12 Books to Celebrate Dia de los Ninos, Dia de los Libros

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Growing up my nose was always in a book. I loved to read and was lucky that my home was filled with books. My parents weren’t big readers, my father just happened to work in a book factory and would bring home books whenever he could. But it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I read a book about a family like mine. It wasn’t anything I missed until it was suddenly in my face and I thought – I never read about a girl like me. A girl with brown skin, black hair and a name no one could pronounce.

I love reading with my son Norrin and my favorite time of the day is when we can sit for twenty to thirty minutes just reading. It is our time to connect.

April 30 is Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros. A day to celebrate children, family, literacy and cultural diversity. It’s a day I wish existed when I was growing up. It was founded by Pat Mora, author and poet, after learning about the Mexican holiday in 1996.

Realizing that the United States had nothing similar, Pat proposed linking Children’s Day, the celebration of childhood and children, with literacy and bilingualism, creating a new holiday: El día de los niños/El día de los libros.

Last December, the New York Times published an article about the lack of Latino authors and books for children and Latina bloggers and writers (myself included) reacted. We each shared our experience as a writer and reader and the lack of diversity (then and now).

Children need to be able to connect with the characters on the page. They need to see themselves. And they need to be able to recognize others and respect their differences. Not every child has the opportunity to get on a plane to visit distant lands, but they can explore other worlds through reading. That is what Día de los niños, Día de los Libros is about. And here are twelve books to get you started.


  • 12 Books to Celebrate Dia de los Ninos, Dia de los Libros 1 of 13
    12 Books to Celebrate Dia de los Ninos, Dia de los Libros
    April 30th is the day to celebrate children, literature, culture and diversity. Celebrate by reading with your child and teaching them about another culture. Click through for some ideas!
  • Book Fiesta! 2 of 13
    Book Fiesta!
    by Pat Mora
    Find it on Amazon for $12.84
  • Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match 3 of 13
    Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match
    by Monica Brown
    Find it on Amazon for $15.42
  • The Skin You Live In 4 of 13
    The Skin You Live In
    by Michael Tyler
    Find it on Amazon for $11.47
  • The Name Jar 5 of 13
    The Name Jar
    by Yangsook Choi
    Find it on Amazon for $5.32
  • Bringing The Rain to Kapiti Plain 6 of 13
    Bringing The Rain to Kapiti Plain
    by Verna Aardema
    Find it on Amazon for $6.02
  • Arroz Con Leche 7 of 13
    Arroz Con Leche
    by Lulu Delcre
    Find it on Amazon for $4.60
  • Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World 8 of 13
    Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World
    by Selby Beeler
    Find it on Amazon for $6.26
  • The Drum 9 of 13
    The Drum
    retold by Rob Cleveland
    Find it on Amazon for $2.94
  • The Very First Americans 10 of 13
    The Very First Americans
    by Cara Ashrose
    Find it on Amazon for $3.06
  • A Picture Book of Anne Frank 11 of 13
    A Picture Book of Anne Frank
    by David A. Adler
    Find it on Amazon for $7.15
  • The Well of Truth 12 of 13
    The Well of Truth
    retold by Martha Hamilton
    Find it on Amazon for $2.99
  • I Love Saturdays y Domingos 13 of 13
    I Love Saturdays y  Domingos
    by Alma Flor Ada
    Find it on Amazon for $15.77

For more children’s books that explore cultural diversity and heritage please visit:

Read more of Lisa’s writing at AutismWonderland.

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