15 Great Rhyming Books
by Liz Lesnick
Countless studies show that reading to your children from birth is essential to creating a love of reading. But what do children want to hear? And, equally important, what will parents want to read to their children, over and over again?
Why not try books that rhyme? Young children love to play and rhyming is just that: wordplay. The more kids love words, the more they’ll want to read. So before it’s too late, not a moment too soon, start reading aloud, your child will swoon!
Here’s a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry
It’s never too early to read poems to your children, and this collection is the perfect place to start. Jane Yolen has chosen poems by such luminaries as Margaret Wise Brown, Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, and A. A. Milne that highlight the moments of a toddler’s world from dawn to dusk.
Wouldn’t you like to know about the brave little mouse and his friendly Gruffalo? That’s the creature Mouse invented to protect him from baddies in the deep, dark wood. Children will love both characters and their irresistible rhymes.
Elmo’s Tricky Tongue Twisters
Everyone’s favorite Sesame Street character (okay, okay — it’s impossible to pick just one) meets the Little Golden Book collection in this assortment of dizzy tongue twisters that will have readers dissolving into fits of giggles.
Llama Llama Red Pajama
It’s bedtime, but Baby Llama refuses to go to sleep. Readers will revel in the rhymes of this raucous tale about the all-too-familiar bedtime battles between parents and young children.
A beloved classic for eighty years, Madeline owes much of its charm to the carefully crafted, sophisticated cadence of author Ludwig Bemelmans. Parents and grandparents will love revisiting this childhood favorite set in the City of Lights.
A Greyhound, A Groundhog
When a greyhound and groundhog meet, giddy wordplay ensues. Emily Jenkins’s masterful wit is made all the more engaging by Chris Appelhans’s artwork (you may recognize his style from the animated film “Coraline”). The story is a delightful tribute to unlikely friendship.
From the creator of the raucously playful Splat! comes a crime of the rhyming variety. Someone’s swapped Marlow’s smile for a crocodile (pretty dangerous, if you ask me), and that’s not the only thieving going on around here. This one will become a crowd favorite in record time.
Each Peach Pear Plum
A rhyming staple for every household, Each Peach Pear Plum features familiar fairytale characters and an “I Spy” component that readers can interact with more deeply as they age. Don’t be surprised if your children memorize this one!
Baby-Boo, I Love You
Perfect for little ones who can’t be found without their favorite doll, Baby-Boo, I Love You stars a sweet, pig-tailed girl who loves to play mommy to her most cherished toy. The pastel illustrations and lilting rhymes accompany this precious ode to the parent-child bond.
Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months
With catchy rhymes and delightful illustrations, Maurice Sendak makes learning the months of the year fun. Who can forget, “In January it’s So Nice, While Slipping on the Sliding Ice, to Sip Hot Chicken Soup With Rice!"
I See the Moon
Rosalind Beardshaw’s brilliant illustrations complement a treasure trove of classic rhymes perfect for winding down at bedtime. Your children will love to read along with familiar lyrics (like “Star Light, Star Bright”) and learn new ones, too.
Marc Brown's Playtime Rhymes: A Treasury for Families to Learn and Play Together
Make reading time playtime with this collection of favorites like “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider,” “Wheels on the Bus,” and “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” Don’t remember all of the words and movements? No worries, instructions are included. You and yours will be singing, wiggling, and giggling in no time!
Giggly Wiggly: Playtime Rhymes
When it’s time to play, try out Giggly Wiggly, a collection of joyful, silly rhymes for the youngest of readers. They’ll love the book’s lighthearted characters, and you’ll love your child’s energetic attention to language.
Rhyming Dust Bunnies
Meet three dust bunnies who love to rhyme and a fourth, Bob, who just can’t get it right. But when Bob saves the day, his friends realize he’s not such a dumb dust bunny. Children will love the playful language and brightly colored creatures that populate these pages.
There’s a Wocket in My Pocket! Dr. Seuss’s Book of Ridiculous Rhymes
No list of rhyming books would be complete without the work of the master, Dr. Seuss. In There’s a Wocket in My Pocket! a young boy explores his house and discovers a surprising cast of characters that could only be described as Seussian! Filled with wordplay and his trademark illustrations, There’s a Wocket is an essential introduction to the wonderful, wacky world of Dr. Seuss.