¡Pío Peep! Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes

¡Pío Peep! Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes

Bilingual Anthology of Folklore for Young Children



Notable Book in the area of Language Arts by National Book Council
Best Ten Books for Babies, Beginning with Books, Center for Early Literacy
Best Book of the Year, Nick Jr. Magazine
Media Award, Parent’s Guide to Children’s Media
100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, New York Public Library
Books of the Year Award, Parenting Magazines
2 x 2 Reading List, Texas Library Association
Starred Review, School Library Journal
Starred Review, Críticas
Miami Herald Best Books of the Year


El sol es de oro
la luna es de plata
y las estrellitas
son de hoja de lata.

The sun’s a gold medallion
The moon’s a silver ball.
The little stars are only tin;
I love them best of all.

Here is a groundbreaking bilingual collection of traditional rhymes that celebrates childhood and Spanish and Latin American heritage. From playing dress up to making tortillas, and from rising at daybreak to falling asleep, these joyful rhymes are sure to delight young readers.

Passed down from generation to generation, the twenty-nine rhymes included have been lovingly selected by distinguished authors Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy. English adaptations by Alice Schertle capture the spirit of each rhyme and have a charm all their own. Accompanied by enchanting illustrations by Spanish artist Viví Escrivá, this collection is destined to become a beloved classic for children already familiar with the rhymes as well as those encountering them for the first time.


The treasuries of the folklore, whether rhymes, riddles, songs or tongue twisters were precious gifts in my childhood. In gratitude for the joy they gave me I have tried to share them in multiple forms, within poetry anthologies, like Días y días de poesía, Gorrión gorrión, and in books, like Mama Goose, MooMuu, Merry Navidad and many others. I have written about my childhood experiences with these folk traditions in the book Pin Pin Sarabín. I hope you find as much joy sharing this book as I had during its compilation.


School Library Journal

Pre-School–Grade 2: Following in the tradition of Margot Griego’s Tortillitas para Mama (Holt, 1995) and Jose-Luis Orozco’s Diez deditos (Dutton, 1997) comes this stellar collection of nursery rhymes. Selected from the rich oral tradition of Latin America and the American Southwest, most of the verses are known throughout the Spanish-speaking world. The rhymes cover everything from early morning birds to elephants to angels, and the reason for their enduring popularity is clear. Deeply rhythmic verses, compelling rhyme schemes, and words that “play trippingly on the tongue” characterize every verse. Schertle’s excellent English adaptations are not literal translations but poetic re-creations. They retain the rhythm, meter, and general meaning of the originals, making the rhymes as memorable and memorizable in English as they are in Spanish. Escriv ‘s watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations use brilliant hues and detail to reconstruct a young child’s world. Certain to become a staple for preschool and early elementary programs, this offering is also a wonderful, reassuring lap book. A must-purchase for libraries. © 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


PreSchool: As the preface to this delightful book states, nursery rhymes and songs are an important part of Spanish oral folklore. The 29 rhymes here–some accompanied by finger plays or games, and some simply meant to be chanted on their own–in most cases came to the Americas from Spain. They are presented both in Spanish and in English, although “to preserve the charm of the original rhymes,” the English versions are not translations but “poetic recreations.” Even adult readers with a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish will see some of the differences, but both versions have a sweet, rhythmic simplicity that will get children singing, clapping, and perhaps making some forays into a new language. The watercolor illustrations, featured prominently on the page, are a mix of historical and contemporary, generic Latin American scenes, and pictures of animals (not Escriva’s artistic strong suit). Parents, teachers, and librarians will find a multitude of uses. –Ilene Cooper.

Grandma’s Book Letter

¡Pío Peep! Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes, selected by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy.

The authors tell us that Spanish oral folklore is rich in nursery rhymes and songs, some are fragments of ancient medieval ballads while others are old harvest songs. Ada and Campoy have gathered some of the best known and most loved rhymes in this lively bilingual edition.

Give the gift of another culture to wee ones this season with a bilingual bedtime reading of “Pio Peep: Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes.” Vivi Escriva catches the eye with bright watercolors while Alice Schertle preserves the sing-song sound as the 29 rhymes move from Spanish to English. The result of one translation is, “Rice Pudding / rice pudding / it’s married I’ll be / I’ll find in the city / the right girl for me.” — Linda Piwowarczyk

Great Kids Books

I really enjoy sharing poetry and stories from other cultures with young children. Here is a wonderful collection of traditional Spanish nursery rhymes and songs, in both Spanish and English. It’s perfect for toddlers and young children, but would also be great to explore with slightly older children who are leaning Spanish… More »


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