Best Rhyming Books for Kids Ages 5-8

best rhyming books for kids ages 5-8

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Rhyming is an essential skill for success in reading (see why rhyming matters).  But each year that I taught first grade I saw a few children for whom rhyming was a struggle.  Inevitably, reading was an extra challenge too.  I’ve suggested a number of games to build rhyming skills.  
But always, always, always —  the best way to teach rhyming is to read.  Looking for the best rhyming books that will hold the interest of your older kids?  My children have enjoyed many of these books as preschoolers.  But unlike many other rhyming books, this list of best rhyming books for kids will capture the interest of the school-aged reader- particularly those ages 5-8.  


The Hungry Thing, by Jane Slepian and Ann Seidler

This book and its sequel (The Hungry Thing Returns) are the perfect books to teach rhyming to older children.  A hungry monster visits a town (a school in the second book), but when making requests he speaks in rhyme.   What does he mean by “flamburgers?”  What is “crackeroni and sneeze?”  These books are real treasures but can be hard to find — check your library.


And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street, by Dr. Seuss

This, the first book Dr. Seuss published,  is about an imaginative boy named Marco.  With great exaggeration, Marco describes what he sees and hears along Mulberry Street. On each page he turns the ordinary man and wagon into something even more outlandish.  


Horton Hears a Who!by Dr. Seuss

Horton the elephant hears a small sound from a speck of dust, which turns out to be a tiny community called Whoville.  Horton takes it on himself to protect the Whos because “a person’s a person, no matter how small.”  You might appreciate checking this book out from the library from time to time instead of owning it; it is very long.  An audio version with Dustin Hoffman as narrator is wonderful to listen to in the car.


Bear Snores On, by Karma Wilson

This and the other books in the series are made even better by Jane Chapman’s endearing illustrations.  In the first book, many animals and birds get out of the cold and into Bear’s warm cave.  As they brew tea and pop corn, Bear snores on.  When he wakes up to find his friends having fun without him, Bear is distraught: “You’ve snuck in my lair, and you’ve all had fun.  But me? I was sleeping… and I have had none!”


7 silly

The Seven Silly Eaters, by Mary Ann Hoberman

Mary Ann Hoberman is the author of many rhyming children’s books including the You read to Me, I’ll Read to You series.  In this book Mrs. Peters has seven children — each of whom will eat (or drink) only one particular food.  Poor Mrs. Peters is worn to the bone cooking homemade oatmeal, baking homemade bread, squeezing lemons for lemonade and peeling apples for applesauce.  At the end of the book the family discovers a recipe that everyone will eat.  


Mrs. Spider’s Tea Party, by David Kirk

This and the other Miss Spider  books are bright, fun stories suited for older children because of their higher vocabulary and clever word play.  In this first book, Mrs. Spider is devastated when none of the insects she’s invited will come to her beautiful tea party.  When a drenched moth is forced to stop by, he learns that Mrs. Spider is a herbivore, and she soon becomes a friend of all the bugs.


The Sneetches, by Dr. Seuss 

This is another lengthy rhyming book from Dr. Seuss – but this is one I don’t mind reading a few extra times.  The Sneetches are yellow creatures, some of whom who discriminate against those who don’t have stars on their bellies.  When a stranger comes to town and makes money off the haughty Sneetches, they finally learn their lesson and don’t judge each other by whether or not “they  have stars upon thars.”  


There’s a Wocket in My Pocket, by Dr. Seuss

This book lends itself to a lot of fun rhyming practice.  The narrator rhymes nonsense words with real words by naming all the strange creatures in the house — the nupboard in the cupboard, the ghairs beneath the stairs, and the bofa on the sofa.


The Gruffaloby Julia Donaldson and Ariel Scheffler

A clever mouse outwits a hungry fox, owl, and snake by warning them of a ferocious beast whose favorite foods are roasted fox, owl ice cream, and scrambled snake.  When it turns out that the Gruffalo really does exist, the mouse has one more creature to outsmart.   


