Nursery Rhymes for Little Ones

A goose standing next to a Mother Goose house

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 book cover

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 book cover

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 book cover

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 book cover

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 and Other Mother Goose Rhymes book cover

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 book cover

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 book cover

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 book cover

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

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.

FREE Nursery Rhymes Library List:

Nursery Rhymes for Littles Ones library list checklist download

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!

Nursery Rhyme Picture Books Recommended by Our Readers

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!

FREE Picture Book LIbrary Lists

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Judy Bernard


Thank you for the material. I cant wait to start working on Rhyming words next week with my great-niece.

Melanie Lustgarten


Thanks for a great list. My almost 3 year old loves singing nursery rhymes… and the one book with some in is her favorite, so will try some of these too!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

There is a reason why nursery rhymes are a timeless favorite with little ones, Melanie. They are so enjoyable! I hope you have a lot of fun together with some of these books.



I used love nursery rhymes when I was a kid.I am grown up now but still I love hearing rhymes.Thanks for your recommendation.I will check out them.

Melissa Holka


Thanks for the reminder Eleanor! I have an old set of Dr. Seuss somewhere. I think it’s time to pull them out and dust them off.

Thanks so much for your many book lists. I used to be at a loss when I went to the library, but now I have lists to take with me. Your suggestions make teaching my youngest fun and stress free.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

You are welcome. We are happy to help families find more books to love!



I’m so excited to take this list to my library. It’s so helpful to have little hints like these!

Jodie Caillouet


Love the recommendation of books, we’ll be adding several to our library.

C Lawson


Thank you for the free resources to get me get started helping my disabled granddaughter who is behind her age group! Knowing where to start is challenging. These resources will help me in evaluating her present level.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

C Lawson,
Let us know if you need further help in evaluating where to start your granddaughter.

Melissa Ford


This is a great list of options. I will definitely be heading to the library soon. I have 3 eager readers and 1 struggling reader. Using AAS and AAR makes me feel competent as a teacher to my struggling learner. Thanks!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

It’s great that AAR and AAS has given you confidence as a teacher!



Thank you for the library list! I always get overwhelmed walking through those bookshelves!



Those rhyming books look so cute!



Thanks for the suggestions!



Going to try to pick some of these up. Thanks!



I have at least 5 different Mother Goose books, but only one of the books recommended above. I see my Christmas list growing!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Now I feel like we are enabling your book addiction. Is that a bad thing? :D

pam havens


Thanks for the info



I read nursery rhymes with my younger kids. But with my older kids I read a couple poems to them every morning. They love Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein bee also enjoy Robert Louis Stevenson.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

You might enjoy our similar blog post with poetry book recommendations.

Christine Nadolny


Nursery Rhymes are essential for reading! Sing song ways of reading makes it easier and more interesting! Then moving up to Dr. Seuss type books.



I love these book recommendations! We bring them to the library :)

I love Pocketful of Posies. Give it to all the new babies in my life.

Eleanor McDonie


After learning how truly important rhyming is, I started buying all of the old Dr. Seuss books. Both of my children adore those. Frankly, I like them too. Those are our favorites for working on rhyme.