Mexico Family Travel

25 Amazing Kids Books About Mexico To Read in 2024

Books are a great way to learn about a country. They introduce you to new sights, new concepts, and new ideas. So why not learn about Mexico with your family by picking up a few kids books about Mexico?

We love visiting Mexico as a family and learning about its fascinating culture. But when we can’t be in Mexico (or when we’re getting ready to visit a part of Mexico that’s new to us), we like to read books about Mexico.

Walking through San Jose del Cabo (photo by Luis from Flytographer)

There is a vast library of books about Mexico for kids available for you. You can find them at your local library, bookstore, or online shopping platform. It’s helpful to utilize these resources as you’re planning your trip to Mexico. Plus, reading stories about Mexico can help your kids get excited about traveling to Mexico. 

This article was originally published on January 1, 2022.

This post may contain affiliate links. That means this blog will receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase something. However, this will not result in any extra costs to you.

Copyright for the featured image of kids reading together by peopleimages12

Our top 5 kids books about Mexico

Want a quick list of our top 5 favorite kids books about Mexico? Here are must-have books about Mexico for kids to add to your library.

  1. Danza
  2. The Princess and the Warrior
  3. May Your Life Be Deliciosa
  4. Love Sugar Magic
  5. The Sea Ringed World

Compiling a list of kids books about Mexico

We try to be intentional about the kids books about Mexico that we read with our family. While authors like Tomie dePaola, Sarah Fabiny, and Silvia Lopez have written Mexican children’s stories set in Mexico or with Latinx characters, they are not Mexican authors.

Exploring in Guanajuato (photo by Astrid Vinje)

This list of Mexican children books specifically features kids books about Mexico either written by Mexican authors or illustrated by Mexican artists. This provides you with a distinctly Mexican perspective to the stories.

Additionally, this list of Mexican children’s books in English provides options for books across various reading levels, not just picture books. Kids as young as babies and as old as teenagers will have at least a couple of choices for what to read about Mexico.

As you read through the list of kids books about Mexico, think about what kinds of books about Mexico for kids might best suit your family. Then continue from there. Use this list as a starting point for exploring the breadth of childrens books about Mexico available from Mexican authors and illustrators.

Going to Mexico soon? Check out our fun itinerary ideas.

Best kids books about Mexico: board books

It’s never too early to introduce your kids to the culture of Mexico with Mexican children’s stories.

Photo by peopleimages12

Even babies and toddlers can be exposed to the colors and imagery of Mexico and the sounds of the Spanish language with the use of Mexican baby books.

Take a look at these board books about Mexico for kids.

1. Vámanos a Oaxaca

As a new mom, Patty Rodriguez was frustrated by the lack of kids books about Mexico for babies. So she created her own! In Vámanos a Oaxaca, she and writer Ariana Stein introduce babies and toddlers to the colorful world of Mexico.

A street in Oaxaca City (photo by Astrid Vinje)

This board book features colorful illustrations of the city, with words in both Spanish and English to describe what kids see in the pictures created by illustrator, Ana Godinez.

2. Cuauhtémoc

Young children will enjoy learning about shapes in this bilingual board book by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein called Cuauhtémoc. The book features color illustrations by Citlali Reyes of the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, and its last Aztec emperor, Cuauhtémoc.

A model of El Templo Mayor in Mexico City (photo by Astrid Vinje)

Like Rodriguez and Stein's other kids books about Mexico, kids have a chance to develop vocabulary. Children learn names of shapes in this Mexican read aloud while enjoying images of Aztec Mexico.

3. Lucha Libre

Introduce your toddlers to the colorful world of lucha libre with Lucha Libre, another one of the kids books about Mexico by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein.

Lucha libre masks in San Miguel de Allende (photo by Astrid Vinje)

Lucha Libre uses this Mexican style of wrestling to teach words about various body parts, both in Spanish and English.

This Mexican read aloud book is a great way to build Spanish vocabulary.

