If you’re looking for the best rhyming picture books, you’re in the right spot! Here’s a wonderful selection of books that you can enjoy with your children. These books are enjoyable in their own right, but as a side benefit, rhyming books also help develop phonological awareness, which is an important precursor to reading.
Read a brief synopsis of each book below, then download my free library list to take with you on your next visit to the library.
Edward the Emu
by Sheena Knowles
In delightful rhyming couplets, Sheena Knowles spins the tale of Edward, an emu who has decided that life as an emu is simply a bore! But after trying out life as a seal, a lion, and even a snake, Edward realizes that maybe life as an emu isn’t so bad after all.
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
The lilting cadence of a construction site going through its bedtime rituals will help power down your child’s engine and encourage sweet dreams. With its gentle rhymes, Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site quiets your little truck lover to get him ready for bed.
The Pout-Pout Fish
by Deborah Diesen
Deborah Diesen’s The Pout-Pout Fish is a perfect read-aloud. The repetition, rhyming, onomatopoeia, and even some pretty big words are perfectly placed in this fun book. Your child won’t even realize he’s swimming in a sea of language concepts.
Llama Llama Red Pajama
by Anna Dewdney
Llama Llama Red Pajama does wonderful double duty as a rhyming picture book and a perfect book for bedtime. The lilting rhythm and rhyme of Anna Dewdney’s story will gently quiet your restless little one while reminding him that he doesn’t need to be afraid. It’s a security blanket in the form of a picture book—perfection!
Rhyming Dust Bunnies
by Jan Thomas
The cast of characters in Rhyming Dust Bunnies—Ed, Ned, Ted, and Bob—have a little problem: Bob doesn’t rhyme. But despite Bob’s inability to conform, this book is the perfect introduction to rhyming. And though Bob’s words don’t rhyme, his slightly out-of-sync words might be trying to tell his friends something very important!
by Helen and Thomas Docherty
Another perfect picture book for bedtime, The Snatchabook has a bit of everything—softly flowing rhymes, a dose of mystery, and a dollop of sweet sentiment. The story begins in a little town where “in every house, in every bed, a bedtime book is being read.” But when a bedtime book goes missing, there’s a big mystery to solve!
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?
by Jane Yolen
If you have a child in your home who is a master staller when bedtime rolls around, you might want to get your hands on a copy of How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? This hilarious rhyming picture book just may convince your little one that his I-don’t-want-to-go-to-bed antics aren’t acceptable…even for a dinosaur!
by Julia Donaldson
Don’t let this mouse’s size deceive you: he can tell a whopping tall tale when his hide is on the line—and in The Gruffalo his hide is on definitely on the line. But his story about an enormous Gruffalo keeps this cunning mouse out of all sorts of tight spots. And in the end, it may be the Gruffalo’s hide that is on the line.
Ada Twist Scientist
by Andrea Beaty
Think a girl can’t be a scientist? Just ask lady scientists Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie…or Ada Marie Twist! This rhyming book is about a girl whose curiosity can’t be squelched…not by her frazzled parents or by her somewhat flummoxed teacher. But then, maybe Ada’s constant questions and chaos are a sign that she’s going to be something special!
by Sandra Boynton
Get ready for a Barnyard Dance! You’ll be bowing with the horses, twirling with the pigs, and spinning with the chickens. You’ll be stomping, clapping, bouncing, strutting, sliding, promenading, and trotting. With an oink and a moo, and a quack, quack, quack, Sandra Boynton’s catchy rhythm and rhyme is simply irresistible.
Big Red Barn
by Margaret Wise Brown
From sunrise to sunset, the Big Red Barn is just teeming with activity! There are pigs and horses, sheep and goats, geese and cows. There’s a bantam rooster and a little bantam hen. And of course, there’s an old black cat and a big red dog. Margaret Wise Brown’s rhyming barnyard classic is just perfect! Join the fun!
Fox Walked Alone
by Barbara Reid
When Fox wakes from a nap, he sees an unusual sight. Animals of all kinds are passing by. He has no idea where they’re headed, but the foreboding skies and whistling wind convince Fox he had better tag along. Two by two, the animals continue on their way…with more animals joining as they go. Where do you think the animals are going?
by Mac Barnett
Children love to rhyme, and they love to giggle too, and Mac Barnett’s delightful picture book will have your little ones rhyming and giggling all at the same time. You see…this is not your ordinary rhyming book! That’s because just when you think you’ve figured out the rhyming word that comes next, you turn the page and … Guess Again!
If I Were a Lion
by Sarah Weeks
Delightfully entertaining watercolor illustrations accompany a sweet rhyming story about a little girl banished to the time-out chair. Her mother thinks she’s wild, but she’s not so sure. Lions are wild. Bears are wild. Whales, wolves, and tigers are wild. Can the little girl convince her mother that she’s not so wild after all?
Iggy Peck Architect
by Andrea Beaty
Young Iggy Peck is an architect. From the time he was two, Iggy has been building things. He built a tower with diapers and glue and a sphinx from clods of dirt. He built churches and chapels from peaches and apples and a castle with chalk. But not everyone is impressed with Iggy’s skills–that is until he builds a bridge that saves the day!
by Ludwig Bemelmans
In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. And one of those little girls is Madeline. First published in 1939, this beloved rhyming picture book has been making children smile for decades. Its delightful plot and predictable rhyme make Madeline the perfect bedtime read-aloud!
Over in the Meadow
by Olive A. Wadsworth
You may find your library shelves filled with wonderful versions of Over in the Meadow, a classic nursery song from the late 1800s. This delightful version pairs Olive A. Wadsworth’s poem with brightly-colored illustrations by Anna Vojtech. It’s an engaging exercise in counting and rhyming that you and your child will both love.
Ten on the Sled
by Kim Norman
There were ten in the bed, and the little one said, “Roll over, roll over!” Sound familiar? If so, you’re in for a treat with this adorable rhyming picture book that features a giant sled, a snowy hillside, and a forest-full of animals (ten to be exact). This is a one rhyming picture book you may find yourself singing instead of reading!
Ned the Knitting Pirate
by Diana Murray
This delightful rhyming picture book offers a hilarious look at a pirate who doesn’t like to heave and ho and swab like the rest of the crew aboard the Rusty Heap. Ned does like to knit, and the captain isn’t very happy about that! But maybe Ned’s knitting will come in handy after all!
Would you like to read some of my favorite rhyming picture books 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 rhyming picture book? Please share it in the comments and I’ll add it to our Readers’ Picks list!