During Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 through October 15) we intentionally recognize the many contributions made by persons of Latin American, Hispanic, and Latina/o descent to every part of U.S. American life.
For younger children at home or in the classroom, picture book biographies are a great way to learn about historical and contemporary Hispanic figures. In this blog post, we will highlight some of the picture book biographies we have in the library's collection, perfect not just for Hispanic Heritage Month, but for any time! Whatever your child's interests, they are likely to find a role model among these trailblazers, strivers, and justice seekers.
Librarians, Athletes, Artists, and More
Latinos can count among them two of the foremost librarians to have ever worked in the field, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg and Pura Belpré.
Musicians and entertainers are certainly well-represented among Latino Americans, including salsa icons like Tito Puente and Celia Cruz, guitar virtuoso Carlos Santana, and EGOT powerhouse Rita Moreno.
There are biographies of sports heroes like Puerto Rican baseball great Roberto Clemente and Brazilian born Pelé, arguably one of the most famous soccer players of all time.
Latin Americans and U.S. Hispanics have long served as activists, freedom fighters, and advocates for the oppressed. José Martí spoke out against imperialism and the enslavement of people of African descent in his native Cuba and throughout the Americas. In 20th century California, Cesar Chavez marched for labor rights, and while still a child, Sylvia Mendez played a central role in the landmark Mendez v. Westminster case, which ended segregation in the state's public schools.
For those looking to learn about more Hispanic heroes in one volume—especially some who may be lesser known—there are anthologies that feature brief biographies of artists, scientists, activists, and more. Of particular note is a collection by Juan Felipe Herrera, himself a former U.S. Poet Laureate.
Check out the catalog widget below for a full list of picture book biographies for Hispanic Heritage Month. We have books about renowned painters, Nobel prize winning writers, groundbreaking archeologists, U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and even religious figures. What books will you bring to your home or classroom?