As they begin reading, children form perceptions about the world around them. Some are fortunate enough to see themselves in books. But for Latinx children, that is not the case. According to the Comparative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, only 5 percent of children’s books published in 2018 featured a Latinx character. The list below is a treasure for children to explore.
1) Gary Soto has been writing children’s books for decades. It’s difficult to find a favorite, but Too Many Tamales is a must read.
2) Pat Mora is as prolific as she is gifted. She writes to children without talking down to them, and that is part of the secret to her tremendous success.
3) Pam Muñoz Ryan knows how to tell a story, and Esperanza Rising is a book that children and young adults will remember until old age.
4) Alma Flor Ada is one of the most underrated children’s book authors. Her work is nothing but the highest quality.
5) Benjamin Alire Saenz continues to impress with every book he publishes. Although lately he has moved to more YA material, his younger children’s books are stellar.
6) In Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music, Margarita Engle has provided one of the most lyrical children’s books ever written. No wonder it has been decorated with awards.
7) Diane De Anda continues to be a favorite. Her appeal can be summed up in one sentence: she knows children very well.
8) Matt de la Peña has been delivering hit after hit for years now. We wouldn’t be surprised if he moves up a few spots sooner rather than later.
9) Rene Colato Lainez has reached celebrity status and with reason. His children’s books have tremendous appeal to all.
10) Monica Brown is not a newcomer to children’s books. In fact, she has a great resume that includes many awards for her writing.