Montessori Bilingual Spanish-English Books

Montessori-friendly Bilingual Spanish-English Picture Books

“A seed

A tree

Free to be free”

– Maya Christina Gonzalez

We are chugging right along in sharing our homeschool resources for the Primary and Elementary years. If you’ve been with us awhile, you know that this past year we started being more intentional in our work with Spanish and bilingual resources. We’ve always had a few bilingual board books, but we really started exploring more Spanish language options last year. Since then, we’ve really enjoyed using our Song School Spanish CD, adding to our Montessori bilingual Spanish-English book collection, labeling our environment, and incorporating some printables alongside our other shelf work.

Before we take a look at these books, I’d like to briefly share some background information. We hope you find it useful as you make decisions about which resources are right for you.

What Are the Qualities of a Montessori Book?

  • Reality-Based Content (Ages 0-6) – Real-life images and situations; no fantasy-based content for young children who are still learning what is real in their environment.
  • Developmentally Appropriate – Content is suitable for that child and in that context
  • Beautiful – Stunning illustrations and captivating images are a common feature of Montessori-friendly books
  • Diverse and Inclusive – Variety of people and culture
  • Rich Language – Books that introduce rich language will expand a child’s vocabulary and their ability to express themselves

These qualities together are what make up a Montessori book or a Montessori-friendly book. Like so many other things inherent in Montessori education, it’s important to observe the child in order to make a determination on where they are at developmentally and what is appropriate for them.

Why Use Bilingual Books for Preschoolers and Young Kids?

  • Multicultural Education Experiences – Written and spoken language are an important component of Geography & Culture. Both in historical and present-day contexts.
  • Anti-Bias Education – Bilingual books provide examples of equality in children’s literature and elevate the perception of the other language.
  • Executive Function – Young children with exposure to bilingual education have better planning, prioritizing, and decision-making skills. They’re better at efficiently switching between tasks.
  • Math Concepts & Problem-Solving – Executive function and Math go hand-in-hand.
  • Communication – Bilingual children have better overall communication and literacy skills.

As you can see, Bilingual Education is definitely where it’s at. Now, onto some actual books.

All of the books below are excellent choices for Language, Anti-Bias Education, and Culture. As you read through the list, you will also find that we have included additional subject areas where they will be helpful.

Montessori Bilingual Spanish-English Books

Montessori-friendly Bilingual Spanish-English Board Books

Board Books

Global Babies by The Global Fund for Children

(Geography/Socio-Emotional Learning/Practical Life) This is hands-down the best baby book we have! Everyone enjoys reading it. The images are gorgeous and our kids are always discovering new details in the book they like to talk about including the clothing, accessories, expressions on the children’s faces, in addition to the vocabulary. I like that the book is one sentence with a lovely message stretched out over several pages. You can tell by the picture, this book is well-loved. I last shared this in our Montessori Family Books and it’s easy to see by the wear on the cover how much use it gets. Proceeds from the sale of this book go to The Global Fund for Children.

Feelings/Sentimientos by Chosen Spot Publishing

(Socio-Emotional Learning/Sensorial) A beautifully simple book that allows children to focus on just facial expressions while learning new vocabulary. Each page contains one word with the English translation on top and the Spanish on the bottom. Of course, the babies are adorable.

How Many Are There? by Agnese Baruzzi

(Math/Zoology) This is a great book about quantity. As you turn each page you’ll notice there’s a number on the left along with the English-Spanish word for the animal(s) on the following page. The illustrations are sweet and our kids enjoy counting how many of each. Just to clarify, the vocabulary covered in the book relates to animals, not numbers. However, it’s a great book to incorporate into early math work.

Colors/Colores {Similar} by Roger Priddy

(Sensorial/Practical Life) Another simple and beautiful book featuring a full page of a single color on the left along with the English-Spanish translation of that color. The opposite page is an example of a food of the same color with the English-Spanish translation of that food. I love these types of books because they’re not too overwhelming and the information is easily digested.

Montessori-friendly Bilingual Spanish-English Picture Books

Montessori Bilingual Spanish-English Picture Books

My Colors, My World by Maya Christina Gonzalez

(Sensorial/Practical Life/Geography/Nature/Science) This book is absolutely stunning and I’m so glad we have it in our homeschool library. The story follows a girl through her daily life in a desert landscape. It’s a brilliant, playful sensory experience filled with nature elements and lively illustrations. Also, I like that in each translation, the text of the color matches the color it represents. There’s also a bilingual color glossary in the back. This book is a must-have.

Rainbow Weaver by Linda Elovitz Marshall

(Geography/History/Cosmic Education/Practical Life/Ecology/Science) This is such a versatile book and it’s my personal favorite of the group. We plan to incorporate this into several different subject areas in our homeschool.

