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Pre-K

Growing Reader

Colorful Picture Books About Rainbows

by Rosemary D'Urso

rainbows-picture-books
Photo credit: Elizabethsalleebauer, RooM Collection/Getty Images

For centuries, rainbows have served as a symbol of hope. In our current world climate, children need access to books that will help reassure them, fill them with joy, and inspire them to dream of a better tomorrow. The following books use rainbows and their array of colors to do just that. From enchanting illustrations to uplifting text, these cheerful books will put a smile on readers’ faces.

  • Over the Rainbow

    illustrated by Eric Puybaret, dramatized by Judy Collins, lyrics by E.Y. Harburg

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    Inspired by the classic song "Over the Rainbow", this dreamy book follows a girl who discovers a whimsical land by traveling on a rainbow. The lush illustrations are a feast for the eyes, and Grammy Award-winning Judy Collins’s rendition of the song on the accompanying CD will delight your ears.

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  • The Rainbow Tulip

    by Pat Mora, illustrated by Elizabeth Sayles

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    Based on her mother’s experience, Pat Mora shares the tender story of a girl caught between two cultures. As a Mexican American immigrant, Stella often feels different from the other children in her class. During a Maypole celebration, she embraces both her new and old heritages by wearing a dress made of many colors. This touching story will pull on heartstrings and help instill empathy.

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  • The End of the Rainbow

    by Liza Donnelly

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    Perfect for new readers, this sweet story is about a girl and her cat as they search for the end of a rainbow. On their quest, a turtle, rabbit, and horse join them. While the rainbow disappears before they find a pot of gold, they find something even more valuable — new friends!

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  • A Rainbow of My Own

    by Don Freeman

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    This timeless tale stars a young boy who runs into a rainstorm to catch a rainbow. When it vanishes, he uses his vivid imagination to dream of all the amazing things he would do with a rainbow. This charming and enjoyable book encourages little ones to envision the fun adventures they could have with rainbows.

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  • Rain Before Rainbows

    by Smriti Prasadam-Halls, illustrated by David Litchfield

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    When a young girl’s castle burns down, she and her pet fox travel the world, overcoming obstacles to find a new home. The lyrical, rhyming text and enchanting pictures provide a magical, fairytale-esque tone, drawing the reader in. A satisfying ending reassures readers that even the darkest moment will pass, and tomorrow offers new hope.

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  • My Rainbow

    by DeShanna Neal and Trinity Neal, illustrated by Art Twink

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    A mother’s love shines through the pages of this book about a family who helps a transgender girl celebrate her individuality through a rainbow-colored wig. The lively and affirming story is based on the experience of real-life advocates, DeShanna and Trinity Neal.

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  • Rainbow Crow

    by Nancy Van Laan

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    With its message of kindness, this Lenape legend withstands the test of time. When the first snow falls, the brave rainbow-feathered Crow flies to the Great Sky Spirit for help. As he returns to Earth with fire, his vibrant feathers get singed black. Though he has lost his colorful feathers, the crow’s selfless act shows the beauty that sparkles within.

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  • Uni Paints a Rainbow

    by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Brigette Barrager

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    When a rainstorm washes away all the colors in the Land of the Unicorns, it’s up to Uni to bring them back. With a tap of Uni’s magical horn, vivid colors appear, saving the land and creating a fun way for little readers to learn all the colors of the rainbow!

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  • Share Your Rainbow: 18 Artists Draw Their Hope for the Future

    by various illustrators, introduction by R.J. Palacio

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    Using the rainbow as a symbol of hope, this gorgeous compilation showcases eighteen illustrators’ interpretations of a better tomorrow. The art ranges in style and meaning, including warm hugs from loved ones and traveling to new places. The book’s final prompt, “What’s your rainbow?” is perfect for inspiring children to reflect and create their own hopeful artwork about the future.

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  • Happiness is a Rainbow

    by Patricia Hegarty, illustrated by Summer Macon

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    This charming board book is a wonderful primer that introduces colors and emotions to babies and toddlers. Gentle illustrations featuring cheerful animals match the bouncy rhymes. Babies will learn to associate a color with everyday items and feelings. This important and pleasing read makes an excellent gift and is a welcome addition to any home library.

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