We, as teachers, know how critical read-alouds are to maintaining classroom community. Read on to learn how to harness the power of biography picture books to keep your students inspired during Hispanic Heritage Month!
I Am Sonia Sonia Sotomayor by Brad Meltzer
This picture book biography is about the first Latina Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor. The book tells the story of her growing up in the Bronx, New York.
I Am Sonia Sotomayor is an inspiring story about a woman who overcame adversity to achieve her dreams. The book highlights Sonia’s dedication to the law and her decisions that affect the nation, emphasizing fairness and equality.
This biography picture book perfectly conveys important themes for young students through engaging storytelling and playful illustrations.
I Am Sonia Sotomayor is part of the “Ordinary People Change the World” series by Brad Meltzer (my 4th graders’ FAVORITE biography picture books).
Themes covered: perseverance, hard work, and following your dreams
Harvesting Hope by Kathleen Krull
This biography picture book is about César Chávez, a civil rights leader who dedicated his life to advocating for farmworkers’ rights.
The author shows how farmworkers face injustices like low pay, poor working conditions, and no fundamental rights.
Harvesting Hope is an inspiring story about a man who fought for justice for the most vulnerable members of society.
To discuss further, you can introduce a short biography poster and make it a bulletin board!
Themes covered: activism, social justice, and hope
My Name is /Me Llamo Celia by Monica Brown
This bilingual picture book biography is about Celia Cruz, a Cuban-American salsa singer.
The book tells the story of Celia Cruz’s life from her early years in Cuba to her journey to success as the “Queen of Salsa.”
She quickly became one of the most popular singers in the world and helped to popularize salsa music around the globe.
The world knows her for her energetic performances and powerful voice. She’s also a role model for many young people, especially Latinas.
To take it a step further, show students a video of this powerhouse performer via a Person of the Day set of slides!
Me Llamo Celia is an inspiring story about a woman who achieved her dreams despite the odds.
Themes covered: perseverance, gender equality, and the power of music
Tito Puente: Mambo King / Rey del Mambo by Monica Brown
Another bilingual biography picture book tells the story of Tito Puente, a Puerto Rican musician considered the “King of Mambo.”
The book tells the story of Tito Puente’s life from his childhood in Spanish Harlem to his rise to fame as a musician and bandleader.
Tito Puente has become one of the world’s most popular and influential musicians. He is known for his lively performances and innovative arrangements. He also helped popularize mambo music around the globe.
Tito Puente: Mambo King / Rey del Mambo is an inspiring story about a man who achieved his dreams despite challenges.
Highlight Tito Puente’s accomplishments by displaying his and other Hispanic Heritage Month posters that students can read as they please!
Themes covered: hard work, cultural identity, and creativity
Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown
Another of Monica Brown’s biography picture books, Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos, tells the story of Frida Kahlo, a Mexican artist.
As depicted in the story, Frida had a loving and unique relationship with animals, like monkeys, birds, dogs, and fawns.
Students will learn how Frida’s animals inspired and comforted her during physical and emotional challenges.
Immerse students in active learning using Hispanic Heritage Month teaching slides that include an in-depth look at Frida Kahlo and her drawings.
Themes covered: empathy, creativity, and companionship
Biography Picture Books for Hispanic Heritage Month
Now you have five ideas for inspiring picture book biographies about remarkable people, including Sonia Sotomayor, Cesar Chavez, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, and Frida Kahlo!
Discover 40 other well-known, lesser-known, and modern figures to introduce your students to this Hispanic Heritage Month and beyond!
- I Am Sonia Sonia Sotomayor by Brad Meltzer
- Harvesting Hope by Kathleen Krull
- My Name is / Me Llamo Celia by Monica Brown
- Tito Puente: Mambo King / Rey del Mambo by Monica Brown
- Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown
More Hispanic Heritage Month Ideas for Elementary
I’ve compiled a list of five ways to honor Hispanic Heritage Month in the classroom (without breaking the bank😉).
Read about how to use 200+ done-for-you teaching slides for Hispanic Heritage Month.
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to items that I’ve used and enjoyed. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.