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5 Picture Books About Rainbows

Who doesn’t love a rainbow? They are colorful, magical, and full of hope!

Rainbows are a bridge into other times and cultures, science, color theory, and so much more! Here are a few children’s picture books about rainbows to get you started on your journey!

What Makes A Rainbow?, by Betty Ann Schwartz; illustrated by Dona Turner (ages 0-3): In this cute tale, a young bunny asks his colorful friends what makes a rainbow. With each turn of a page, a new ribbon joins the rainbow. The kids love calling out the colors and spotting all the animals. We enjoy this book so much that we purchased it in Spanish, too.

The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow, by Sean Callahan; illustrated by Nancy Cote (Ages 3-6): We have really been enjoying this sweet story about a young girl who helps a leprechaun build a rainbow. She sacrifices her favorite things so that the sun will shine on her grandfather playing the bagpipes in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Her generosity is rewarded and she makes a special connection with her grandfather. The story allows for lots of anticipation questions and post-reading discussion about our own favorite things and what has the most meaning in our lives.

The Rainbow Goblins, by Ul De Rico (Ages 4-8): This enchanting fable provides a mystical explanation for why rainbows do not touch the ground. Although the story is possibly a little dark for very young children, it has become a favorite in our home. There are lessons here about not being too greedy and preserving nature for all to enjoy.

The Magic School Bus Makes a Rainbow: A Book about Color, by Joanna Cole; illustrated by Carolyn Braken and Bruce Degan (Ages 4-8): The Frizz and her class are back to share a little rainbow magic. We’re huge fans of the series but this is not one of our favorites. The set-up, a pinball machine that seems to be the subject of an odd bet between Miss Frizzle and the principal, is puzzling. Although there is discussion about how light splits along wavelengths and different objects reflect different color light, the book lacks the technical, yet accessible detail of other volumes. This is one for Magic School Bus fans to check-out from the library but not a must-own.

Rainbow and You , by Edwin C. Krupp; illustrated by Robin Rector Krupp: Roy G (Ages 4-8). Biv, a leprechaun-like fellow, guides children through the legends and science of rainbows. There are plenty of prompts to get children exploring on their own.

Mouse Paint (Harcourt Brace Big Books), by Ellen Stoll Walsh (Ages 3-6): Although this picture book is not about rainbows, it is a charming story that explores color mixing. The adorable mice explore just like my young artists!

Here’s a bonus selection…a rainbow poem!

If You See a Fairy Ring: A Rich Treasury of Classic Fairy Poems, illustrated by Susanna Lockheart: This anthology is one of my daughter’s favorites and has a lovely poem about rainbows that touches, very gently, upon how rainbows form:

The Rainbow Fairies
by Juliana Horatia Ewing

Two little clouds one summer’s day
Went flying through the sky.
They went so fast they bumped their heads,
And both began to cry.

Old Father Sun looked out and said,
“Oh, never mind my dears,
I’ll send my little fairy folk
To dry your falling tears.”

One fairy came in violet,
And one in indigo,
In blue, green, yellow, orange, red,–
They made a pretty row.

They wiped the cloud tears all away,
And then, from out the sky,
Upon a line the sunbeams made
They hung their gowns to dry.

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Written by

Candace Lindemann, Yale, BA, Harvard Graduate School of Education, EdM, is an educational consultant and published writer. She enjoys new learning experiences with her children, ages 6 and 4 and 1.5.

Filed under: 0-3 (Babies and Toddlers), 1-2 (Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, Logical-Mathematical, Science, Sight, Spring, Visual-Spacial, Weather · Tags: , , , ,

One Response to "5 Picture Books About Rainbows"

  1. Reynalda Coogen says:

    Hi Nikki thanks for the comment. It’s great to get feedback and know that the info is helping families across Cape Town! If you find any other good free outings be sure to come back and leave a comment!