Local author Maritza Lynn Higuera recently published her second bilingual book, aiming to enhance children’s English and Spanish reading skills.

Children, according to Higuera, are known for their rapid learning abilities and are the primary focus of Higuera’s literary endeavor. “Children, as we all know, they learn so fast, they’re sponges,” Higuera said.

The inspiration behind Higuera’s bilingual children’s books is deeply rooted in her personal experience. Having attended school in Nogales, Mexico, she faced language challenges moving to the United States not knowing the English language until the age of 18.

Becoming a teacher, she observed the struggles of children trying to connect with the words in English.

“When I would bring a book and read it, I noticed some of the children’s little faces, like trying to connect the words,” she said.

Motivated by the lack of bilingual resources, especially near the border of southern Arizona, Higuera felt compelled to address the issue. Even though she is no longer teaching, she continues to read her bilingual books to children at her home, offering exposure to both Spanish and English.

“I was always thinking, you know, we need to have more bilingual books. We’re in southern Arizona, close to the border, so we have to have more bilingual books for these children to start picking up more of the English words,” Higuera said.

Higuera’s ultimate goal is for every child to be exposed to a second language. She believes her books can play a crucial role in achieving this goal.

“I would love for every child to get to know and to be exposed to a second language,” Higuera said.

Continuing to read her books to children regularly, Higuera incorporates historical elements into her stories, aiming not only to teach language but also to provide insight into her communitys history.