The story follows a girl named Ixchel as she learns the Mayan tradition of weaving fabric on backstrap looms, but with a modern and eco-friendly twist. The illustrations by Elisa Chavarri are delightful and I find that my oldest frequently picks this up off the shelf since adding it to our library. There is also a glossary and pronunciation guide in the front.

The book was inspired by the founders of Mayan Hands and it’s discussed in detail in the Author’s Note. A portion of the proceeds from this book will go to weavers of Mayan Hands and Maya Works cooperatives. This title pairs well with another Guatemalan weaving story we enjoy, Abuela’s Weave.

Call Me Tree by Maya Christina Gonzalez

(Peace/Nature/Botany) This is another wonderful selection by Maya Christina Gonzalez. She’s such a talented author and illustrator. It’s a very peaceful selection with a beautiful message, a lot of rhyming text, and vivid illustrations. It encourages young children to be free to grow into their own unique selves, just like trees.

Finding the Music by Jennifer Torres

(Music/Geography/History) In this story, Reyna accidentally breaks her abuelito’s vihuela and in her journey to get it repaired, she learns all about her abuelito and all of the people he touched with his music. This is an excellent read for teaching about the history and present-day existence of mariachi music. There’s even an Author’s Note in the back that talks about mariachi music as a living and evolving art form known as the “musical voice of the people.” This book is an excellent addition to our World Music Nomenclature Cards for our Continent Studies.

All the Colors We Are by Katie Kissinger

(Sensorial/Practical Life/Geography/Science/Art/Nature) This book is a great bilingual book for talking about skin color and a scientific explanation that children can understand. There are even suggested activities in the back of the book to continue the fun and learning, including acting out the sun’s chemical reaction with melanin. Here’s an example of how we use it in our Montessori Third Great Lesson Materials and Follow-Up for Primary & Elementary.

Leo Loves Baby Time by Anna McQuinn

(Practical Life/Music/Circle Time) We have several in the Leo and Lola series. This one is great for babies & up and it talks about Leo’s experience in Circle Time activities. I was unable to find the bilingual version of this book in stock right now (Spanish and English are in stock), so you can check them out in the meantime.

Montessori-friendly Bilingual Spanish-English Rhymes, Songs, Stories, and Fingerplays

Montessori Bilingual Spanish-English Curriculum Resource

The Bilingual Book of Rhymes, Songs, Stories, and Fingerplays by Pam Schiller and Rafael Lara-Alecio

(Music/Poetry/Classics/Storytelling/Theatre) This curriculum resource is awesome! In fact, it’s so awesome that it’s one of our Montessori Minimalist Homeschool Must-Haves. It’s a very thick book and it’s mostly text. There are some occasional simple sketches but definitely not on every page. It’s a great Primary curriculum resource for parents or educators of preschool-aged children and it becomes even more valuable as children grow and begin to read. Children who are reading will enjoy exploring this book independently.

This book contains reality-based and some fantasy-based content so, again, keep that in mind for your child’s age and developmental readiness. As a result, Circle Time or Morning Basket picks may be different than what an Elementary-aged child is reading from this book. With over 450 selections, you’ll never run out of music, poetry, or fingerplays to enjoy.

Some of the content is translated from English and some is translated from Spanish. Therefore, you have a lot of variety to choose from. Also, the book is organized by theme, such as Home & Family, Seasons, Food, Weather, Animals, etc. As a result, it can be incorporated into a variety of Practical Life activities, shelf work, and Unit Studies.

Bilingual Spanish-English Readers

Montessori Bilingual Spanish-English Readers

Spanish for Kids First Readers

(Sensorial/Practical Life) Definitely for ages 6 & up or a child with a strong understanding of reality vs. fantasy. For example, fantasy elements such as talking and dancing animals are included in these readers. They use the Spot Color Immersion Method, which correlates the color of a vocabulary word with the color of that item in the illustration. The readers explore topics such as family, colors, numbers, shapes, clothing, etc., and they include a lot of repetition.

The English translation is on the inside back cover of each book. To be honest, it didn’t seem ideal to have the English on the inside back cover. However, since each mini book is so short (16 pages) and there’s not a lot of text, it’s not a big deal to look at the back. Also, online audio is available and we plan to explore that as well.

In Summary

I hope you find this list of Montessori bilingual Spanish-English books useful as you plan for an exciting year ahead. We are really enjoying them and all that they add to our homeschool experiences. You can check out the collection of Montessori Bilingual Spanish-English Books at Happy Homeschool Adventures on Bookshop.org.

Additional Montessori Bilingual Spanish-English Resources

Other Planning & Curriculum Resources

Thanks for stopping by!

– Kristin

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Check out our Montessori Bilingual Spanish-English Books to see how we support linguistic and cultural diversity in our homeschool. #montessori #homeschool #montessoribilingualspanish #montessorilanguage #montessoribilingualbooks

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. Amazon links are not affiliate links. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.