Cover of Sleep Rhymes Around the World by Jane Yolen

Sleep Rhymes Around the World

It took about eight months to track down the lullaby rhymes for this picture book. Some I got from books, others from my husband’s graduate students and international colleagues. I wanted the rhymes in both English and in their original or transliterated voices. The pictures are each by artists native to the country of the poem’s origin. Hats off to Joan O’Donnell, the book’s editor, who tracked them down. There was a traveling show of the art for this and Street Rhymes Around the World.

What reviewers have said:

  • “The universality of putting children to sleep knows no boundaries as evidenced by the soothing words and images shared by each culture.” — Booklist
  • “The author has created an almost magical companion volume to the popular Street Rhymes Around the World. … Each page guides readers and listeners through vastly different cultures and yet, conveys a similar message: that children are loved by their parents, they will bring their families joy, and happy times will greet them upon awakening.” — Children’s Literature
  • “This book won’t calm either a parent or a child, but it should encourage conversation and commentary.” — School Library Journal
  • “Artists from each of the featured countries illustrate their lullabies, making this the ultimate multicultural bedtime book. Just turning the page gives readers the opportunity to compare cultural differences in the universal practice of sleeping.” — The Christian Science Monitor
  • “Here are rhymes both familiar and unknown, each illustrated by an artist from the country of origin. Jane Yolen has also included those in the original language–Yoruba, Finnish and Spanish, among them. The rhymes are really lullabies, and they’re quite sweet, which should remind us that the bond between parent and child transcends all boundaries, geographic or ethnic or religious.” — Akron Beacon Journal

Available in Boyds Mills paperback.