Kermit the Hermit, by Bill Peet

Kermit is a hermit crab who stores all the junk he finds in his cave. One day he is rescued from a dog by a boy in ragged clothes.  Kermit wants to thank the boy, so when he finds a treasure of gold, he slowly accumulates it until he must move his hoard out of his cave.  A pelican helps him deliver it down the chimney of the boy’s ramshackle home. The boy’s family becomes rich, and Kermit learns to think of others first.   


“Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!”, by Patricia Thomas

The elephant warns the other animals about a tremendous sneeze on its way.  The sneeze would blow the stripes off the zebra, the monkeys out of the trees, and the hippopotamus onto his bottamus.  As all the animals plead with the elephant not to sneeze, he laughs instead.  Young children will laugh along with him.


“I Can’t” Said the Ant, by Polly Cameron

This is the classic (1961) story of a broken tea pot and all the kitchen items who try to help.  “Teapot fell,” said the dinner bell.  “Is she dead?” asks the bread.  “Broke her spout,” said the trout.  “Push her up,” said the cup. “I can’t,” said the ant.  “Please try,” said the pie.”


 The Caboose Who Got Loose, by Bill Peet

Katy Caboose is unhappy with her dirty, jostling life at the end of the train but finds happiness at the end of this action-filled story when her rusty bolts break apart from the train.   Anyone who thinks rhyming books  must be simple has never read Bill Peet.  “The next thing she knew she was jerked and then jolted, then hitched to the train with her coupler bolted…”

Check out my other book lists! 



© 2013 – 2014, Anna Geiger. All rights reserved.


  1. Debby Simon says

    Dear Anna,
    I stumbled upon your site, and wanted to say thank you! I am a musician, writer, former preschool music teacher and parent of three children (my youngest is about to turn 19!) I grew up with Dick, Jane and Sally as well as Dr. Seuss and other wonderful children’s books. (I still remember Captain Kangaroo reading books, like MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS.) I come from a family of teachers and educators- (one sister is a tenured professor at an Ivy, another is a reading specialist who helps children with reading problems. I am sending this site to her.)

    Our world is constantly changing- and many in our country, sadly, barely read. Because of my music background, I have long associated the cadence of rhyming and rhythm stories to young children enjoying the process of learning to read. To that end, after writing and publishing many stories and articles in the newspaper, in magazines and in anthologies, I wanted you to know that I have just completed my first children’s book- and it is all in rhyme!

    I wanted you to know that, your wonderful site provided a creative spark- and combined with my background, I will soon be submitting my book to publishers and agents with the hope of it becoming a reality for children everywhere.


    I love this site- and love what you have written about rhyming books. (It’s too bad publishers don’t listen to teachers!)

    I hope you will cross your fingers for me! In the meantime, thank you so much for the work you have done in putting together an incredible resource!

    Debby Simon

    • Anna Geiger says

      Thank you, Debby – what an uplifting comment! Congratulations on finishing your first children’s book – and many prayers for you that you have success with publishers! Keep me posted on that! You definitely have a great perspective on children and reading. Thank you so much for sharing my site!!

  2. says

    I love these books. My daughter is in kindergarten and is working on rhyming right now and one of her favorite night time reads recently has been Kermit the Hermit. I love the books that you have chosen to showcase rhyming. As a teacher, I think that experiencing rhyming through reading is so incredibly valuable. Thanks for this post, I am going to head out to the library and pick up some more of these titles.
    Erin @ ThePetiteStag


  1. […] Day 32 – Rhyming time:  Rhyming is a skill that kids need to learn, but can be difficult for them to catch on to (I know this from experience).  Start out by reading rhyming books, such as Green Eggs and Ham.  Point out the words that rhyme as you read.  “Do you hear how house and mouse sound the same?”  I also really like this blogger’s list of other good rhyming books. […]

  2. […] For some excellent examples of rhyming in picture books, read Eric Carl’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, many of Dr. Seuss books,(he wrote over 1000 pages of rhyming text in order to find the . perfect 64 pages worth publishing)and Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup With Rice A Book of Months. Here’s a site listing more examples. […]

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