Food, Cooking, & Culture: Spanish Children’s Books

Food, Cooking, & Culture: Spanish Children’s Books

Do your kids love helping in the kitchen?  Explore the world with your little ones through delicious food books!  These 20+ favorite Spanish children’s books will introduce your kids or students to food and cooking themes from many cultures.

Reading books is an excellent way to learn about other cultures.  And if your kids are like mine and love new books, these texts will invite exploration and conversation about people who live all over the globe. What’s more, they might even encourage you to try out a new recipe or restaurant together as you learn!

Many of these titles explore foods and customs around cooking and eating from various cultures around the world.  Others focus on a specific culture – many of them written by authors from Spanish-speaking countries. Books are organized by age recommendation from youngest to oldest.

I hope you can find some of them at your local library or local bookstores.  Please support any bookstores that you’d like – or find these in my Bookshop (Multicultural Food & Cooking Books in English & Spanish) or through the Amazon links provided.  Enjoy learning about other cultures through food – and I hope you’ll do a little language learning at the same time!

Happy reading,


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Spanish Picture Books

Proud to Be Latino: Food/Comida

Proud to Be Latino: Food/Comida

by Ashley Marie Mireles, illustrated by Edith Valle [Ages 3-5]

This bilingual board book teaches children how different Latino countries use similar ingredients to make unique regional dishes. Interesting facts about Latino food and culture are interwoven throughout.

Green Is a Chile Pepper

Green Is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors

by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by John Parra [Ages 3-5]

This bilingual book includes English with key Spanish vocabulary throughout (and a glossary). In it, you’ll read about Latino food while exploring colors, like “red is spices” and “yellow is masa.” We love the beautful illustrations and the rhyming text.

Todos a comer!  A Mexican Food Alphabet Book

¡Todos a Comer! A Mexican Food Alphabet Book (Bilingual English and Spanish Edition)

by Dr. Ma. Alma González Pérez, edited by Teresa Estrada [Ages 3-6]

This book was awarded the 2017 International Latino Book Award for Best Latino Focused Children’s Picture Book. It is a bilingual alphabet book that will help your child practice the alphabet while exploring various Mexican food ingredients and dishes!

El gusto del mercado mexicano / A Taste of the Mexican Market
Food, cooking, and culture: 20+ Spanish children's books

El gusto del mercado mexicano /A Taste of the Mexican Market

by Nancy Maria Grande Tabor [Ages 3-7]

A beautifully illustrated book taking readers through a Mexican market! In both English and Spanish, kids will love using this book to practice food vocabulary. Pair this one with a trip to a Mexican market near you or making a yummy new recipe.

What Can You Do with a Paleta?

What Can You Do With a Paleta? / ¿Qué puedes hacer con una paleta?

by Carmen Tafolla, illustrated by Magaly Morales [Ages 3-7]

In this sweet story, a young girl strolls through her Mexican barrio, coming up with ideas for what she can do with her juicy fruit popsicle. A simple but charming story for a hot summer day – or any day!

Vamos!  Let's Go Eat
Food, cooking, and culture: 20+ Spanish children's books

¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat

by Raúl the Third III [Ages 4-7]

All three of my kids loved this unique bilingual book about Little Lobo getting food for his friends at various food trucks. He picks up all of their favorite foods, like quesadillas with red peppers and Mexican-Korean tacos.

Food, cooking, and culture: 20+ Spanish children's books


by Jorge Argueta, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh [Ages 4-7]

If your kids enjoy poetry, I encourage you to read this bilingual book! This is a cooking poem about making salsa. Use it before making your own salsa together or trying your hand at a poem! You might also enjoy the other cooking poems in Jorge Argueta’s book series: Arroz con Leche, Tamalitos, and Guacamole.

Un regalo para Amma: Dia de mercado en India
Food, cooking, and culture: 20+ Spanish children's books

Un regalo para Amma / A Gift for Amma: Día de mercado en India / Market Day in India

by Meera Sriram, illustrated by Mariona Cabassa [Ages 4-8]

This is an absolutely beautiful story (with equally beautiful illustrations) about Market Day! A young girl visits the market in India, describing the rainbow of colors and the delicious traditional foods she discovers while searching for a special gift for her mother.

Paletero Man

Paletero Man

by Lucky Diaz, illustrated by Micah Player [Ages 4-8]

Available for preorder for June 1, 2021 We’ll have to check out this new book from Latin Grammy-winning musician Lucky Diaz! A young boy passes through his neighborhood on his way to find Paletero José for an icy paleta to cool off. But when he finally catches up to him, his pockets are empty. A book about community, generosity, and kindness.

Grandma's Chocolate / El chocolate de Abuelita

Grandma’s Chocolate / El chocolate de Abuelita

by Mara Price, illustrated by Lisa Fields, translated by Gabriela Baeza [Ages 4-8]

This bilingual picture book is about a grandmother and granddaughter who bond and learn together through stories of history and culture. Grandma always brings her yellow suitcase filled with treasures from her travels. This time, she shares the history and customs of the native peoples of Mexico. A perfect choice to share with grandparents.

Gracias, Omu!

