When it comes to teaching kids to rhyme, rhyming books are a must. They provide interesting, engaging story lines and illustrations for the children to focus on. Hearing the rhymes within each book is a meaningful example of the concept.
Rhyming Books for Kids
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.
Old Tracks New Tricks by Jessica Peterson is a new favorite of ours! It’s about wooden train tracks, so little engineers will have a blast with it. On top of that, the book is encouraging about trying new things and being creative.
Another new book we’re loving is The Nuts: Keep Rolling by Eric Litwin. It’s about Hazel and Wally Nut getting into some dirty, muddy fun at play time. In addition to the fun and silliness, it’s got a good message to “keep rolling” when times get tough.
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.
Sherri Duskey Rinker’s Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site was a favorite of my son for quite some time. He and I both adore this rhyming bedtime story that takes place at a construction site!
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 and 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.
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 my son 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.
I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont is one that always makes me smile. A little girl tries to give up her painting ways, but to no avail. The illustrations and catchy text are always a hit with my kiddos.
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!
Using Rhyming Books to Teach
Reading (and rereading!) these children’s books is definitely one way to work on rhyming. There are other ways of extending the learning the books, too, of course. Here are a few ideas:
- Have the kids be “rhyming detectives.” They can put their fingers on their nose (or their hands on their heads, or make a silly face, etc.) every time they hear rhyming words.
- Keep a chart nearby when you’re reading the books to the kiddos. When they notice rhyming words, jot them down on the chart.
- Use the rhyming words from a book to play silly rhyming games. For example, after reading Giraffes Can’t Dance, have the kids do a little dance when you say a pair of rhyming words.
What about you? Do you have any favorite books to teach children to rhyme? What are some of your children’s favorites? I’m always up for new book recommendations!
More from the Rhyming Series
1. Why is Rhyming Important?
2. What You Need to Know About How to Teaching Rhyming
3. Rhyming books and songs
4. Rhyming activities for children
5. Even more rhyming activities for kids
Originally published on April 17, 2013