Best Bilingual Children's Books: Spanish English

We all know how important it is to read to your baby early and often. In fact, it is one of the most important developmental experiences for infants and toddlers, teaching them sounds, language, cause and effect, object-word associations, articulation, counting, colors, emotions, social cues, friendship, and so much more! For bilingual babies and toddlers, you will want to start exposing your child to both languages as early as possible, and help them develop links across the two languages.  

Science consistently demonstrates something called the bilingual advantage - that bilingual children and adults show higher learning and cognitive abilities relative to monolingual peers. We consulted with three native Spanish-speaking parents from bilingual households to develop this list of the best Spanish-English children's and baby books of the year. Some of the books are old classics that are available in Spanish, whereas some of the best ones are newer bilingual options that describe objects, emotions, and events in both English and Spanish.

Whether you are a bilingual household, or simply want to give your baby the gift of early foreign language exposure, these bilingual baby books are awesome! The below list is generally ordered with better books at top, but they're all amazing options. We've done our best to make sure that when translated to Spanish (and in some cases to English) that the story maintains integrity and the words still rhyme - a bigger ask than you might expect!

Be sure to check out our other list of the best baby books of the year! Have recommendations for additional English-Spanish baby book options? Send us a message on Facebook!

Here are the Best Bilingual Baby and Toddler Books of 2020!

best bilingual baby books english spanish the very hungry caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (La Oruga Muy Hambrienta)

By Eric Carle

At the top of our list of the best bilingual baby books of the year is the best-selling Very Hungry Caterpillar, with side-by-side English and Spanish writing! Join the oruga (caterpillar) on its journey to satiety and eventually a tummy ache!

best bilingual baby books english spanish little chickies

Little Chickies (Los Pollitos)

By Susie Jaramillo

Little Chickies is the story of mama's love and care for two little chickies just entering the world. We absolutely love lift-the-flap baby books, and this one does a masterful job of rhyming in both Spanish and English, without changing the meaning.

best bilingual baby books english spanish goodnight moon

Goodnight Moon (Buenas Noches Luna)

By Margaret Wise Brown

Goodnight moon, goodnight cow jumping over the moon! This classic baby book has bright primary colors, a mesmerizing story, and a Spanish translation that actually rhymes!

best bilingual baby books english spanish are you my mother

Are You My Mother? (Eres Tu Mi Mama?)

By P.D. Eastman

It doesn't get much better than Dr. Seuss and P.D. Eastman books, with their bright colors, clever rhymes, and captivating stories. In this original, a baby bird goes on a long and successful journey to find its mother.

best bilingual baby books english spanish big dog little dog

Big Dog Little Dog (Perro Grande Perro Pequeno)

By P.D. Eastman

Recognizing and understanding differences in our world is an important developmental experience, and this dog nicely highlights how the world is full of perceptible differences that can be celebrated and enjoyed - in both English and Spanish!

best bilingual baby books english spanish little elephants

Little Elephants (Elefantitos)

By Susie Jaramillo

Little Elephants is an amazing lift-the-flaps book that is a great first counting book, taking you through a rhyming adventure with little elephants trying to balance on the web of a spider until... oops! The web broke!

best bilingual baby books english spanish cat in the hat

Cat in the Hat (El Gato Ensombrerado)

By Dr. Seuss

Rhyme is one of the most impressive aspects of Dr. Seuss books, in conjunction with the vivid drawings and awesome stories. This Spanish translation Cat in the Hat not only retains the visual imagery and story, but the authors figured out how to make the Spanish text rhyme in a very impressive way!

best bilingual baby books english spanish three little pigs

The Three Little Pigs (Los Tres Cerditos)

By Patricia Seibert

In this classic tale, the three little pigs test how sturdy their brick, straw, and wooden houses are when the big bad wolf comes to town! The Spanish translation and accompanying text are very well-done, and your baby will be rooting for those cerditos in no time at all!

