Rhyming Books for Toddlers & Preschoolers

rhyming books for toddlers and preschoolers

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 Why is rhyming important?  In a nutshell, it prepares your children to be excellent readers.  Here’s a list of terrific rhyming books for toddlers and preschoolers. 


Mouse Mess, by Linnea Riley

Our copy of this book has been loved so much it is now in pieces.  It’s the story of a mischievous mouse who explores the kitchen at night.  “Crackle, sweep, he rakes cornflakes – and jumps into the pile he makes!”


Buzzz Said the Bee, by Wendy Lewison

This is the rhyming tale of a bee who lands on a duck.  But “when the duck said ‘scat,’ the bee just sat.”


Where Is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox

Children will enjoy the bright, simple pictures in this cheerful rhyming book.  “Here is the blue sheep, and here is the red sheep.  Here is the bath sheep, and here is the bed sheep.  But where is the green sheep?”


Pretend You’re a Cat, by Jean Marzollo

This is a great book for kids to fill in the rhymes.  “Can you fetch?  Can you roll? Can you dig in a ____?”


Moose on the Loose, by Kathy-Jo Wargin

Bold illustrations and  simple rhymes make this book a winner. “What would you do with a moose on the loose? Would you chase him or race him or stand up to face him?”


Duck in the Truck, by Jez Alborough

For a few days, this was the only book my Two would listen to. And he still asks for it every time we drive by the library (he doesn’t know he’s getting it for his birthday!).  Duck’s truck is stuck in the muck. A group of funny animals come to the rescue.


Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino

In this classic story with Steven Kellogg’s unmatched illustrations, Lloyd the llama guesses what animal is each baby’s mama. This book works especially well for having your child complete the rhymes.


Jamberry, by Bruce Degen

A boy and a bear rhyme their way through a world of berries.


Drummer Hoff, by Barbara Emberley

This 1968 Caldecott (best picture) winner tells the story of seven soldiers who put together a cannon — and Drummer Hoff, who fires it off.  The pattern will remind you of “This is the House that Jack Built,” but it’s a much shorter and a lot more appealing to kids.  (Unless your kids are fans of that old rhyme   — my kids are squirming by the end.)


Sheep in a Jeep, by Nancy Shaw

These silly but lovable sheep enjoy a day in the country until they encounter car trouble.  “Uh oh! The jeep won’t go!  Sheep leap to push the jeep!”  Be sure to check out the many other Sheep  books by Nancy Shaw.


Each Peach Pear Plum, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Do your children  know the classic nursery rhymes?  If so, they’ll love finding familiar characters hiding all through this book.


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault

No list of rhyming books is complete without this favorite. “A told B and B told C, ‘I’ll beat you to the top of the coconut tree!'”

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    • Anna Geiger says

      Yes, the rhyming books are extra fun to read! I enjoyed looking at your blog. That’s a great idea to recommend books for expats! Our family was in Hong Kong for a semester a few years ago; the English pickings were quite slim!

  1. says

    We are big fans of Jamberry and also read Each Peach Pear Plum many, many times. Thanks for the list, I see some new ones to check out. Pinning.

  2. Margaret says

    When my youngest was still in diapers, he yelled, “FUN! Pop, tops, one, one!” in the grocery store. I had no idea what he was talking about until I realized what aisle we were in. “Olives, pickles, ketchup, fun! Pop the tops off, one by one!” I tell my students that story when we read Mouse Mess as an example of a self-to-text connection :)

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