Supporting Beginning and Emergent Readers | Spanish Series Nonfiction

From exciting information about jobs and careers and fascinating facts about plant biology to leveled readers for young learners, this season’s Spanish and bilingual selections continue to offer versatility, accessibility, and value for collections of all sizes.


From exciting information about jobs and careers and fascinating facts about plant biology to leveled readers for young learners, this season’s Spanish and bilingual selections continue to offer versatility, accessibility, and value for collections of all sizes. Many topics are covered this season, with an emphasis on social-emotional learning, building strong narrative skills, and developing vocabulary in both English and Spanish. Hi-lo texts steal the spotlight this season, with a few blended fiction/nonfiction books that inspire friendship, teamwork, and social skills while also providing essential information on important topics. This season’s choices offer engaging and accessible titles that support the developing literacy needs of beginning readers.



Amstutz, Lisa. ¿Las plantas tienen bebés? ISBN 9781731652942.
––––. Animales que son arquitectos. ISBN 9781731652928.
––––. Hagamos una granja. ISBN 9781731652966.
––––. Insectos sedientos. ISBN 9781731652973.
––––. Las necesidades de los animales. ISBN 9781731652935.
––––. Plantas hambrientas. ISBN 9781731652959.
ea vol: tr. from by Alma Patricia Ramirez. 24p. (Mi Biblioteca de Ciencias Biológicas). Rourke/Discovery Library Jr. Sept. 2022. Tr. $28.50.
Gr 2-4 –This series includes basic information about life science, plant biology, animal science, and the ways in which plants and animals are interdependent in their respective ecosystems. Plant reproduction, farming, insects, and how animals and plants coexist for survival are covered in this series through quality photographs and simple captions of text. A limited number of words are included on each page, making this an excellent series for diverse readers who are interested in science topics. A photo glossary, new vocabulary words, and a post-reading activity at the end of each book will aid in comprehension while inspiring real-life connections to real-world science situations. VERDICT This accessible series is perfect for STEM classrooms and libraries.

Bender, Douglas. Doctor (Doctor). ISBN 9781427141439.
––––. Maestro (Teacher). ISBN 9781427141460.
––––. Repartidor (Delivery Person). ISBN 9781427141422.
ea vol: tr. from by Pablo de la Vega. 16p. (La gente que conozco). Crabtree/Crabtree Roots. Jul. 2022. Tr. $25.27.
K-Gr 2 –This bilingual series highlights three professions and identifies the basic duties, uniforms, and tools used by each. Delivery people, doctors, and teachers are profiled using color photographs and essential vocabulary, with short, simple sentences in both English and Spanish on each page. Plenty of white space around words allows for easy and accessible readers at all levels. Each volume includes a list of pre-reading comprehension assessment questions for educators and caregivers in both English and Spanish, bridging the classroom-to-home connection. A visual glossary with essential vocabulary and bilingual post-reading summaries are included in each book, helping readers to retain what they read. VERDICT This short but sweet bilingual series is a great addition to larger collections.

Culliford, Amy. Aburrido de ser un ave (Bored as a Bird). ISBN 9781039648463.
––––. Avergonzado de mi graznido (­Embarrassed by My Squawk). ISBN 9781039648432.
––––. Celoso de las plumas (Jealous of Feathers). ISBN 9781039648456.
––––. Feliz de ser tu amigo (Happy to Be Your Friend). ISBN 9781039648449.
––––. Miedo a dejar el suelo (Scared to Leave the Ground). ISBN 9781039648487.
––––. Solo sin una bandada (Lonely Without a Flock). ISBN 9781039648470.
ea vol: illus. by Amy Culliford. 16p. (Fénix y Ganso). Crabtree/Crabtree Blossoms. Sept. 2022. Tr. $24.67.
K-Gr 2 –Leveled books can help early and emergent readers develop narrative skills while also providing access to recreational reading opportunities. This fun and lighthearted series features six stories about the friendship between a phoenix and a goose and their many adventures. Translations are of high quality in this series, and each book features whimsical and colorful illustrations that bring the characters’ personalities to life. Writing prompts at the end of each book will inspire readers to connect their own experiences and ideas to what they read. VERDICT Gone are the days of waiting for high-quality leveled readers in Spanish, this series is ideal for public ­library collections.

