Book List: 5 Favorite Bilingual Poetry Books

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, 1 in 5 US residents speaks a foreign language at home with Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic growing the most. This statistic just goes to show that it doesn’t make sense to “other” people whose first language is not English. Today we’re highlighting five of our bilingual poetry books that focus on everything from the immigrant experience to the beauty of our Earth. 

family poems for every day of the week

Family Poems for Every Day of the Week/Poemas Familiares para cada día de la semana by Francisco X. Alarcón, illus. by Maya Christina Gonzalez

Partly based on the real life experiences of Francisco X. Alarcón’s own family, this festive, celebratory collection of poems highlights the daily life of children every day of the week while also honoring the experiences of the poet’s Latino family in the United States.

Purchase a copy of the book here.

water rolls water rises cover

Water Rolls, Water Rises/El agua rueda, el agua sube by Pat Mora, illus. by Meilo So

Here is a poetic ode to the beauty of the natural world as expressed by the movement and moods of water on Earth. With every evocative verse in English and Spanish, we visit one of fourteen different water landscapes and cultural areas around the world, each stunningly illustrated with a breathtaking view of a place of natural beauty and conveying a sense of the drama, joy, power, serenity, grandeur, or peacefulness of water.

Purchase a copy of the book here.

upside down boy cover

The Upside Down Boy/El niño de cabeza by Juan Felipe Herrera, illus. by Elizabeth Gómez

The Upside Down Boy is award-winning poet Juan Felipe Herrera’s engaging memoir of the year his migrant family settled down so that he could go to school for the first time.

Purchase a copy of the book here.

arrorro mi nino cover

Arrorró, mi niño: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games by Lulu Delacre

It’s time to go to bed, and what better way to lull your child to sleep than with a tender song or gentle game? In this beautiful collection of classic Latino lullabies and games, mothers and children happily embrace and treasure their traditions while sharing the universal joy of the special bond between parent and child.

Purchase a copy of the book here.

a movie in my pillow cover

A Movie in My Pillow/Una película en mi almohada by Jorge Argueta, illus. by Elizabeth Gómez

In his first collection of poems for children, poet Jorge Argueta evokes the wonder of his childhood in rural El Salvador, a touching relationship with a caring father, and his confusion and delight in his new urban home.

Purchase a copy of the book here.

Check out some of our other collections featuring our bilingual poetry books:

The  Cycle of the Seasons Poetry Collection

Juan Felipe Herrera Collection

Pat Mora Collection

6 thoughts on “Book List: 5 Favorite Bilingual Poetry Books”

  1. I continue to search for engaging chapter books for grades 2 to 4 readers, written by Latino authors with Latino characters. They are more often than not, on a Lexile level above 1100 and geared to really high readers (content). I would LOVE suggestions for my classroom of dual immersion (Spanish/English) classroom.

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