Have you been looking for an easy book to read in Spanish?
For some time, I have wanted to find a simple book with quality language in Spanish to just plain enjoy. Not some substandard translation or a boring textbook. Rather, a special book with a great story that I can understand without strain.
I never expected it to be a children’s book. But hey, when you find something good details like that don’t matter. In fact, my children love it too. That makes it so much easier to teach them while I enjoy what I am reading.
I know that I am not alone, others are searching too…
This is actually a dream of mine come true to find this treasure. I have always wanted to be able to read my children a great book in Spanish. For me, this means that it has quality writing, it is simple to understand, and it catches their interest. These books have a rich vocabulary, a wide variety of sentence structures and dialogue. The best part is the stories are funny too!
These books are great for personal reading too. Both adults and children benefit from this simple narrative. Make sure to check out the funny excerpt from the book below.
About the Celia Series
Before there were any books, Elena Fortun published her short stories in a printed magazine during the 1920s. These stories were combined and became the chapters in her first book Celia lo que dice.
What makes this series perfect for language learners is the flexibility natural to the format of the stories. Each chapter is a short story of about 5 pages length. The language is easy to read at an elementary reading level.
Who is Celia?
To sum it up, Celia is a seven-year-old girl who has a natural ability to stir up chaos around her with her curious nature. For comparison, think of her male counterpart Denis the Menace living in Spain. The stories follow her as she grows up into boarding school, college and even motherhood. The crazy events are hilarious.
Stories for Boys Too
After a time, Celia’s little brother, Cuchifritin takes the lead in the sixth book Cuchifritin el hermano de Celia. Several books about him are a great option for boys!
Honestly, her brother’s stories are on my wishlist. I hope to read one soon. I would love to hear your descriptions and opinions, so post a comment below to share what you think.
Below, there is a list of books in the series and information on how to find or purchase them online.
The best thing about these books is they are perfect for reading aloud.
6 Simple Tips for Reading Aloud
The Celia series books are so flexible, simple and fun to read. The structure and content of the writing make it really easy to adjust reading for skill level. I have a few ideas to help get a good start.
- Display and learn some words from the text before reading.
- Start with a basic question in Spanish
- Read the right amount – one chapter for advanced, one paragraph for beginners, one sentence for
- Read for a limited time – 15 to 30 minutes or what is enjoyable
- End with a basic question in Spanish
- Select a portion of the text to write – one word, phrase, sentence or paragraph
For more depth and detail on how to read aloud, follow this link for more tips –
To illustrate how simple it is to read aloud from Celia, I will share a glimpse of her storytelling skill. My children and I love this hilarious scene.
To sum it up, Celia’s father offers a reward for the return of Celia’s cat, Pirracas. The cat got lost when Celia hid it under her jacket on a walk. Somehow they end up with five of the same exact cats and no one knows which is the real Pirracas.
Celia lo que dice – El día de San Anton
“En casa han quedado cinco, porque nadie sabe cuál de ellos es nuestra gatita.
– Vea usted el problema en que ha puesto a sus padres.
Para mis Nelly todos son problemas.
-Pues no, señora, no es problema. Los cinco gatos son Pirracas.
–Eso no puede ser….
–Pues si era un Santo y hacía milagros, habrá hecho de Pirracas cinco gatas.
–No puede ser.
–Sí puede ser. Jesucristo hizo de cinco peces muchos peces.
–Eso es, para comer. Y San Antón ha hecho de Pirracas otras cinco para que jueguen conmigo. “
Often there is an illustration accompanying the story. On the opposite page, a drawing shows five black cats jumping around a room filled with boxes. What better way to comprehend the text than with a visual cue.
The Books in the Celia Series
In all, Elena Fortun wrote more than twenty books. Her novels were released from 1928 to 1987. A native to Spain, she exiled to Argentina with her husband for many years.
After her death in 1987, Celia en la revolución was printed for the first time. Celia goes through the difficulties of World War II. The story gives a picture of daily life during wartime.
This book is on my wishlist.
More Books to Read
- Celia, lo que dice (1929)
- Celia en el colegio (1932)
- Celia novelista (1934)
- Celia en el mundo (1934)
- Celia y sus amigos (1935)
- Cuchifritín el hermano de Celia
- Cuchifritín y sus primos
- Cuchifritín en casa de su abuelo
- Cuchifritín y Paquito
- Matonkiki y sus hermanas
- Celia madrecita (1939)
- Celia institutriz en América
- Patita y Mila estudiantes
- La hermana de Celia: Mila y Piolín
- Mila, Piolín y el burro
- Celia se casa
- El arte de contar cuentos a los niños (1947)
- Los cuentos que Celia cuenta a las niñas (1950)
- Los cuentos que Celia cuenta a los niños (1951)
- El bazar de todas las cosas
Where to Get the Books
This website is incredibly helpful to find books in libraries nearby and those available purchase online. The link below will take you to a list of Celia books
I have great plans for the future to make these resources readily available.
Meanwhile, I love to read these kinds of books aloud to my children of different skill levels. This is how I teach them Spanish right now. Over the past several months I have seen some amazing progress. I have not been as consistent as I would like, but we have done more activities than before. Now, that’s a reason to celebrate!
If any of these seem too childish for your taste, keep in touch for more recommendations.
Celia Episodes Online
Another option to build listening skills and pronunciation is to watch Celia. Originally airing on television in the 1990s, RTVE offers free streaming of the episodes online. Episodes are based on the first few novels in the series.
The videos really brought the reading to life. It was really helpful to hear the storyline and vocabulary dramatized in a peninsular pronunciation. In fact, my girls kept asking to watch more.
Finally, finding an interesting, enjoyable and simple book to read in Spanish is possible. Celia offers basic everyday language to learn a solid vocabulary. All it takes is the time and dedication to really learn Spanish.
Enjoy the learning! I know I will.
Here is another list of easy to read books –