¡Gracias, Omu!

by Oge Mora [Ages 4-8]

A beautiful story of sharing and community – and wonderful food! Neighbors and friends in this urban community can’t help but smell and want to drop by to see if Omu will share a taste of her delicious stew.

Growing Up with Tamales / Los tamales de Ana

Growing Up With Tamales / Los tamales de Ana

by Gwendolyn Zepeda, illustrated by April Ward, translated by Gabriela Baeza Ventura [Ages 4-8]

This multicultural book celebrates the family tradition of making Christmas tamales. Ana and her sister both take responsibility for helping make tamales, but Ana wants to grow up quickly and be as helpful as her sister. A sweet story about siblings and working together.

Gazpacho for Nacho

Gazpacho for Nacho

by Tracey C. Kyle, illustrated by Carolina Farías [Ages 5-9]

Nacho is a picky eater who only wants to eat the Spanish vegetable soup, gazpacho – for every meal! He never wants to try new foods, until he discovers delicious new vegetables at the market. This bilingual book (mostly English with a little Spanish) might help inspire your child to try new foods. At the end you’ll find a yummy recipe for gazpacho and a Spanish glossary.

Todo el mundo cocina arroz

Todo el mundo cocina arroz

by Norah Dooley, illustrated by Peter J. Thornton [Ages 5-9]

A beautiful story about a girl searching for her younger brother, who is late for dinner. She checks for him at each neighbor’s house, visiting families from many different countries, discovering they each cook a different rice dish for dinner. Multicultural rice recipes are included at the end.

Yum!  MmMm!  Que rico!
Food, cooking, and culture: 20+ Spanish children's books

Yum! ¡MmMm! ¡Qué Rico!: America’s Sproutings

by Pat Mora, illustrated by Rafael Lopez [Ages 6-9]

A gorgeous book of poetry celebrating the indigenous foods of the Americas. Perfect for reading before making your own dish together – with one of the mouth-watering foods inside – or just for fun. We’ve loved every single title we’ve read by author Pat Mora!

Mercados alrededor del mundo

Mercados alrededor del mundo

by Casey Null Petersen & Time For Kids [7+]

From Asia to Africa, people buy and sell goods all over the world! In this nonfiction reader, kids will learn what various types of foods and goods are sold in markets from all around the globe. A great pick to compare markets in many different countries.

Food, cooking, & culture: 20+ favorite Spanish books to share with kids

Aqui y alla

Aquí y Allá

by Greg Paprocki [Ages 7+]

This amazing Usborne book depicts the ways in which we are similar and different from people of different cultures across the world. In it you’ll find fun and informative looks at how people live in different countries. It includes the food-related chapters of buying groceries and healthy eating, as well as many more topics like playing outdoors, festivals, and getting around. A must-read pick!

Sarai y la feria alrededor del mundo

Saraí y La Feria Alrededor del Mundo (Saraí and the Around the World Fair), Volume 4: Spanish Edition

by Saraí Gonzalez and Monica Brown [Ages 7-10]

This is a heart-warming book for elementary students on valuing our own multicultural food traditions. Saraí and her friends are tired of the cafeteria food, and embark on a quest to create a new menu. Students set up booths to showcase their family’s specialties (like Peruvian chicken or Mexican tamales) for Around-the-World Day.

Todos a la mesa

¡Todos a la mesa! / It’s Meal Time! (Emociones, valores y hábitos)

by Victoria Lozada, illustrated by Ana Sanfelippo [Ages 8-12]

From Egypt to China or Spain, this book of stories explores food, meal time, and choosing to eat healthy across the world. Get your globe out as you meet new friends and discover delicious new foods.

Spanish Children’s Cookbooks

Let's Cook Spanish

Let’s Cook Spanish, A Family Cookbook: Vamos a Cocinar Español, Recetas Para Toda la Familia

by Gabriela Llamas [Ages 8-12]

This bilingual cookbook includes 30 classic, traditional recipes from Spain – from tapas to paella. It is an interactive cookbook and cultural guide for kids. I love that it includes notes on Spanish culture and suggested menus for cooking together as a family.

Ahora cocinas tu

Ahora cocinas tú

by Pierre-Olivier Lenormand, illustrated by Julie Mercier, translated by Victoria Porro Rodríguez [Ages 8-12]

A beautiful cookbook with 20 delicious recipes to make together with your child. If your child loves cooking with you, this would be a great step in learning to read and follow recipes independently. You can focus on Spanish vocabulary and learning at the same time!

Cocina para ninos

Cocina para niños: ¡Cocinar es divertido! Deliciosas recetas y fabulosos datos que te convertirán en un genio de la cocina

by Jenny Chandler [Ages 9-12]

This cookbook contains 50 recipes of both authentic homemade food and exotic dishes from around the world for the whole family to enjoy. You’ll love the step-by-step pictures, lessons, and instructions as you teach your child essential cooking skills with this book!

¡A comer!

What other Spanish food and cooking books would you recommend for kids who want to learn about diverse cultures?  Please let me know in the comments! I had a hard time finding Spanish texts. And I’d love to see or hear about your kids enjoying these books and cooking together – find Bilingual Balance on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Take a look at my post on English children’s books about food around the world as well as language learning ideas for family fun in the kitchen!

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