4. Día de los Muertos

A fun way to celebrate Día de los Muertos and introduce the traditional Mexican holiday to your young child is with the board book, Día de los Muertos. Written by Hanna Eliot, Día de los Muertos is illustrated by Jorge Gutierrez, who co-wrote and directed the popular movie, The Book of Life.

Ofrenda in San Miguel de Allende (photo by Astrid Vinje)

This book exposes children to the unique traditions surrounding Día de los Muertos.

Best kids books about Mexico: early readers

At the early reader stage of elementary school (aged four to seven), books are about not only the images, but the story as well. These kids books about Mexico feature beautiful illustrations while also telling a compelling story. 

Photo by Suad Kamarden

In these Mexican children’s stories, kids can learn about Mexican history and explore Mexican culture. These picture books about Mexico will give your kids a chance to see the many aspects of Mexican life that make it unique and interesting.

5. Danza

Author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh has written many great kids books about Mexico. Danza, for example, is a story that focuses on the true story of Amalia Hernandez, a ballerina from Mexico who became the founder of El Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. 

Folk dancers in Guanajuato (photo by Astrid Vinje)

Duncan Tonatiuh incorporates Mixtec-inspired artwork into his story, which showcases the traditional dances of Mexico. Though most of his books have been written within the last decade, his stories have the feel of classic Mexican children's books.

6. The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes

Another one of the Mexican children books written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh is The Princess and the Warrior: A Tale of Two Volcanoes. The story retells the myth of two volcanoes overlooking Mexico City: Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl. 

Teotihuacan archeological site (photo by Astrid Vinje)

Itza is a princess who falls in love with a warrior named Popoca. Her father allows her to marry Popoca if he defeats their enemy, Jaguar Claw. The combination of beautiful illustrations and appealing stories dives wonderfully into Aztec mythology for kids.

7. Child of the Flower Song People

Another one of the beautiful books about Mexico for kids illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh is Child of the Flower Song People. Written by Gloria Amescua, this book tells the true story of a young Nahua girl named Luz Jimenez.

Artwork by Diego Rivera (photo by Astrid Vinje)

In the early 1900’s, she became a model for artists like Diego Rivera, Jean Charlot, and Tina Modotti, who all wanted to highlight the indigenous face of Mexico in their art.

Kids are never too young to read biographies, and this book is the perfect balance of engaging story and beautiful artwork. Amescua describes the effects of colonization on indigenous culture in a way that’s relatable to children. 

8. Lucia the Luchadora

Mexican children's books should capture the vibrant culture of Mexico. Lucia the Luchadora, by Cynthia Leonora Garza introduces Mexico’s rich lucha libre tradition to young kids. Lucha libre is a form of wrestling in Mexico that involves masks, costumes, and boisterous matches.

Meeting a luchador (photo by Astrid Vinje)

Lucia the Luchadora centers around Lucia, who comes from a family of luchadores. It’s a fun story of empowerment and fighting for justice. And it's also a great example of entertaining books about Mexico for kids.

9. May Your Life Be Deliciosa

May Your Life Be Deliciosa is picture book written by Michael Genhart and illustrated by Loris Lora. It introduces children to Mexican cuisine. In particular, the book focuses on the tradition of making corn tamales for the holidays. 

Making tamales in Puerto Vallarta (photo by Astrid Vinje)

The story focuses on Rosie and her Abuela (grandmother), as they prepare tamales together, a common dish for families in Mexico for Christmas. At the same time, Abuela also shares family stories with Rosie. It's one of the more touching kids books about Mexico in this list.

10. What Can You Do With A Paleta

Paletas, traditional fruit popsicles, are a popular treat for children in Mexico. What Can You Do With A Paleta, written by Carmen Tafolla and illustrated by Magaly Morales, explores all the creative things children can do with a paleta. What a whimsical choice for kids books about Mexico!

