As promised, today I’m going to share some of my favorite rhyming books and songs for the kiddos (to go along with my series about teaching children to rhyme)! Keep in mind that this was a big task for me, as I love books and narrowing down my list of faves was difficult. Please note that I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience.
THE RHYMING SERIES
Bear Snores On is a rhyming book with delightful illustrations. It’s the first in Karma Wilson’s “Bear . . .” series and is about a group of animals having a fun time in Bear’s cave while he’s asleep. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. is, in my opinion, one of the quintessential books for young children. It discusses the alphabet in a fun way, has colorful illustrations, and is told via rhyme. Giraffes Can’t Dance is a rhyming book by Giles Andreae. It’s about a giraffe who just wants to dance, despite his fellow animals not believing in him. A great message ensconced in rhyme. Engineer and I have recently discovered Sherri Duskey Rinker’s Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. He and I both adore this rhyming bedtime story that takes place at a construction site!
Commotion in the Ocean, by Giles Andreae, is silly, goofy, and full of rhymes. I always enjoy reading this book to my students when we’re studying about the ocean or talking about summer. I have adored Sheena Knowles’ book Edward the Emu since I happened upon it in a bookstore years ago. It’s obviously a rhyming book, but it also talks about learning to like yourself for just what you are. A great book for the beginning of the year or when teaching a zoo theme. How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?, by Jane Yolen an Mark Teague, is just one in a series about “how do dinosaurs . . .?” Pretty pictures, funny situations, and a good message all wrapped up in rhyme. I couldn’t talk about rhyming books without having a Dr. Seuss book in the collection! I Can Read with My Eyes Shut is one of my favorites by him!
It’s Hard to Be Five, by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell, is a fun rhyming book with a great message about growing up. It touches on many worries young children have and guides children in a positive way. Since I was a kindergarten teacher in the past, I have a special place in my heart for Joseph Slate’s series of rhyming books. Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten talks about the beginning of elementary school and the letters of the alphabet using rhyme. Julia Donaldson’s book Room on the Broom is great to read near Halloween. It’s about a cat and a witch who lose a variety of things, but gain some friends, while riding a broom through the sky. Snowmen at Night is an awesome rhyming book for wintertime! Caralyn Buehner’s book has gorgeous illustrations, an imaginative story, and great rhymes.
A list of great rhyming books wouldn’t be complete without some nursery rhymes! Children of all ages will enjoy Iona Opie’s My Very First Mother Goose. Over in the Meadow is a quiet, calm rhyming book that references a variety of animal parents and their young. In addition to the rhymes, Olive Wadsworth incorporates counting. When Engineer was younger, Sandra Boynton’s The Going to Bed Book was a staple in our bedtime routine. We still enjoy reading this book together because of the silly illustrations and the rhyming cadence. Last on my list is Pam Adams’ version of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. I just love her illustrations added to a classic rhyming story. Lucille Colandro also has an entire series of “there was an old lady” books that rhyme, too!
SONGS FOR TEACHING RHYMING
Classic nursery rhymes and finger plays are, of course, essential when teaching kiddos to rhyme. In addition to those, I have a core group of kids’ musical artists that I turn to just for rhymes. There are so many out there to choose from, but these 4 are my favorites!
The first artist that always comes to mind is Jack Hartmann! He has a lot of silly, fun, movable music for teaching children a variety of topics. When it comes to rhyming, though, I LOVE “Rhymin’ to the Beat, Volume 1” and “Rhymin’ to the Beat, Volume 2”. They contain wonderful nursery rhymes done in different musical genres. Next up is Raffi’s CD “Singable Songs for the Very Young”. It has a variety of rhyming songs that my students have always loved. This year’s class especially enjoys when I make up my own versions of his “Willoughby Wallaby Woo” by including their names! Dr. Jean has a ton of kids’ music available, but I think her CD “Nursery Rhymes and Good Ol’ Times” is the best for rhyming. You can also check out Dr. Jean’s website for more information about her. My last recommendation for rhyming music is Greg & Steve’s “Playing Favorites”. They feature classic songs with fun melodies that kids of all ages always seem to enjoy!
What about you? What are some of your favorite books and music to teach children to rhyme? What are some of your children’s favorites? I’m always up for new book and song recommendations!