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Caribbean Books for Elementary Readers

Agard, John, Grace Nichols, Cynthia Jabar (Illustrator).
No Hickory No Dickory No Dock: Caribbean Nursery Rhymes
. Candlewick Press, 1995.
Ages 4-8 will enjoy these lilting nursery rhymes.

Agard, John.
Under the Moon & Over the Sea : A Collection of Caribbean Poems. Candlewick Press, 2003.
School Library Journal described this book as “A collection of more than 50 poems guaranteed to chase away any winter blahs.”

Burgie, Irving, and Frane Lessac (Illustrator).
Caribbean Carnival: Songs of the West Indies
William Morrow, 1992.
For ages 4-8, this collection includes easy piano and guitar arrangements for many calypso and folk songs. Irving Burgie is the composer of “Day-O,” “Jamaica Farewell,” and other calypso classics, and includes those tunes as well as “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” and “Yellow Bird.”

Caribbean Canvas
Boyds Mills Press, 1994.
This collection of poems and proverbs of West Indian writers is accompanied by folk paintings with all the beauty and color of the region.

Conolly, Yvonne, Gloria Cameron, and Sonia Singham
Mango Spice: 44 Caribbean Songs
A&C Black, 1994.
Ages 9-12 will enjoy this book of spirited songs.

Elder, J.D., Bess Lomax Hawes, and Alan Lomax (Compiler)
Brown Girl in the Ring: An Anthology of Song Games from the Eastern Caribbean
Pantheon Books, 1997.
This collection of 68 children’s songs includes not only the music and the lyrics but also the stories behind them.

Faustin, Charles
A Caribbean Counting Book
Houghton Mifflin, 1996.
It’s easy to catch the Caribbean spirit with this fun counting book for ages 5-7. Publisher’s Weekly said about this book, “The sights and sounds of the Caribbean burst into life in this vibrant collection of traditional counting rhymes.”

Gunning, Monica and Frane Lessac (Illustrator)
Not a Copper Penny in Me House: Poems for the Caribbean
Mills Press, 1993.
For all age levels, this collection of poems talks about growing up in the Caribbean.

Hallworth, Grace (Editor) and Caroline Binch (Illustrator
Down by the River: Afro-Caribbean Rhymes, Games, and Songs for Children
Cartwheel Books, 1996.
For ages 4-8, this collection includes rhymes, chants, and games of Afro-Caribbean origins. Girls will love the jump rope rhymes and hand-clapping games.

Isadora, Rachel
Caribbean Dream
Putnam Publishing Group, 2002.
Vivid watercolors capture the spirit of the Caribbean in this story of island life.

Joseph, Lynn and Sandra Speidel (Illustrator)
Coconut Kind of Day: Island Poems
William Morrow, 1990
For ages 4-8, this book of poems follows a Trinidad girl through her day.

Rau, Dana Meachen and Katie Lee (Illustrator)
Undersea City: A Story of a Caribbean Coral Reef
Soundprints Corp. Audio, 1997.
This story follows a land hermit crab in the Dominican Republic in his search for a new shell.

Sherlock, Philip and Petrina Wright (illustrator)
The Illustrated Anansi: Four Caribbean Folk Tales
MacMillan Publishers Ltd., 1995.
Ages 4-8 enjoy the tales of the Caribbean’s most popular folk character: spider named Anansi.

Staub, Frank
Children of Cuba
Carolrhoda, 1996.
For ages 4-8, this book portrays the daily life of Cuban children against the backdrop of their history and customs.

Also see: Books for Young Adult Readers, Picture Books



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