Enjoying a chamoy and mango paleta in San Jose del Cabo (photo by Astrid Vinje)

As children read this story, they’re also introduced to the vibrant colors and the lively sites of a Mexican barrio (neighborhood). It’s a fun way for kids to learn about the culture of Mexico. Tafolla has written many books about Mexican culture, and this one captures the communal aspect of Mexico so well.

11. Chicano Jr.’s Mexican Adventure

If you’re looking for bilingual Mexican fiction books to introduce your kids to Mexico, Chicano Jr.'s Mexican Adventure is a perfect fit. Written by Raul Jimenez and illustrated by Felipe Vasconcelos, this book follows the story of Chicano Jr., a Mexican-American boy who is traveling to Mexico for the first time. 

The book is filled with fun illustrations. And the story is written in both English and Spanish, so kids can be exposed to the sounds of the Spanish language, and maybe even learn some basic Spanish phrases too! 

Chicano Jr.’s Mexican Adventure is part of a two-part series of books about Mexico for kids. The second book in these kids books about Mexico series is Chicano Jr.’s Day of the Dead Adventure, when Chicano Jr. returns to Mexico to celebrate Day of the Dead.

12. Todos A Comer

Another great language learning option for kids books about Mexico is Todos A Comer: A Mexican Food Alphabet Book, by Dr. Ma. Alma Gonzalez Perez.

Enjoying a meal of chilaquiles (photo by Clint Bush)

This bilingual alphabet book introduces children to the different dishes of Mexico. Each letter highlights one type of food, with colorful photos and descriptive information in both English and Spanish.

13. Viva Frida

Author and illustrator, Yuyi Morales has written several great books about Mexico for kids. In Viva Frida, Morales describes the life of famous Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo, in this colorful biography for kids.

Frida Kahlo's studio in her home in Mexico City (photo by Astrid Vinje)

The book is bilingual, giving kids an opportunity to learn simple Spanish words while reading about an icon of Mexican art.

14. Just a Minute

Another one of the fun Mexican kids books by Yuyi Morales is Just a Minute. This story tells the tale of a grandmother who charms Death. Kids will enjoy practicing their numbers in Spanish as they read this book.

Photo by Valeria Almaraz

Morales has a unique way of creating Mexican story books that are visually appealing. And it also helps kids understand the role of the afterlife in Mexican culture.

Get a FREE Mexico packing list!

Sign up for the Mexico Travel Tuesday newsletter and instantly get a FREE packing checklist for your Mexico vacation.

    Best kids books about Mexico: middle grade

    For middle grade readers who range from late elementary school and into middle school (aged eight to thirteen), the kids books about Mexico featured in this list are all about building worlds and taking the reader on an adventure. 

    Visiting Mitla near Oaxaca City (photo by Astrid Vinje)

    These Mexican children’s stories tend to be more complex and delve into heavier themes. The chapter books about Mexico for kids featured in this list present various aspects of Mexican culture that kids can explore.

    15. Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls

    Mexican culture is full of magic and the supernatural. In Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls, Mexican-American author Kaela Rivera dives into the magical side of Mexican culture to tell the story of Cecilia Rios.

    Chihuahua photo by Charles Elizondo

    On a quest to rescue her sister, Cecilia must tap into the magical forces within herself to succeed. Kids will enjoy reading about Mexican folklore in this engaging book. It's a great example of middle grade kids books about Mexico.

    16. Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring

    Children who love mysteries will enjoy reading Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring by Angela Cervantes. It's an engaging option for middle grade books set in Mexico. Paloma Márquez is visiting Mexico City for the first time and meets Lizzie and Gael, siblings who offer her a mystery: find a ring that once belonged to Frida Kahlo!

    Cathedral in Mexico City (photo by Astrid Vinje)

    Mystery lovers will enjoy the suspense and adventure, interwoven amidst the facts about Mexico and Frida Kahlo. For kids who are more familiar with the Spanish language and want more challenge in their kids books about Mexico, they can also pick up the Spanish edition of this book.

