Over the past 20 years, there has been an increase in the number of children’s bilingual and Spanish-language books that are available for sale in the U.S. The gain has been due to an increase in the number of Spanish-language books imported, coupled with a surge in the number of Latino/Latina writers who live in the U.S. and publish in Spanish. Still, many award-winning Spanish-language authors—whether they live in the U.S., Latin America, or Spain—are not well known by American book buyers, though they should be. We have compiled a list of some of the outstanding authors and illustrators whose books U.S. buyers should be on the lookout for.
Latino/Latina Voices from the U.S. and Puerto Rico
Francisco X. Alarcón. U.S.-born poet and educator. His stories vividly portray his Mexican heritage.
Sergio Andricaín. Cuban-American author and advocate for children’s literature. Director of Cuatrogatos, a foundation that promotes literacy among Hispanic children.
Jorge Argueta. Born in El Salvador and resides in the U.S. He is a prize-winning poet and the author of numerous children’s books. In 2002 he received the Américas Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature.
Mónica Brown. This Peruvian-American is the award-winning author of many children’s books. Her books have garnered starred reviews, the Américas award, and a Pura Belpré honor.
Yanitzia Canetti. Cuban-American writer and translator. She has written many children’s books in Spanish and in English.
Julia Mercedes Castilla. Born in Colombia and resides in the U.S. Castilla writes both in Spanish and in English.
Kathleen Contreras. Born in the U.S. of Mexican heritage, she writes mostly bilingual books.
Ana Galán. Born in Spain and lives in the U.S. She is the author of many books published in the U.S. and Spain.
Maya Christina Gonzalez. Born in the U.S., Gonzalez is an artist, author, and educator. She has written and illustrated numerous bilingual books that reflect her Latina heritage.
Margarita Engle. Cuban-American, she is the winner of the first Newbery Honor ever awarded to a Latino writer.
Juan Felipe Herrera. Born in California to migrant farmers, he is a poet, performer, writer, teacher, and activist. Herrera was elected Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2011.
Francisco Jiménez. Mexican-American writer and a professor at Santa Clara University.
Laura Lacámara. Cuban-American artist and writer. She has written and illustrated several bilingual books.
René Colato Laínez. Born in El Salvador and lives and teaches in California. His stories portray his own immigrant experience.
Georgina Lázaro. A native of Puerto Rico. Her books have received numerous awards, including the 2010 Pura Belpré honor.
Meg Medina. Cuban-American. Several of her books have been published in English and in Spanish by Candlewick Press.
Yuyi Morales. Born in Mexico and lives in the U.S. She is an artist and a writer. Morales is a multiple winner of the Pura Belpré honor, and recipient of the Golden Kite Award, the Christopher Award, the Jane Adams Award, and the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award.
Emma Romeu. Cuban-American. Most of Romeu’s books deal with nature and the environment.
Antonio Orlando Rodríguez. Cuban-American. He has written more than 30 children’s books and has received numerous awards.
Claudia Rueda. Born in Colombia, Rueda is a picture book author and illustrator. Rueda is the illustrator of the New York Times bestseller Here Comes the Easter Cat and is the recipient of the Oppenheim Platinum Award and the National Parenting Publications Award. Her books have been translated into more than 10 languages.
Carmen Tafolla. She is an internationally renowned author of more than 20 books and is one of the most celebrated Latina writers. She has received numerous awards including the prestigious Américas Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature and was named the first poet laureate of the city of San Antonio, Tex., in 2012.
Duncan Tonatiuh. Born in Mexico. His stories and art affirm the celebration of the Latin American experience.
Authors and Illustrators from Latin America and Spain
María Teresa Andruetto. Born in Argentina. She received the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2012. Andruetto writes about universal themes such as migration, poverty, injustice, and love, all with a very powerful pen.
Diego Arboleda. Spain. Won the prestigious Lazarillo Prize in 2012.
Triunfo Arciniegas. Colombia. Has been published in Latin America and Spain.
Jairo Buitrago. Colombia. This author and illustrator’s books have been translated into English, Japanese, and Portuguese. He has won numerous international awards and made the 2010 IBBY Honour List.
Victor Carvajal. Chile. One of the best-known authors of children’s and young adult books in the Spanish-speaking world.
Ivar Da Coll. Colombia. An author and illustrator, Da Coll was awarded the prestigious 2014 Premio Iberoamericano
SM de Literatura Infantil y Juvenil (Iberoamerican Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature).
Gloria Cecilia Díaz. Colombia. Díaz was the recipient of the 2006 Premio Iberoamericano de Literatura SM Infantil y Juvenil.
Carolina Durán. Chile. Has a unique artistic style and has illustrated numerous books.
Edna Iturralde. Ecuador. One of the most widely published Ecuadorian authors.
Marisol Misenta (Isol). Argentina. Awarded the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2013.
Antonio (Toño) Malpica. Mexico. One of the most talented writers today. An award-winning children’s book author.
Vivian Mansour Manzur. Mexico. A very popular writer among children.
Graciela Montes. Argentina. Montes has written numerous children and young adult books.
Yolanda Reyes. Colombia. Reyes is a writer, educator, and an advocate for early-childhood literacy and has received numerous national and international awards.
Jordi Sierra i Fabra. Spain. One of the most prolific writers of children’s and YA books in the world, Fabra was the recipient of the Premio Iberoamericano SM de Literatura Infantil y Juvenil in 2013.
Irene Vasco. Colombia. Vasco is a writer, educator, and advocate for children’s literature. Has received numerous awards and recognitions.
Teresa Mlawer is a publisher, author, translator, distributor, and consultant who has been promoting Spanish-language children’s books for over 50 years.