Do you remember some of the first nursery rhymes that you sang as a child?
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
They stick with you, don’t they?
Rhyming is an important step in the development of language skills, and exposing children to rhyming early is a great way to give them a head start. One of the simplest ways to do that is to read nursery rhymes to your child when they are very young.
Here are a few of my favorite picture books about nursery rhymes to get you started. Grab this free printable library list to take with you on your next visit to the library.
Animal Crackers: Nursery Rhymes
by Jane Dyer
Nursery rhymes may seem ordinary, but this collection of well-known rhymes is anything but ordinary. It’s not the text, but the soft, sweet illustrations that are at the heart of the beauty of Animal Crackers: Nursery Rhymes. And because it’s a board book, it provides the perfect introduction into the world of rhyming for even the littlest children.
The Arnold Lobel Book of Mother Goose by Arnold Lobel
The Arnold Lobel Book of
Mother Goose is the granddaddy of nursery rhyme collections. Arnold Lobel’s illustrations—one for every single nursery rhyme—are nothing short of perfection. They accompany the rhymes with such delightful charm and humor that you may find yourself unable to stop reading.
Here Comes Mother Goose
by Iona Opie
Iona Opie’s big, beautiful compilation of Mother Goose rhymes is not to be missed. You’ll find adventure and fun on every page, thanks to Rosemary Wells’s rich (and sometimes zany) illustrations. You’ll find British dogs in uniform, Old Mother Hubbard sporting a beehive hairdo, and a page with more kits, cats, sacks, and wives than you can count!
Hickory, Dickory, Dock
by Keith Baker
Keith Baker’s twist on an old classic turns a well-loved nursery rhyme into the perfect picture book experience for young children. The story becomes the perfect vehicle for encouraging children to participate in the rhythm and rhyme of this beloved childhood favorite. And who knows—they just might learn to tell time, too!
Hickory Dickory Dock & Other Mother Goose Rhymes by James Marshall
There’s just one word to describe James Marshall’s treatment of Mother Goose rhymes—hilarious! He hasn’t changed a single word of the traditional text of the rhymes in his collection, but his grin-worthy illustrations make reading this board book a hoot—for parent and child. Was Little Boy Blue really “under the haystack fast asleep?”
The Movable Mother Goose
by Robert Sabuda
When you read nursery rhymes, the rhyming is kind of the main point, isn’t it? Well, this Mother Goose book moves, too! The Movable Mother Goose is an exquisitely detailed pop-up book that is as much fun to look at as it is to read. Colorful creations jump off every page, turning these nursery rhymes into an amazing multisensory experience.
The Neighborhood Mother Goose
by Nina Crews
The Neighborhood Mother Goose is what happens when nursery rhymes meet the “Big Apple.” You’ll find “Cobber, Cobbler, Mends My Shoe” keeping shop at Union St. & 7th Avenue. And is that Jack and Jill going up a hill to fetch a pail of water in Central Park? This is New York … anything can happen!
Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes by Salley Mavor
Pocketful of Posies is much more than just a book of nursery rhymes—it’s a masterpiece. Each illustration was created from rich fabrics and colorful threads, stitches, knots, buttons, and beads. From “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” to “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” you’ll find yourself staring at each page long after each rhyme has been read.
Tomie dePaola’s Mother Goose
by Tomie dePaola
Best-selling author Tomie dePaola doesn’t disappoint in this huge collection of traditional nursery rhymes. Each rhyme is illustrated in classic Tomie dePaola fashion, with simple yet bold and colorful drawings. You’ll find all your old favorites here, as well as some new rhymes you’ve probably not heard before.
Are you interested in reading some of my favorite picture books about nursery rhymes with your children? Click to download my list to take to your local library.
Looking for MORE books? You can find more great library lists here!
Do you have a favorite picture book of nursery rhymes? Please share it in the comments and I’ll add it to our Readers’ Picks list!