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Rhyme and Reason: 25 Multicultural Rhyming Books

©2023, 2013 Cooperative Children's Book Center

Compiled by Megan Schliesman

Rhyme is an important element of early literacy and early learning. Rhymes provide listening and literature experiences full of pleasure and delight while helping children make connections between the sounds they hear and what they will eventually see and decipher on a page as readers.

You can find rhyming in poems and verse and in many picture book stories as well. This list of trade books for young children offers early care providers and teachers suggestions of well-written rhyming picture books that incorporate rhyme, as well as poetry and rhyme collections including and beyond Mother Goose.

Children also need books that reflect their own lives and the richness of the world in which they live. Therefore, in addition to emphasizing the importance of rhyme, this list emphasizes the importance of books that are culturally diverse. Some books on this list contain significant multicultural content; others are simply inclusive, with illustrations showing diverse characters or characters whose heritage is open to interpretation.

Most of the books on the list are currently in print and available for purchase, or can be obtained at or through your local public library. For additional titles, seach "Stories in Rhyme" in our Recommended Books database.

Ada, Alma Flor and F. Isabel Campoy, Rosalma Zubizarreta Ten Little Puppies = Diez perritos. Illustrated by Ulises Wensell. HarperCollins/Rayo, 2011. 32 pages. Ages birth - 6

Ajmera, Maya Global Baby Bedtimes. A Global Fund for Children Book/Charlesbridge, 2015. 16 pages. Ages birth - 2

Brown, Tameka Fryer Brown Baby Lullaby. Illustrated by AG Ford. Farrar Straus Giroux/Macmillan, 2020. 32 pages. Ages 1-4

Crews, Nina The Neighborhood Mother Goose. Illustrated by Nina Crews. Amistad/HarperCollins, 2004. 63 pages. Ages 1-6

Dotlich, Rebecca Kai You and Me. Illustrated by Susan Reagan. Creative Company/Creative Editions, 2018. 16 pages. Ages birth - 6

Elya, Susan Middleton Little Roja Riding Hood. Illustrated by Susan Guevara. Putnam, 2014. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

Fliess, Sue Flash and Gleam: Light in Our World. Illustrated by Khoa Le. Lerner/Millbrook, 2020. 32 pages. Ages 4-7

Ho, Minfong Hush! A Thai Lullaby. Illustrated by Holly Meade. Orchard, 1996. 32 pages. Ages 2-5

Jones, Sarah Alphabet Family Band. Illustrated by Sarah Jones. blue manatee press, 2017. 12 pages.

Khan, Hena Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors. Illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini. Chronicle, 2012. 24 pages. Ages 3-7

Lamba, Marie and Baldev Lamba Green Green: A Community Gardening Story. Illustrated by Sonia Sanchez. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2017. 32 pages. Ages 3-7

Lloyd, Megan Wagner Fort-Building Time. Illustrated by Abigail Halpin. Alfred A. Knopf, 2017. 24 pages. Ages 3-6

Loomis, Ilima 'Ohana Means Family. Illustrated by Kenard Pak. Holiday House/Neal Porter Books, 2020. 32 pages. Ages 3-7

Manushkin, Fran Happy in Our Skin. Illustrated by Lauren Tobia. Candlewick, 2015. 24 pages. Ages 1-4

Montes, Marisa Los Gatos Black on Halloween. Illustrated by Yuyi Morales. Henry Holt, 2006. 32 pages. Ages 4-6

Reid, Aimee First Morning Sun: A Book of Firsts. Illustrated by Jing Jing Tsong. Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster, 2022. 32 pages. Ages 2-5

Roeder, Vanessa The Stack. Illustrated by Vanessa Roeder. Dial/Penguin Random House, 2022. 32 pages. Ages 3-6

Singh, Rina Holi Colors. Orca, 2018. 24 pages. Ages 2-4

Stevenson, Robin Pride Colors. Orca, 2019. 26 pages. Ages birth - 3

Tafolla, Carmen Fiesta Babies. Illustrated by Amy Cordova. Tricycle Press, 2010. 20 pages. Ages birth - 3

Thong, Roseanne Greenfield Round Is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes. Illustrated by Grace Lin. Chronicle, 2000. 32 pages. Ages 3-5

Van Camp, Richard Little You. Illustrated by Julie Flett. Orca, 2013. 22 pages. Ages birth - 3

Wardlaw, Lee Red, White, and Boom!. Illustrated by Huy Voun Lee. Henry Holt, 2012. 32 pages. Ages 2-5

Wheeler, Lisa Jazz Baby. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Harcourt , 2007. 32 pages. Ages birth - 3

Wolff, Kathy All We Need. Illustrated by Margaux Meganck. Bloomsbury, 2021. 32 pages. Ages 3-7

Yee, Wong Herbert My Autumn Book. Illustrated by Wong Herbert Yee. Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, 2015. 32 pages. Ages 3-5

Yee, Wong Herbert Summer Days and Nights. Illustrated by Wong Herbert Yee. Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, 2012. 32 pages. Ages 2-5

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Our Recommended Book Search includes subject access to CCBC-recommended titles based on subject headings created by our staff.