The spookiness of the Halloween season always brings memories of the folktales that I grew up with. Hispanic legends like “La dama tapada,” “La Llorona” or “El Cucuy” are typically told by our abuelas… or a clever friend who wants to scare you!
I have to confess that I have never been a fan of terror stories, but these bilingual books tell these traditional legends in a candid way and are great resources to learn about the traditional Hispanic legends that are kind of spooky.
6 Bilingual Children’s Books about Spooky Hispanic Legends
“La Llorona,” (the weeping woman) is a traditional Hispanic story about a legendary character who haunts rivers and lonely roads. This version helps parents explain to children the reality of death and the loss of loved ones.
Zulema and the Witch Owl / Zulema Y La Bruja Lechuza
This book offers suspense with the illustrations and the story line. But what I liked the most about the story is how it describes Zulema, the main character and how her poor attitude changes after the Witch Owl visits her. I think my kids have been behaving since we read this book together! 😉
Prietita and the Ghost Woman/Prietita y la llorona
I like how the story portrays “La Llorona” as a helpful and kind character. It is the perfect book to introduce the legend of “La Lorona” in a more candid way.
El Cucuy: A Bogeyman Cuento in English and Spanish
Although the story has a happy ending, this is not a book that I would read to my small children. However, I still decided to include it in the list because “El cucuy” is definitely a popular legend in our culture and there are parents who used the character to bribe their children to behave. “Te va a llevar el ropavejero!” was the typical warning!
Juan and the Chupacabras/ Juan y el Chupacabras
I think I was 15 years old when I heard about el chupacabras for first time. At the time it was associated it with a few incidents happening in some rural areas in Central America so el chupacabras kind of scared me 🙂 So, this book is a fun way to get introduced to it in case you were interested to learn more bout this spooky Hispanic legend!
La mujer que brillaba aún más que el sol / The Woman Who Outshone the Sun
The legend of Lucia Zenteno is a part of the story-telling tradition of Mexico’s Zapotec Indians. I like how the book portrays Lucia as a strong female hero. What a great read for all children about treating everyone with respect despite our differences!