Cover of Street Rhymes Around the World by Jane Yolen

Street Rhymes Around the World

It took about eight months to track down the jump rope and ball bouncing and counting out rhymes for this picture book. Some I found in books and some I got from my husband’s international students and 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 Sleep Rhymes Around the World.

What reviewers have said:

  • “Yolen’s latest anthology is a truly multicultural celebration: the 32 street rhymes here have been collected from 17 countries, ranging from Brazil to England to Israel to the Republic of Armenia. Representing such universal pastimes as singing songs, finger-counting rhymes and games of differing sorts, the poems appear in their original languages, followed by lilting English translations. Just as the foreign verbiage fascinates in its use of exotic words and sounds, so too the artwork, by artists from various countries, proves arresting. And though some illustrations are more successful than others, all present youngsters with intriguing glimpses of playtime–and apparel–in distant lands. … Kids may well follow the many cheery examples of their friends worldwide.” — Publishers Weekly
  • “This collection will be of interest to libraries searching for titles that represent varied cultures while also emphasizing the bonds that tie them together.” –School Library Journal
  • “The book not only enriches our repertoire of play rhymes, it also shows how much alike children’s games are, all around the world” — Usenet book reviews

Doubleday Book Club for Children

Available in Boyds Mills paperback.