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Best ABC Books in Spanish

Alphabet books play an important role in developing literacy. Exposure to a variety of alphabet books increases a child's ability to associate between letters, words, and the images that help them remember what they're learning. This is true, of course, regardless of whether a child is learning their first or second language (or their third or fourth, for that matter). For anyone teaching young children Spanish, it's a good idea to invest in more than one alphabet book, if you can. But which ones are best? We've done some research and selected a few gems for you.

Of course, if you want to do your own research, in addition to this, you should! (Please let us know if you find something awesome that we didn't). But beware that the terrain out there is a bit odd. If you do a straightforward search on Google or Amazon for "best alphabet book in Spanish," you find some pretty absurd listings. Like the used, paperback copy of abecedario, by Jean Paul Wabotaï. It's on sale on Amazon for $1,017.59. That's right. You can buy a used children's book for over one thousand dollars. And that book is recommended in some of the "best of" lists online (the lists actually link to the outrageously priced Amazon listing). The book may be great, but surely not over $1,000 great.

Your search will also turn up titles like Mexico ABCs, by Sarah Heiman; and P is for Piñata, by Tony Johnston. They're alphabet books, but they're not in Spanish. Gah!

Of course, there are plenty of beautiful Spanish alphabet books available in other countries. You can see some of them listed on Amazon's other sites, but good luck finding those books in the U.S. (which is, in fact, also a Spanish-speaking country -- the second-largest after Mexico).

Nevertheless, all is not lost. We found several fun alphabet books, originally written in Spanish, which are available to buy in the U.S. through standard channels. We listed our top 3 favorites below, organized based on their unique strengths: Alliteration, Imagination & Fun; Folk Art; Science & Nature.

We also included a brief review of a couple more at the end of this article. They might be worth checking out, if they fit your specific needs.

Top 3 ABC Books

1. Alliteration, Imagination & Fun

2. Folk Art

3. Science & Nature

Alliteration, Imagination & Fun

Aventuras del alfabeto

By Monica Frascona & Isaac Pastrana

Libros infantiles - abecedario

This is a brightly colored alphabet book full of playful, alliterative phrases and adorable illustrations. It's especially awesome on the Kindle Fire - it fills the page with color. The paperback is equally beautiful and bright, and it's an easy book to take with you if you travel or go to grandma's or whatever, and you don't want to lug around a bunch of chunky board books.

Alliteration can be a useful tool in teaching, and in particular in teaching the alphabet. It gives children an opportunity to hear the sound of the letter repeated many times; to associate it with various words; and to hear the different sounds a letter can make (e.g. "Gorilas galantes gozan de girasoles gigantes"). The playful silliness of the phrases and illustrations in this book make learning lots of fun. Who doesn't want to have fun?

Folk Art

ABeCedarios: Mexican Folk Art ABCs in English and Spanish

By Cynthia Weill

Abecedario - ABCs

This alphabet book keeps things simple.

Each page contains one letter,

one word, and one image.

It's the artwork that makes this book stand out. All of the images are photographs of actual alebrijes that were carved by Oaxacan artists. The artwork is quite stunning. And the backgrounds for the images are vibrant, bold colors, which allow the alebrijes to pop off the page.

If you're looking for a first alphabet book, especially for a very young child who doesn't need a lot of story and can still benefit from simple words and bright, clear visuals, this is a good choice. It's available in every format - board book, paperback, hardcover, and Kindle.

Science & Nature

ABeCedario salvaje

By Yanitzia Canetti

ABCs in Spanish

Although I'm not a huge fan of the design of the cover, this book is a fun introduction to the alphabet, alliteration, and interesting information about animals. The images are actual photographs of animals, and the text describes real animal characteristics and behaviors, as well as various fun facts about them. It's a great way to build interest in literacy, while also introducing science and developing children's interest and affinity for nature. It's a win-win-win.

A Couple More

Bilingual

Zoológico Bilingüe / Bilingual Zoo

Libros infantiles - Bilingual

The concept of this book is cute, if you're looking for a bilingual alphabet book. Each letter of the alphabet is paired with a word that is similar in Spanish and English (e.g. cocodrilo and crocodile), and includes a sentence in both languages.

More Complex

El abecedario de Lucía

Abecedario

The illustrations in this book are cute, but the text is in a very curvy cursive that's pretty hard to read (especially on the Kindle). There is only one word for each letter of the alphabet, and it's buried in a short paragraph. This book might be best for slightly older children. You can check it out for free on Kindle Unlimited, if you have access to that.

We hope this is helpful to you. Happy reading!