Let’s face it. We’re all obsessed with Encanto. So if you have students playing “Surface Pressure” on repeat, we’ve got a book list you’re going to want to see. Encanto is filled with gorgeous imagery, Latin American cultural references, and themes of family, expectations, and compassion. We pulled together a list of books that we think will appeal to all those Encanto fans out there. Plus check out all the fun on our Teaching With Encanto page.
1. Zonia’s Rain Forest by Juana Martinez-Neal
Love Antonio’s animals? See more of them in this beautiful picture book featuring an Indigenous protagonist. The Amazon rainforest is Zonia’s home. What will she do when the forest calls to her for help?
2. Biblioburro by Jeanette Winter
Check out this true story, all about a man who brought joy to kids in rural Colombia. Luis wans to share his love of books, so with the help of his two donkeys—Alfa and Beto—he creates a traveling library!
3. Abuela’s Weave by Omar S. Castañeda
Explore more of the grandmother/grandchild relationship with this award-winning book about family pride and resilience. Abuela’s skill in weaving traditional Mayan tapestries is unmatched. Together, she and her granddaughter Esperanza create something truly special.
4. ¡Pío Peep!: Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy
We love this beautiful bilingual collection of traditional rhymes passed down from generation to generation. These 29 rhymes celebrate childhood and Latin American heritage.
5. The Rainforest Grew All Around by Susan K. Mitchell
An adaptation of the song “The Green Grass Grew All Around,” this book features incredible illustrations of plant and wildlife—from jaguars, emerald tree boas, and leafcutter ants to kapok trees, liana vines, and bromeliads—that live in the lush Amazon rainforest.
6. Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina
Spunky Colombian heroine? Check. But this one’s realistic fiction. Juana likes a lot of things, but learning English isn’t one of them. When Juana’s abuelos tell her about a special trip they are planning, will she decide that studying might be a good use of her time after all?
7. Saturday Sancocho by Leyla Torres
Maria Lili spends every Saturday preparing chicken sancocho (soup) with her grandparents. Follow them through a Latin American marketplace on the day they run out of everything but eggs.
8. My Name is Gabito by Monica Brown
You can’t learn about Colombia and not learn about Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Using imagery from his writing, Brown tells the story of the master of magic realism, from his childhood in Aracataca to his life as one of the most significant authors of the 20th Century.
9. Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
We don’t ever find out exactly why Abuelo Pedro and Abuela Alma had to leave their home. Just that they had to leave, and in the midst of tragedy, start anew. In this beautifully illustrated memoir, Morales brings us a story of what immigrants carry with them: their hopes, dreams, and histories.
10. Listening with My Heart by Gabi Garcia
This is a great little story of kindness and self-compassion, two themes that emerge in the movie as well. Esperanza finds a heart-shaped rock and sees it as a reminder to spread love in the world. But when the school play goes awry, will she be able to show kindness to herself?