Kids books in Spanish about camping and the outdoors

Stack of kids books in Spanish against botanical fabrics.

A young kid preparing for their first camping trip might be excited to find out what’s involved, whether that’s setting up a tent, hiking, or observing nature. This collection of picture books and early readers in Spanish is meant for just that! And, if you are planning for iRead’s “Read Beyond the Beaten Path” in 2022, you’ll find the titles fit that too.

I focused on picture books that would be fun to read aloud and early readers with high kid-appeal. While some of these titles aren’t in print any more, you hopefully will be able to find all of them between your library and favorite used bookstore.

The books linked in this post are affiliate links with Bookshop.org. This means if you click through and make a purchase I’ll earn a commission to fund my book habit too 📚

Picture books

Ardilla Miedosa va de campamento by Mélanie Watts
Elementary schoolers will love figuring out Ardilla Miedosa’s zany plan for getting electricity to watch a TV show about camping and avoid camping themself. That plan can’t go wrong. Available in English as Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping.

Petra by Marianna Coppo
A short funny picture book about perspective and the desire to be grand. This story about a rock, who wants to be anything but, is largely set outdoors. (I’d pair this with a discussion about when it’s okay to take things from outside, like from your yard, and when it’s not, like in a park.) Available in English, also as Petra.

Blanca es la mora by George Shannon, illustrations by Laura Dronzek
A clever color book that shows that leaves, birds, fruit, and more can be different colors depending on how and when you look at them. Outdoorsy feel and available in English as White is for Blueberry.

¿Saben las princesas ir de acampada? by Carmela LaVigna Coyle, illustrations by Mike Gordon
Rhyming verse accompanies many iconic parts of family camping: packing, travel, setting up a tent, s’mores and more. The call and response pattern could be read aloud, or the loose illustrations of a white family on their trip could be the basis for a picture walk. Available in English as Do Princesses Make Happy Campers?

Early readers

¡Hagamos una pijamada! by Norm Feuti
Enrique is off to his first sleepover with Erizo and is feeling excited and nervous in this early reader graphic novel. Erizo is a sensitive friend who responds kindly to Enrique’s fears. Available in English as Let’s Have a Sleepover and features backyard camping.

¡Pedro se vuelve salvaje! by Fran Manushkin, illustrations by Tammie Lyon.
Pedro and his dad go on a hike in the woods, where it turns out Pedro knows a bit more about animals and hiking safety than his dad. Available in English as Pedro Goes Wild!

La sorpresa verde by Kirsten McDonald, illustrations by Erika Meza
This installment of the early reader series Carlos & Carmen tells the quiet story of a backyard campout. Available in English as The Green Surprise.

How to design t-shirts for your library

I’ve been rocking my Library of Things t-shirt since summer 2020.

The books linked in this post are affiliate links with Bookshop.org. This means if you click on the link and make a purchase I’ll earn a commission to fund my book habit too 📚

Since summer 2020 I’ve been creating library and bookish designs over at libraryoftees.threadless.com. The project started from a desire for comfy t-shirts to wear that weren’t black. (Why are summer reading t-shirts always printed on black? Or dark navy? Have the designers ever stood outside in the middle of summer?)

But honestly, the whole process of designing and printing t-shirts has been way more accessible than I expected. It’s simple enough that I think any interested library worker could do it.

Continue reading “How to design t-shirts for your library”

Where to buy summer reading prize books in Spanish

child turns pages of illustrated book
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Seeing kids pick out books to keep is my favorite part of library summer reading programs. Getting the prize books? A little more challenging! It can be tricky to find Spanish titles available in bulk and at a low cost. Here are the sources I’ve rounded up for low-cost, high-interest kids books in Spanish.

Scholastic


Both Scholastic warehouse sales and Scholastic Literacy Partnerships provide access to the oodles of popular paperbacks available from Scholastic. Recent #OwnVoices titles available in Spanish through Scholastic include the musical board book Hello, Friend / Hola, Amigo by 123 Andrés, Saraí y el significado de lo genial by Saraí Gonzalez, and Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan. This is one of the best sources for chapter books and graphic novels! Many books are around $3.

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Free printable visual schedule for virtual Spanish storytime

Photo of a women holding a clipboard with visual storytime schedule icons for hola, cuento, canción, rima, pañuelo, maraca, and adiós.
Holding a copy of the visual schedule for Spanish storytime.

