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Rhymes, fingerplays, and songs are an extremely valuable part of a child’s education. Through them, children are able to expand their vocabulary and develop their fine-motor skills. They’re great for helping your children learn to follow directions, and to help them fine-tune their listening skills and improve their focus.
The great thing is that Latino culture is full of rhymes, fingerplays, songs, and lullabies. While each country in Latin America and Spain have their own unique stories, many are taught universally throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Few families don’t know the traditional Los pollitos dicen or arroz con leche songs.
And lucky for all of us, there are many books that have been written to share these cultural gems. Below is a list of some of our absolute favorite collections of Latino nursery rhymes, fingerplays, songs, and lullabies. Some of them are out of print and hard to find, so snatch up copies if you have the opportunity because these are must-have treasures for any Latino family home library!
How many do you recognize? Which books would you add?
by Alma Flor Ada
The most comprehensive collection of nursery rhymes, lullabies, riddles, proverbs, folklore, and even villancicos that is available in the U.S.
Arrorro, Mi Nino / Hushaby Baby: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games (affiliate link)
by Lulu Delacre
A bilingual collection of traditional Latino baby games and lullabies from fourteen Spanish-speaking countries, complete with melodies for chanting and singing.
Tortillitas para Mamá and Other Nursery Rhumes (affiliate link)
by Margot C. Griego
A lovely collection of traditional nursery rhymes that are not found
in many of the other books.
by José-Luis Orozco
A fantastic collection of Latin American finger rhymes and songs,
this book is filled with vibrant illustrations as well as music notations.
by Nelly Palacio Jaramillo
Las nanas de abuelita is a fun collection of rhymes, tongue twisters,
and riddles from Latin America.
Shake It, Morena!: And Other Folklore from Puerto Rico
by Carmer T. Bernier-Grand
Shake It, Morena! will easily capture the hearts of your children with its lively songs, games and riddles. Bernier-Grand does not include the more traditional rhymes
that are popular throughout Latin America, but instead features folklore
that is unique to Puerto Rico.
by Alma Flor Ada, F. Isabel Campoy
Another lovely collection of nursery rhymes from Latin America and the American Southwest, ¡Pio Peep! is a great complement to Mamá Goose.
By Lucia M. Gonzalez
An instant classic when it came out in 1997, this book is one of the first of its kind presenting six different stories that have been found in various versions
throughout Latin America.