It’s rhyme time! There are many benefits of reading rhyming books with kids; practicing patterns and improving memorization skills, recognizing rhythms, increasing phonological awareness and phonetic ability are just a few. Some new, some timeless classics, here is a list of titles that kids (and adults) of all generations have grown to love:

1. We Go Together!
By Todd Dunn

This book reinforces the connection between two things, i.e. ice cream and cone, dog and bone, in rhyming couplets. Filled color-bursting illustrations, “We Go Together!” is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Watch Catherine read the book below in this episode of Can I Read to You?

2. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
By Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault

A staple in every classroom across America, this book exposes kids to letters, rhythm, a sense of suspense and bold and bright pattern illustrations by Caldecott winner Lois Ehlert.

3. Giraffes Can’t Dance
By Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees

A tall, lanky, bony and uncoordinated animal, all Gerald the Giraffe wants to do is dance! Join Gerald’s unlikely support system as he overcomes the seemingly impossible in this rhyming tale.

4. Zin Zin Zin A Violin
By Lloyd Moss

Learn about several instruments as they take their place on stage until a full orchestra is formed! Accompanied by striking illustrations and stylistic text, this book is perfect for lovers of rhythm and music.

5. Jamberry
By Bruce Degen

Full of whimsy and wonder, Bruce Degen spouts Seussian rhymes with simple, yet detailed illustrations in this silly tale of an adventurous boy and his bear friend looking for berries, berries for jam!

6. Goodnight Moon
By Margaret Wise Brown

Perhaps the most well-known title in this list, “Goodnight Moon” has a place on every bookshelf. Its eerie yet endearing rhymes and simply illustrated pictures continue to capture the hearts and minds of kids everywhere.

7. Madeline
By Ludwig Bemelmans

There is something about the resilience of young Madeline that has made this book endure the test of time. Encompassing themes of order and obedience, compassion and empathy, and a little girl’s livelihood and fearlessness, “Madeline” continues to enchant children today.

8. How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?
By Jane Yolen

The fabulous Jane Yolen never disappoints! Part of her “Dinosaurs” series, this book features a mix of silly rhymes and realistic conversation starters, Yolen has mastered the art of teaching children routines through playful, personified creatures.

9. There’s a Wocket in My Pocket
By Dr. Seuss

Would a rhyming book list be complete without a Dr. Seuss title?! “Wocket” allows children to focus on phonological awareness and phonetics by using nonsensical words and phrases as rhymes. Sure to get a laugh out of young children, this book is always a fun read!

10. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
By Bill Martin Jr.

By pairing simple descriptions of animals and their respective sounds with detailed and crafty illustrations by the treasured Eric Carle, “Brown Bear” is another staple on parents’ and teachers’ bookshelves.

11. Hush! A Thai Lullaby
By Minfong Ho

All parents can relate to this young Thai mother’s plea of “please don’t wake my baby!” With soft and gentle pictures and rhyming couplets that children can easily memorize, this book is a beautiful bedtime story.

12. Little Blue Truck
By Alice Schertle

A true story of teamwork and respect, this book shares the tale of the titular truck and his barnyard friends that help him out of a sticky (or muddy!) situation.

13. The Gruffalo
By Julia Donaldson

A playful mix of several folk stories and fables, “The Gruffalo” is the tale of a mouse protagonist who tricks woodland creatures in order to save his own life.

14. Moo Baa La La La
By Sandra Boynton

We can always count on Boynton’s lovable barnyard characters to entertain while educating. Silly dialogue about animal noises comes to life in this bestseller.

15. Each Peach Pear Plum
By Janet and Allan Ahlberg

This book introduces children to several familiar fairytale characters and invites them to play an “I Spy” game on each page. Rhyme, repetition, playfulness and incredible illustrations make this an easy favorite.

16. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
By Sherri Duskey Rinker

In a kid-friendly combination of “Goodnight Moon” and “Little Blue Truck,” this book plays on a child’s love of construction machines and daily routines. Plus, the accompanying pictures that personify the machines are adorable!

17. Whose Toes are Those?
By Jabari Asim

Teach children about their toes and facilitate lessons in counting through this book and the tactile nursery rhyme, “This Little Piggy.”

18. Llama Llama Red Pajama
By Anna Dewdney

Another story that is perfect for bedtime, Dewdney uses her beloved llama character and limited rhyming text to address nighttime separation anxiety between a child and his mother.

19. The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School
By Laura Murray

The Gingerbread Man is one smart cookie! When he’s left behind from recess, he solicits little help from various school personal. This book is the perfect way to familiarize children with the adults, schedules and layouts of their school.

20. Pretend You’re a Cat
By Jean Marzollo

With delicate watercolor illustrations by Jerry Pinkney, this book encourages imaginative play by prompting children to imitate different animals.

21. Drummer Hoff
By Barbara and Ed Emberley

Sergeant Chowder brought the powder, but Drummer Hoff fired it off! Children will be inspired to march around the room and stomp their feet to this rhythmic, repetitive story of soldiers that build a cannon, piece by piece. With vibrantly colored uniforms and strong, rigid illustrations, the pictures are just as captivating as the rhyming tale.

22. “I Can’t,” Said the Ant
By Polly Cameron

This book is a collection of quick rhymes disguised as a conversation between several things in a kitchen. Clever and intriguing, kids can learn about teamwork, friendship and phonics through dialogue!

23. How Big is a Pig?
By Clare Beaton

Follow a chipper pig around the farm as he discusses opposites by comparing different animals. After pages of remarkable felt artwork, you find out exactly how big the pig is!

24. My Granny Went to Market
By Stella Blackstone

A spectacular mix of culture, geography, counting and of course rhyming, this book follows a grandmother on her trip around the world to acquire different items.

25. Wild About Books
By Judy Sierra

Illustrated by Marc Brown, this book takes on rhyming multisyllabic words in a boisterous story that introduces animals to reading by pairing them with books that fit their personalities.

26. Bear Snores On
By Karma Wilson

Part of her wildly successful “Bear” books, Wilson depicts one bear hibernating through the winter despite all of the surrounding distractions.

27. Where the Sidewalk Ends
By Shel Silverstein

Some are silly, some are sad, some are cute and some are rad! Different from the short stories listed above, this compilation of beloved poems and black and white illustrations is good for a quick poem, anytime.

About Danielle Steinberg

Danielle Steinberg

Danielle received her Masters in Education which led her to a spot on the PBS Parents team in 2011. She now works full time as a producer of content and social media for PBS Digital Studios and continues to work as a web producer for PBS Parents.

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