    17. The Storm Runner

    Rick Riordan fans will enjoy this Rick Riordan Presents book, The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes. The story centers around Zane, a boy who loves exploring a dormant volcano near his home in New Mexico. When a new girl at school named Brooks tells Zane that he’s destined to release an evil ancient Maya god from the volcano, he and Brooks work together to save the world.

    Photo by Marv Watson

    Like many Rick Riordan Presents books, The Storm Runner is based on ancient mythology. This book focuses on Maya mythology. It’s a great way to introduce kids to Mayan culture and history, amidst a thrilling and exciting story. Read this book if you're preparing to visit cities in the Yucatan, like Tulum or Cancun!

    The Storm Runner is the first book in a series of three books about Mexico for kids written by Cervantes. The other two books in the series are The Fire Keeper and Shadow Crosser. Both of these kids books about Mexico also feature Mayan mythology.

    18. Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble

    For kids who enjoy a little magic in their kids books about Mexico, Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano is a perfect combination of wonder, humor, and tenderness. Leonora Logroño finds out that the women in her family descend from a long line of witches, who imbue magic into everything they bake at their family’s bakery. Leo longs to join them in their magic, and enlists the help of her best friend to try out a spell, but things don’t turn out quite as she expects.

    Photo by happylark

    Love Sugar Magic is a charming book about growing up, mixed with cultural vignettes into the life of a Mexican-American family. Though the story doesn’t take place in Mexico, there is so much information about Mexican culture that kids can learn while enjoying this story. You can also check out the other two books in the series, Love Sugar Magic: A Sprinkle of Spirits and Love Sugar Magic: A Mixture of Mischief.

    19. Ay Mija! My Bilingual Summer in Mexico

    In the autobiographical graphic novel, Ay Mija! My Bilingual Summer in Mexico, written and illustrated by Christine Suggs, the main character is a young Mexican-American kid who embarks on a memorable summer journey with their family from the United States to Mexico. Their travels take them to Mexico City and Querétaro, where they visit their mother's side of the family. 

    Our family trip to Monte Alban near Oaxaca City (photo by Astrid Vinje)

    At first, Christine finds Mexico challenging due to their limited Spanish. However, they soon begin to immerse themselves in their Mexican heritage. This delightful kids book about Mexico offers a vivid window into Mexican family life. It also resonates as a coming-of-age story. Young readers will find Christine's experiences relatable as they follow their journey of personal growth and cultural connection.

    20. Loteria Karla Valenti

    Lovers of mythology will enjoy reading Loteria, a kids book about Mexico written by Karla Arenas Valenti. In the story, Clara, a young girl from Oaxaca becomes deeply intertwined with the lotería game (a traditional Mexican game of chance), when she embarks on a daring quest to rescue her cousin. Life and Death are the players of the game, and the cards they choose become the situations that Clara finds herself in.

    Photo by Irvin Mcfarland

    Loteria is not only an exciting tale of adventure but also an exploration on themes like free will and fate. It serves as an excellent introduction to Aztec folklore and Mexican culture.

    21. Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs

    Another one of the kids books about Mexico by Pam Muños Ryan that kids can enjoy is Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs. This fantasy book tells the story of Solimar, a young princess who is tasked with protecting the monarch butterflies of Mexico and her kingdom. 

    Monarch butterflies in Michoacan (photo by Astrid Vinje)

    Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs is a recent by Pam Muños Ryan. This is a fun book to read if you're visiting Mexico for the monarch butterfly migration.

    22. The Sea-Ringed World

    Lovers of mythology will enjoy The Sea-Ringed World, an anthology of indigenous mythology from North and South America by Maria Garcia Esperin and illustrated by Amanda Mijangos. Of all the kids books about Mexico featured in this list, The Sea-Ringed World offers a window into traditional Mexican children's stories and other indigenous stories from around the Americas.

    Dolphins in Puerto Escondido (photo by Astrid Vinje)

    The short stories about Mexican culture (as well as other Latin American culture) span beyond indigenous Aztec myths. But at the same time, kids will find common themes across the many stories. This book on indigenous and Mexican culture for kids is also available in Spanish edition.

