistral/la vida de Gabriela Mistral -The story of Gabriela Mistral, Nobel-prizing winning poet.

Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People-The life of another famous Chilean author


Up and Down the Andes-Highlights a Peruvian festival.  Cultural notes in the back of the book.

Tonight Is Carnaval-Another look at a festival. For more information and activities for this book, click here.

Moon Rope/Un lazo a la luna-An ancient Peruvian tale

The Llama’s Secret – A Peruvian Legend-A version of the Flood story

At Homeschool Share there is a lapbook available for Colombia!

Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia-the story of a traveling library.  A great time to teach the word “biblioteca” to your kids if they are learning Spanish.

Waiting for the Biblioburro-Another story about the same concept


Abuela’s Weave-The story of a grandmother and granddaughter.  This story highlights Mayan culture, weaving and the idea of taking goods to a market.



Hill Of Fire -A true story of how a volcano was formed in Mexico.

Cuckoo-A Mexican folktale

Under The Lemon Moon-A touching story of generosity.  With Spanish sprinkled throughout the story.

Diego-The story of the great Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera

Puerto Rico

There’s a Coqui in My Shoe-About the famous frog of the island

Juan Bobo: Four Folktales from Puerto Rico-Juan Bobo is a well-known character from Puerto Rico

The Coqui and The Iguana-This story takes place in La Paguera, one of Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays.


Roberto’s Trip to the Top-A boy takes a trip to the top of the mountain near his village


Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale


A lapbook for Spain is available here.

The Story of Ferdinand-A classic, not-to-be-missed story about a bull named Ferdinand.  You can teach about bull fighting without the gore of it.  Here is a lapbook to go along with the story.

Don Quixote and the Windmills-Every child that studies Spanish should at least know who Don Quixote is. The Misadventures of Don Quixote is another picture book that introduces the character of Don Quixote.


Books from Various Countries

A Picture Book of Simon Bolivar-The life story of the liberator of parts of South America.  Simon Bolivar is sometimes known as the “George Washington of South America”.  The country of Bolivia was named after him.
The Gold Coin-Lovely fable set in South America
The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred-A story of creating rice pudding, a typical Latin America dish.
Personajes del Mundo Hispanico-A series of books written in Spanish about several famous Hispanics {Gabriela Mistral, Miguel de Cervantes, Jose de San Martin, Simon Bolivar, Pablo Neruda}.

Other resources to teach about Spanish-speaking countries

Ecuador lapbook

Costa Rica lapbook

Debbie Palmer blogs about faith and homeschooling at The Architect and the Artist and about teaching Spanish at Debbie’s Spanish Learning.

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One thought on “Teaching Your Kids About Hispanic Culture with Picture Books”

  1. Thank you so much for the wonderful compilation of books! We are starting to study Spanish in the fall & will be touching on Spanish speaking countries as we do so. This will be SUCH a help!

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