I’m a fan of incorporating a visual schedule into storytime. As Renee Grassi wrote on the ALSC blog, visual schedules can be a great universal design practice that helps kids and adults engage with storytime.

The idea is to represent each activity in storytime with a symbol. This can help participants anticipate what’s next and provides another opportunity to practice recognizing that printed words are tied to meaning.

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Research update: more support for summer book giveaways

Photo of graphic novel being held open
Photo by Van Dos Santos from Pexels

I’m always excited to see new research that can guide library staff in how to design summer reading programs. Bell et al. (2019) have published a study that reinforces what library workers know; getting books into kids’ hands is important! Read on for a summary of this welcome addition to research establishing the impact of book giveaways.

Takeaways

  • We continue to gain evidence that summer book giveaways support kids’ reading abilities.
  • In this study, kids in the books-only condition picked 12 books of their choice and gained reading fluency over a summer.
  • These promising results should be followed up with studies using random assignment and a control condition and that explicitly consider race and racism.
  • Research in practice: libraries should prioritize getting books into the hands of kids at the start of the summer to support reading fluency.
Continue reading “Research update: more support for summer book giveaways”

Bilingual and Spanish board books for virtual storytime

Livestreaming, it’s possible to pull off a whole storytime made up of small-format books.

Board books are typically too small for storytime in person. But, online – where you can hold them close to the camera and give your arms the gift of a nice, lightweight book to hold – they’re a great option. Below, I recommend six books, WorldCat and publisher read-aloud policy links included.

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Five bilingual picture books for 2021 StoryWalk® programs

Post updated 12/17/20 after reviewing an ARC for We Laugh Alike, 1/26/21 to add

I collaborated on three StoryWalk® programs in 2020 and look forward to getting an earlier start (and sturdier signposts!) in 2021.

See my recommendations below for 2021 StoryWalk® books. All have bilingual Spanish/English text.

Cover of We Laugh Alike Juntos nos reímos by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand Illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez

We Laugh Alike / Juntos nos reímos by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand and illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez. April 13, 2021. 9781623540968.

Outdoors, play, and friendship. This #OwnVoices title celebrates making friends across languages and the joy of play, music, and dance. Rather than featuring all text in English and Spanish, Bernier-Grand has each group of kids express similar thoughts in their own language, offering extra richness for dual language speakers. (I reviewed a digital ARC for this title.)

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A children’s librarian’s guide to producing Spanish storytime videos

Updated 5/6/20 to include additional info about YouTube and playlist link.

As of writing I’ve been working from home for four weeks! There’s been a lot of discussion among library staff about how to effectively produce children’s storytime content for the web. Since I provide storytime content in Spanish, I’ve pulled together resources that allow that to be done more effectively.

Finding Spanish stories and songs without copyright concerns

While the American Library Association is supportive of fair use claims in this moment, many libraries, and their cities/lawyers/risk departments, are going to err on the side of caution. Greta Bergquist, Youth Services Consultant for the State Library of Oregon, encourages libraries to record rhymes and other content that you can leave up for the long term. Consider the following:

  • Record a public domain rhyme
    • Mamalisa.com endeavors to only accept songs outside copyright and has a page worth of Spanish content
  • Invent your own rhyme
  • Create a draw and tell story in Spanish
  • Share a storytime craft or activity that ties in with a book

Continue reading “A children’s librarian’s guide to producing Spanish storytime videos”

Annotated summer reading program research on participation, impact

As I confessed in my author blurb on the Oregon Library Association Children’s Services Division blog, I wrote four term papers on summer reading programs (SRP). During that time I amassed a hoard of research papers on summer reading! My dream is to help produce more, since 95% of public libraries offer summer reading, but there’s only been one true experimental study to my knowledge.

Here are the pieces I’ve found most useful in my literature reviews and papers on  participation in, and the effectiveness of, summer reading programs.

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Paper stars make for a relaxed family craft

Summer Reading 2019 is almost over, and before it ends, I want to share my favorite program of the summer: Paper Star Decor. The program drew a lively mix of 31 kids, young teens, and their family members.

Last winter I saw a video of how to make paper stars out of paper bags. I knew the craft could anchor a summer program, especially since we had the luck of celebrating “A Universe of Stories” for summer reading 2019. It fit right in with our space theme.

Craft Overview

I offered three crafts to keep the program interesting for the whole family. Giant paper bag stars were the statement craft. I also included origami stars, which are much quicker, and precut stars for younger kids to decorate.

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Tissue paper star, three origami stars, and one large paper bag star.

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