Looking for baby books (board books) in Spanish
October 28, 2016 12:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for baby books in Spanish that meet the following criteria: 1. Board book 2. Written in Spanish (i.e. not a translation). 3. In Spanish, only (not bilingual) 4. Not somehow about the fact that they are in Spanish.

To expand on some of these:

2. Written in Spanish -- I don't want translations of English or other books, I don't want characters from English TV shows etc. and I'm not looking for tellings of classic tales in spanish (i.e. fairy tales or Aesop's fables, etc.). Spanish nursery rhymes (i.e. those that were in Spanish all along, not translations e.g. Los Pollitos Dicen, Tengo una Muneca, ) are fine.

4. Some books I find seem to be exist for the purpose of teaching Spanish or teaching about different spanish-speaking cultures, etc. That's not what I'm looking for. I mean obviously all baby books are about teaching language, since babies don't speak any language yet, but not I'm not interested in books that are intended to teach a few words in Spanish to English-speaking kids. It shouldn't be any more about teaching Spanish than Goodnight Moon or the Hungry Caterpillar are about teaching English. Similarly, many books on Amazon are kind of self-consciously attempting to be about Spanish speaking, especially Mexican culture (e.g. featuring Mexican foods or traditions heavily, I saw one about having family members who are undocumented in the US (ok, that one was for slightly older kids, I think).

Surely someone out there who happens to be a Spanish-speaking person is writing books for babies who happen to live in Spanish-speaking families.

Books available through Amazon.ca or Indigo are preferred, but I'm mostly looking for recommendations and I'm willing to worry about the sourcing myself.

p.s. Also welcome are recommendations to bookstores in Toronto that carry such books. I went to Toronto Spanish Books on Bathurst today and everything they had was either bilingual or a translation.
posted by If only I had a penguin... to Shopping (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Well, BLF Jr. loved Las Formas. At 3yo, he has a pretty good grasp on English and Spanish as separate languages, but he still walks up to people and says "You're saying it wrong. It's not rhombus, it's rhombo." It was colorful, with lots of texture and holographic foil and what have you. We have five or ten other Spanish board books that meet your criteria, but that comes from me hitting up thrift stores in California.

People in Spanish-speaking countries are writing those books, and I can find you dozens of 'em on amazon.es or amazon.com.mx. No how idea how to source 'em in Canada, though; best of luck.
posted by BrunoLatourFanclub at 12:28 PM on October 28, 2016

Well, of course there's thousands of books written in Spanish for Spanish speaking children which aren't about Spanish per se.

Some links, not sure how to source them in Canada:

posted by signal at 1:05 PM on October 28, 2016

I have similar criteria, and I've not had much luck getting Spanish books of any type. My best sources have been from amazon.es, as even amazon.com (I'm in the U.S.) doesn't seem to have much. Amazon.mx has many listings but they seem to be out of stock and there are few reviews, so I've never bought anything there. My current plan is to buy the next five years of books on a trip to Mexico.
posted by wnissen at 4:22 PM on October 28, 2016


Girol sells Spanish and Portuguese, and is based in Ottawa. They seem to have what you are looking for! And they sell to the general public.


Latin American Book Source will work with individuals and has a wide variety. Lectorum sells to the public too, and has really good customer experience in my experience. You can get books in different dialects of Spanish at both-- Mexican Spanish, Colombian Spanish, El Salvadorean Spanish, etc., which makes a big difference for some people. Lectorum will track down books for you if you don't see them on the website; they are actually a connection to book publishing in other countries for US buyers, not just a vendor for translated English works.

Multicultural Book and Video is kind of awesome in that for a flat fee, you can tell them what you want and what language, and they'll find a selection of books for you. This is geared towards libraries (hooray, you get free catalog records!) but they do sell to the public. A batch of 25 or so books in the language you choose is like $600, more or less (depends on what you're looking for.) It is very convenient, but likely more than you want to spend. Also great customer service, very friendly.

Scholastic has great customer service, but poor quality. They do books for babies/little kids, but not board books as far as I know, it's all those terrible, cheap paperbacks like you'd buy for a dollar at the Book Fair. That is how they make their money: very very cheap printing, in high volume. But they do offer some great titles. You need not be affiliated with a school to buy from Scholastic, but you do miss out on the various promos and points programs for teachers. If you know a teacher, and you want to buy from Scholastic, it is worth it to work together so that you both benefit.

Powell's offers board books in Spanish, many of which are bilingual, but many of which are not. Could not speak to them other than as a company for this purpose, though I've been happy with purchases from Powell's in the past.

Spanish Publishers has some picture books, but I don't see board books. It looks like you can shop by phone or email and they will help you out. I have not worked with them, either.

I am really hoping that these sites sell to Canada...for what it's worth, sometimes it is possible to order from Amazon.othercountry but you have to warn your bank first and shipping is expensive and slow (I have regularly bought from Amazon.co.uk as a US American; maybe it is different in Canada or with different countries' Amazons. Can't hurt to try.)

If you call and ask, many independent bookstores, even English-language bookstores, will be able to act as a "personal shopper" for you, though this service is usually very expensive. You could ask your local librarians where to buy books for your kid, if they have board books in Spanish, and you could browse their books for ISBNs to track down on your own. It looks like the Toronto system does have children's books in Spanish, so it's probably someone's job to order them and they might be able to help you out with title lists, ways to search, etc.
posted by blnkfrnk at 6:05 PM on October 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh, and looks like The Spanish Center in Toronto has a bookstore with children's books. It looks like they might be able to help you out if you explain what you're looking for-- it does not explicitly say that they special order, but I would be that they can.
posted by blnkfrnk at 6:08 PM on October 28, 2016

Have you checked your library? At least here in Seattle, the language offerings for kids' books are tremendous and Spanish is the most represented language. The central library has the best selection, but one can easily order soemthing to come to the local branch. And possibly more to your point, the central library has a Spanish language librarian.
posted by k8t at 8:35 PM on October 28, 2016

Yes, I was also coming in to suggest checking your library. My library (in a multicultural suburb of Washington DC) has board book carousels in the children's section, and one entire carousel is dedicated to board books in Spanish. Some are translations (Clifford in Spanish! Elmo in Spanish!) but many are not.
posted by instamatic at 4:52 AM on October 29, 2016

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