best bilingual baby books english spanish the birthday book

The Birthday Book (Las Mananitas)

By Susie Jaramillo

This is the perfect book for a first or second birthday! This lift-the-flap book helps you understand what birthday are all about, from waking up and feeling like a king, to the party where everyone will sing! Great illustrations and translation make this a great first birthday book! For some other great birthday gift ideas, check out our list of the best gifts for one-year old boys and girls!

best bilingual baby books english spanish heads shoulders knees and toes

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (Cabeza, Hombros, Piernas, and Pies)

By Annie Kubler

This classic illustrated first lesson in anatomy is beautifully written with bright illustrations that are easy to understand and follow along with. Join your child on their first exploration of what makes their bodies uniquely theirs!

best bilingual baby books english spanish all the colors

All the Colors (De Colores)

By Susie Jaramillo

A first introduction to all the colors surrounding us, in natural landscapes, animals, rainbows, and more. This lift-the-flap book from Canticos is part of an Emmy-nominated series of amazing bilingual nursery rhyme books that your child will absolutely love!

best bilingual baby books english spanish brown bear brown bear what do you see

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See? (Oso pardo, oso pardo, ¿qué ves ahí?)

By Eric Carle

We love Eric Carle and the stories and rhymes he brings to life across all of his books. Primary colors and abstracted illustrations of adorable animals and landscapes make this a fun and engaging read, in both English and Spanish!

best bilingual baby books english spanish the little red hen

The Little Red Hen (La Gallinita Roja)

By Carol Ottolenghi

The Little Red Hen is dedicated to making the perfect loaf of bread to feed her somewhat lazy friends, in this beautifully illustrated, classic story about friendship, helping others, and working hard! Best for preschool and up.

best bilingual baby books english spanish curious george

Curious George Stories (Jorge el Curioso)

By Margret and H. A. Rey

Who doesn't love the innocent curiosity, trouble-making, and "beautiful oopsies" of curious George!? This Spanish-English edition combines eight popular Curious George stories into a great treasure chest of stories!

best bilingual baby books english spanish i like it when

I Like it When (Me Gusta Cuando)

By Mary Murphy

I like it when you let me help, and when you give me giant hugs. This beautifully illustrated bilingual book shows the true love between caregivers and their children, and the little things that make children feel special and independent.

best bilingual baby books english spanish counting with frida

Counting with Frida (Contando Con Frida)

By Rodriguez & Stein

Frida was a well-known Mexican painter who composed many portraits, self-portraits, and other works related to the artifacts of Mexico and its beautiful landscapes. Follow Frida along through a counting journey, counting her dresses, flowers on her head, and fruits on the table.

best bilingual baby books english spanish polar bear what do you hear

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? (Oso polar, oso polar, ¿qué es ese ruido?)

By Martin Jr & Carle

In this popular series of books, Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr invite children to listen and watch as animals bray and trumpet in the zoo, all while the other animals listen in. The bright and abstract illustrations are engaging, as are both the English and Spanish rhymes.

best bilingual baby books english spanish polar bear what do you hear

Canticos Letters A to Z (Letras A a la Z)

Susie Jaramillo

Canticos makes some of the best bilingual English-Spanish children's books on the market, and this is no exception! Each page of this book introduces baby to a new letter of the alphabet, along with vivid illustrations of objects in English (B is for Balloon) and Spanish (B is for De Barco). A great first letters book for the budding bilingual baby! Also check out Cantico's First Numbers 1 to 100, and First 100 Words, both awesome bilingual books!

best bilingual baby books english spanish the gingerbread man

The Gingerbread Man (El Hombre de Pan de Jengibre)

Catherine McCafferty

Is it bad that this book makes our mouth water!? The Gingerbread Man is a classic keepsake story about a gingerbread cookie that escapes from grandma's oven and outruns all the animals that try to catch up (you can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!). This Spanish adaptation is well-done and tons of fun, great for preschool age.

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