Culliford, Amy. La cola (Tail). ISBN 9781039647893.
––––. La nariz (Nose). ISBN 9781039647923.
––––. Las orejas (Ears). ISBN 9781039647879.
––––. Las patas (Feet). ISBN 9781039647886.
––––. Los cuernos (Horns). ISBN 9781039647916.
––––. Los ojos (Eyes). ISBN 9781039647909.
ea vol: illus. by Amy Culliford. 16p. (¿Qué animal tiene estas partes? (What Animal Has These Parts?)). Crabtree/Crabtree Roots. Sept. 2022. Tr. $25.27.
PreS-Gr 1 –Readers will love guessing which animals have fluffy tails, tiny noses, big paws, and more in these books that highlight many different creatures and their unique characteristics. Each book identifies four or five animals and their ears, paws, tails, eyes, horns, and noses in a question-and-answer format. Each page includes full-color ­photographs that align perfectly with text and vocabulary. Each book includes pre-reading comprehension assessment questions, a visual glossary, and post-reading comprehension questions to ensure reading retention. VERDICT These books will inspire engagement between caregivers, educators, and readers in both one-on-one and group reading settings.

Friedman, Laurie. El guiso de la hoguera de la chef Kate (Chef Kate’s Campfire Stew). ISBN 9781039624771.
––––. La sorpresa de la hamburguesa y las papas fritas de la chef Kate (Chef Kate’s Burger-and-Fries Surprise). ISBN 9781039624764.
––––. Los macarrones y de la chef Kate (Chef Kate’s Mac-and-Say-Cheese). ISBN 9781039624788.
ea vol: tr. from by Santiago Ochoa. illus. by Gal Weizman. 32p. (La cocina de la chef Kate). Crabtree/Crabtree Blossoms. Aug. 2022. pap. $8.50.
K-Gr 2 –Chef Kate cooks up delicious recipes in this bilingual series that will inspire young readers to experiment with cooking. Although these books are lengthy, the short and simple sentences make them a good choice for readers who want to read longer books, but who may not be ready yet for chapter books. Readers will develop strong narrative skills thanks to these books, which follow Kate’s cooking process from start to finish. Racial diversity is featured in this series, with illustrated characters shown with a variety of skin tones. The text and illustrations coordinate well, and questions for pre- and post-reading comprehension are included. VERDICT This series helps to fill the gap in access to quality bilingual leveled readers for diverse readers and would be a great addition to public library collections.

Murray, Julie. Azulillo oriental. ISBN 9781098263300.
––––. Cardenal rojo. ISBN 9781098263317.
––––. Cenzontle norteño. ISBN 9781098263324.
––––. Codorniz de California. ISBN 9781098263294.
––––. Mirlo americano. ISBN 9781098263287.
––––. Turpial occidental. ISBN 9781098263331.
ea vol: tr. from by Maria Puchol. 24p. (Aves estatales). ABDO/ABDO Kids Junior. Sept. 2022. Tr. $31.36.
K-Gr 2 –This series features six common and recognizable state birds representing 24 states in the contiguous United States. The habitats, characteristics, and behaviors of American robins, California quails, Eastern bluebirds, Northern cardinals, Northern mockingbirds, and Western meadowlarks are introduced using short, simple words and phrases along with complementary color photographs. State birds covered in this series include the birds of Arkansas, ­Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, ­Kansas, ­Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, ­Wyoming, Illinois, Indiana, ­Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia, ­Missouri, New York, Wisconsin, ­Connecticut, and Michigan. Aligned with Common Core standards, this series includes maps of where each bird can be found, a visual glossary, and an index. VERDICT Readers will love learning about the birds they can find in their backyards thanks to this series that’s a great fit for school library collections.

Schuh, Mari. Mi vida con alergia alimentaria. ISBN 9781645494720.
––––. Mi vida con ansiedad. ISBN 9781645494690.
––––. Mi vida con asma. ISBN 9781645494706.
––––. Mi vida con parálisis cerebral. ISBN 9781645494713.
ea vol: illus. by Ana Sebastián. 24p. (Mi vida con...). Amicus/Amicus Illustrated. Jul. 2022. Tr. $34.25.
K-Gr 3 –This is a continuation of last season’s illustrated series about real children who live with and experience a variety of disabilities, neurodiversities. and conditions. Using colorful illustrations, these books give examples of how kids experience several kinds of disabilities and types of neurodiversity, including asthma, food allergies, anxiety, and cerebral palsy. Both challenges and opportunities for how each child encounters and manages their own disability are thoughtfully presented, with a short biography of each real child included at the end of the book, along with suggestions for how readers can respect children who experience each condition. The series is told in first person, giving power to each character’s voice and experience and evoking empathy and understanding on the part of the reader. Illustrations reflect racial diversity, translations are accurate, and the dyslexic-friendly font makes this series widely usable and accessible. VERDICT An essential series for virtually any collection.

As educators and school communities grapple with learning loss associated with the pandemic, the importance of social-emotional development remains paramount. This season’s series offer a spectrum of options that align with academic standards while also fostering a love of reading and learning about important social and emotional skills. The continuation of the series “Mi vida con / My Life With” (Amicus) elevates the visibility of children who experience disabilities in a thoughtful, responsive way while inspiring empathy and justice among readers.

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