    23. Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide

    For kids interested in non-fiction kids books about Mexico, Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide is a great choice. This graphic biography written by Isabel Quintero and illustrated by Zeke Peña follows the life of Mexican photographer, Graciela Iturbide.

    Photo by Diego Grandi

    Graciela Iturbide’s story of using photography to overcome tragedy will certainly inspire budding photographers. But the images of contemporary Mexican culture will also give kids a glimpse into what life is like in Mexico.

    Best kids books about Mexico: high school and young adult 

    By the time kids reach high school age (age fourteen to eighteen), the books they read tend to be the same books that adults read.

    Traditional Mexican food in Mexico City

    The two books featured in this part of the list aren't technically kids books about Mexico, but they do focus on providing high school and young adult readers historical context into Mexico.

    24. Gods of Jade and Shadow

    A book that older kids will enjoy is Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. In this unique blend of science fiction, fantasy, and Mexican folklore, readers meet Casiopea, a girl who inadvertently unleashes the spirit of the Mayan god of death. This accidental encounter propels her to become the unlikely ally of a deity, as they journey to restore his ancient throne. 

    Sculpture at Museo Mesoamericano del Jade in San Cristobal (photo by Astrid Vinje)

    Set against the vibrant backdrop of 1920s Mexico, the narrative not only spins a tale of adventure but also offers a glimpse into Mexican history. In Gods of Jade and Shadow, Casiopea travels to locations such as Merida, Mexico City, and Baja California, each place adding its unique flavor to the story. 

    25. The Hummingbird’s Daughter

    The Hummingbird’s Daughter is a historical novel by Luis Alberto Urrea. It tells the story of Teresita, the 16-year-old illegitimate daughter of a wealthy and powerful Mexican rancher. 

    Chihuahua photo by Sandra Dempsey

    Teresita eventually becomes the Saint of Cabora. The Hummingbird’s Daughter follows her journey through sainthood, and the trials she must endure.

    Bonus: The Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs

    History is often written by academics interpreting artifacts from the lens of their own cultural paradigms. However, in The Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs, author Camilla Townsend, translates and presents the history of the Aztecs, as it was written by Aztecs themselves.

    Aztec dancers in Mexico City (photo by Astrid Vinje)

    For high school students and young adults who want to gain an indigenous perspective of Mexican history, The Fifth Sun is a great introductory book. Townsend’s writing is straightforward and direct, making Mexico history book easy and engaging to read.

    Delve deeper into the rich culture of Mexico here.

    Cultivating appreciation with kids books about Mexico

    Mexican culture is complex and deep. It’s impossible to understand it all just from these kids books about Mexico. But it’s a good starting point!

    Alebrijes in Mexico City (photo by Astrid Vinje)

    One of the many beautiful things about travel is that it opens you up to so many new experiences and opportunities. But if you come into travel without doing a little bit of prep and research, you might risk missing out on a world of opportunities. 

    Use these kids books about Mexico as a means to cultivate an appreciation for Mexican culture. As you read the books on this list, take some time to discuss with your kids what aspects of Mexican culture they liked and disliked in the book. This can eventually open up to more cultural discussions in the future.

    If you're interested in challenging yourself more, the Mexican government has a list of Mexican school textbooks that are available online for free. You can use these kids books about Mexico to teach yourself and your kids Spanish before coming to Mexico.

    Have you read some books about Mexico for kids that aren't on this list? Head to our Facebook page and send me a message.

    25 Amazing Kids Books About Mexico To Read In 2023 | Mexico Family Travel |

Pinterest pin of three colorfully decorated Catrina dolls on a bench, with text overlay

    Need some help with your Mexico travel budget? Check out our top tips!

    Sharing is caring!

    Related Mexico Posts

    Sign up to get Mexico travel tips in your inbox!


      This website participates in affiliate programs such as Amazon Associates, Stay22, Viator, and Lingopie. As an affiliate for these programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

      Contact us

      Copyright ©2021 Astrid Vinje