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Great Entertainment Inspired by Latino Myths and Legends

Explore the rich folklore and traditions behind some of the best books, movies, podcasts, and TV shows for kids.

Characters from the movie Pachamamma, riding on a large bird, flying in the air.

The myths and legends of the Americas -- North, South, and Central -- provide fertile ground for movie adventures, TV fables, and page-turning novels.

These stories offer Latino families fun ways to celebrate their culture and traditions. They also give families from all backgrounds the chance to experience different perspectives and strengthen their language skills.

Explore these great movies, TV shows, podcasts, and books based on Latino myths and legends:

Circle Round podcast logo

Circle Round (podcast) age 2+

Folktales from around the world, with many from Spanish-speaking cultures.

The Circle Round podcast includes hundreds of adapted and narrated folktales. Each episode features noteworthy performers and beautiful music. Plus, website extras include printable coloring sheets and follow-up activities.

The folktales explore morals and themes found across cultures. Kids of all ages can connect the stories of courage, compassion, empathy, and self-control with their own lives.

Episodes featuring folktales from Spanish-speaking communities include:

  • "Of Beans and Bunnies." Versions of this tale come from much of the Spanish-speaking world, including Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, and Spain.

  • "The Golden Flask." Versions of this folktale are associated with the Inca people of the Andes Mountains in South America.

  • "The Fantastic Fiddle." Versions of this tale come from Hispanic communities in the American Southwest.

  • "The Horse of a Different Color." Versions of this tale appear across the Spanish-speaking world, from Mexico and Guatemala to Puerto Rico and Spain.

El Chupacabras book cover

El Chupacabras (book) age 4+

Inspired by the legend of el chupacabras, a demon-like creature that sucks the blood of goats.

El Chupacabras is a fun Spanish-English bilingual story that focuses on a goat farmer named Hector. When el chupacabras -- the goat-sucker of legend -- attacks his goats, Hector tries to protect his herd with the help of magic.

The story includes positive messages and strong role models. It also boosts Spanish and English language skills, with phrases in both languages and easy-to-understand translations.

The Book of Life movie poster

The Book of Life (movie) age 7+

Based on the Day of the Dead tradition of honoring friends and family who have passed.

The Book of Life is one of the first Hollywood movies inspired by Mexican traditions. It focuses on a bet placed between La Muerte (death) and Xibalba, the ruler of the underworld. The Book of Life features the traditions, colors, and sounds of Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead celebration.

Kids can learn about the traditions of the Day of the Dead and life in an old Mexican town. Kids can also learn about strong women role models and qualities like perseverance and bravery.

Pachamama movie poster

Pachamama (movie) age 7+

Inspired by Incan mythology and traditional beliefs.

Pachamama is set in 15th-century South America, when Incan civilization was at its peak. The movie tells the story of Tepulpai, a child who wants to become a shaman and goes on adventures with his friends. The whimsical animation depicts the Andes Mountains and starry skies as magical places ruled by gods of nature.

Respect for the earth is a major theme, as are teamwork and the importance of belonging to a community. Kids can learn about ancient civilizations and the value of facing challenges.

Legend Quest show poster

Legend Quest (TV show) age 7+

Inspired by Mexican folklore, myths, and traditions.

Legend Quest is an animated adventure series about a Mexican boy and his supernatural friends. Together, they team up to protect the world from the serpent god Quetzalcoatl.

Set in the 19th century, the story is inspired by Mexican folklore. Legend Quest can spark kids' curiosity about the history and mythology of Mexico or other cultures.

Victor and Valentino show poster

Victor and Valentino (TV show) age 7+

Based on Mesoamerican mythical creatures and folklore.

Victor and Valentino tells the story of two brothers whose small town is the setting for supernatural events. Topics from Latin American folklore provide the basis for every episode. Characters face magical adventures and encounter mythical creatures, including ghosts and vampires.

Kids will get a sense of Latino culture, including music, architecture, language, and special celebrations.

The Mayan Crystal podcast image

The Mayan Crystal (podcast) age 8+

Inspired by Mayan culture, mythology, and folklore.

In The Mayan Crystal, a young Belizean girl, Aurela, brings back an ancient evil when trying to summon Mayan gods. On a journey to fix her mistake, she encounters talking animals, a magic crystal, and a frightening enemy.

Kids can learn how the strength of family, bravery, and perseverance help Aurela face challenges. Plus, they get glimpses of Mayan folklore and culture in each episode.

Paola Santiago and the River of Tears book cover

Paola Santiago and the River of Tears Series (book) age 9+

Based on the Latin American legend of La Llorona, the "Weeping Woman" who haunts the night.

Paola Santiago and the River of Tears follows Paola and her friend Dante as they go in search of their missing friend. This exciting fantasy has the thrills you'd expect from a story based on the legend of La Llorona. The friends face el chupacabras, disembodied hands, ghosts, and of course the Weeping Woman herself.

Kids will find Paola smart and relatable. She learns when to rely on facts and science, and when to trust the folk wisdom passed along through generations.

Andrea Moreno Porto

Andrea is a bilingual Communications and Journalism professional, and she's been part of the Common Sense team since 2016. She has ten years of experience building and managing relationships with the Latino audience by understanding their cultural needs. As the Senior Manager, Audience Engagement and Distribution, she manages marketing projects for the Family and Community Engagement team (FACE) and oversees and leads the FACE Social Media Strategy. Additionally, she works as on-camera talent for our videos and reviews, supports Common Sense Latino media outreach, and serves as the spokesperson for Spanish Language media interviews. You can find her running, biking, reading on the beach, or enjoying an authentic Colombian cup of coffee in her free time.