Let Booklandia Pick Your Books
Every Spanish language book I pulled out at my trusted Barnes & Noble was either about salsa, frijoles, Selena, or Frida. I needed help if I was going to build a love for Spanish literature...and then I found Booklandia.
BONUS! Use coupon code “MAMALINGUA” for 10% off any purchase with Booklandia.
In trying to raise bilingual kids, I’ve found it necessary to include Spanish book reading time in our regular routine. While this is in part to create a foundation for reading in Spanish, I have to be honest: It’s also because I’ve realized that my own Spanish vocabulary is sometimes lacking when it comes to translating on the fly.
When our book needs advanced beyond Eric Carl and Sandra Boynton, I went to my trusty Barnes & Noble for some new reads. I kid you not: Every Spanish language book I pulled out was either about salsa, frijoles, Selena, or Frida. And of course, Don Quixote. Feeling frustrated, I went home with my copy of Don Quixote, since I figured every Latino needs to know the story anyway. Then I decided to take my mission online.
I’m not a native Spanish speaker and I live in America, so I really didn’t know what to look for first. My first stop was Amazon, where I did a general search for “Spanish” books. The results were overwhelming, and I really couldn’t get a feel for which books might make the best choice. Somewhere along the way, I discovered Booklandia on Instagram, and I instantly clicked with founder Maceo Cabrera Estévez. I discovered we shared the same frustration, and that it was the reason she was on a mission to enhance literacy among Spanish-speaking American kids – and to provide a solution for children and families starting down their language-learning journey.
Maceo’s purpose is to bridge the gap in bilingual and Spanish literacy for young readers by providing authentic books to subscribers. What’s meant by “authentic”? Books sourced from Latin America, Spain, and the U.S. Books not about frijoles.
With Booklandia, Maceo and her team vet and select books for you. You just pick your subscription frequency and genre preference: bilingual picture books, Spanish picture books, Spanish or bilingual board books, or Spanish chapter books. One-time purchase and monthly, bi-monthly and quarterly subscriptions are available, and discounts are applied based on your subscription length. Each box contains two books and an activity sheet.
What’s priceless about the service is the personalization. When you subscribe, you have an opportunity to tell Maceo about your kids, their interests, reading levels, etc. For me, this feature was key: When I opened my box, I had a book that was perfect for my son, age 7, and one that was perfect for my daughter, age 4.
Board Books: 2-3 board books
$27.95 (4%-7% discount with Subscribe & Save)
$18.95+ $3.50 shipping
Spanish Chapter Books: 2 chapter books
$25.95 (4%-7% discount with Subscribe & Save)
Spanish Picture Books and Bilingual Picture Books:
1 Hardcover and 1 paperback + coloring page
$31.95 (4%-7% discount with Subscribe & Save)
Large Boxes for Preschoolers - High Schoolers with 6-9 books
$110-$135 with FREE SHIPPING
When our box arrived, I made a huge deal about it. “¡Es una sorpresa! ¡Libros para ti en español!” My daughter took the box, quickly grabbed her scissors from her workstation, and got to opening. She was so delighted to find two individually wrapped gifts inside. When she opened the books, she exclaimed, “¡Mi libro!” To which I replied, “¡Si! ¿Quieres leerlos?” We gathered up our books and sat on the couch together to read.
We received “El Amigo de Naoki” and “Erizo y Conejo: El Susto del Viento.” Both books were easy enough for our vocabulary level, and suited my children’s interests and respective reading levels. My son was at the edge of his seat with “El Amigo de Naoki,” and I really liked it because it is part of the “Tú Lees, Yo Leo” series, which is great for beginner readers. (My son loves dogs, is interested in natural disasters, and loves Japan because that's where sushi comes from. It just so happens this book incorporates each of those components, so it was a big hit!)
Similarly, “Erizo y Conejo: El Susto del Viento” (part of the Junior Library Guild selection), was a perfect fit for my four-year-old, with its cute storyline and animated characters.
Both Panamericana, from Colombia, and NubeOcho, originally from Spain, are wonderful publishers of Spanish books. Both titles we received are well written and the illustrations are beautiful. (For me, illustrations are very important when reading to young ones, and both of my kids were captivated by the imagery.)
We couldn’t have been more pleased with Booklandia’s selections for us – and at a price point we can handle. But what makes the service totally worth it for me is not having to search for hours on Amazon, read tons of reviews, and wind up disappointed. (Wouldn’t it be great to have this kind of service for everything you need in life?!)
Like many of us, Maceo is also a mom trying to raise bilingual kids. Like me, she grew up as a Latina in America and didn’t have the opportunity to appreciate Spanish literature. I’m grateful that I now get to experience Spanish writing through my children’s eyes, while we improve our language skills, book by book, and create a foundation for Spanish literacy.
BONUS! Use coupon code “$5OFF” to get started with Booklandia.
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