cover image Street Rhymes Around the World

Street Rhymes Around the World

. Boyds Mills Press, $16.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-1-878093-53-0

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. Through their coloration and degree of stylization, these pictures artfully evoke the cultures depicted. Vincent Maonde contributes a burnished landscape where children frolic around a straggly tree; the kewpie doll-like figures of Jiang Chengan (the People's Republic of China) gleefully clap hands. Kids may well follow the many cheery examples of their friends worldwide. Ages 4-10. (Apr.)