Rhyme time! Best rhyming books for little ones

Guest post.

Is there any better feeling in this world than snuggling a warm little body into yours and reading to them in a sing-song voice?

Books that rhyme are just so very special, right? It isn’t just about the story and pictures, but the rhythm in which they are read in and the energy this creates. A good rhyming book will connect with little ones on a number of levels and every child’s book shelf should have more than just a few.

Here’s why we love them (as well as the best rhyming books to own or give as gifts!).

Why rhyme?

Many an early childhood teacher and librarian will gush about the learning power of rhyme.

A story written with rhythm helps little ones to develop auditory discrimination, listening skills, to gain a richer vocabulary, develop phonetic awareness and to message those early concentration skills.

What’s more, and it really is so much more, a great book that rhymes will have them falling head over heels (or should that be head over pudgy little feet in mismatched socks?) in love with words and books!

And we all know a love of reading is the first brick in their literacy path.

Reading rhyming text together is also just a really gosh darn lovely thing to do! A rhyming book elevates what is already an intimate time between a grown up and a little one – quiet book time together – to be about a shared energy. You both FEEL the words together and there is a mutual connection with the text and reading experience. It is a primal thing.

As Megan Daley says in her book, ‘Raising Readers’:

“There is something hardwired into the human brain that, independent of culture or upbringing, responds to rhyme, rhythm and words that can be memorised and chanted.”

Raising Readers, Megan Daley p. 148

Best rhyming books

Yes, Megan, that’s just it! Try not to chant the first few pages of Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle’s (RIP, beautiful man), classic, ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See’:

Brown bear, brown bear , what do you see? I see a red bird looking at me .

Red bird, red bird , what do you see? I see a yellow duck looking at me.

Yellow duck, yellow duck, what do you see? I see a blue horse looking at me.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

It’s a chant as much as it is a wonderful story which teaches children colours, word recognition and also has a funny ending which delights and sends them into fits of giggles.

In the spirit of celebrating all that is wonderful about rhythmic books, we’ve selected some of our favourite titles. These books will be loved by babies, toddlers and preschoolers (as well as the adult reading them who can’t help but do so in a sing-song voice!).

See also our ‘Best Books for Babies’, ‘Best Books for Toddlers’ and all of Megan’s favourite reads for each age and stage here.

Best Rhyming Children’s Books

‘The Bird in the Herd’

by Kathryn Apel & Renee Treml


‘Sing Me the Summer’

by Jane Godwin & Alison Lester 


I Am Angry

by Michael Rosen. Illustrated by Robert Starling


Wonderful Shoes

by Emma Bowd & Tania McCartney


All the Ways to be Smart

by Davina Bell & Allison Colpoys


Goodnight, Glow Worms

by Aura Parker


Meerkat Splash

by Aura Parker


The Silly Seabed Song

by Aura Parker


I’m a Hungry Dinosaur

by Janeen Brian & Ann James


I’m a Dirty Dinosaur

by Janeen Brian & Ann James


I’m Australian Too

by Mem Fox. Illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh



by Maxine Beneba Clarke


All Through The Year

by Jane Godwin & Anna Walker


‘Where is the Green Sheep?’

by Mem Fox & Judy Horacek


‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?’

by Bill Martin Jr & Eric Carle


‘Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy’

by Lynley Dodd


‘Pig the Pug’

by Aaron Blabey


‘The Gruffalo’

By Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler


Lana Hallowes is an online writer and mum of two boys. She recently adopted a rescue puppy, so feels like there’s also a wayward toddler living in her house. When she isn’t mumming or working, she’s ignoring the housework and reading a good book.

Looking for more great book reviews and recommendations? I’m Megan Daley and you can find out more about me here.

My book recommendations (for babies to young adults) is here and you can peruse ALL of my reviews (searchable by age, genre and theme) here.

Check out my mini ebook, ‘What to Read Next‘ or sign up for my FREE webinar, ‘3 Tips to Start the Best Book Club Ever‘.


June 23, 2021 at 02:56AM Lana Hallowes