Rhyming Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers

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This post was initially titled “9 Rhyming Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers.”
I quickly realised that I could not narrow the list down to 9.
Every home library needs to contain a variety of rhyming books. Why?
Excuse me while I put on my Teacher Hat.

Rhyming books encourage children to play with language and to learn about sounds within words.
They allow young readers to internalise language structures and highlight that common sounds share common letters. For example, if ‘cat’ ends with -at then to read and write ‘bat’ we just change the initial sound.
Rhyming books allow for predictability and encourage engagement as children anticipate the next rhyming word. Prediction is an important reading skill. Being able to memorise text allows pre-readers to feel as though they are “reading” the text.

When we think of rhyming books, it’s hard to go past the amazing work of the likes of Dr Seuss, Mem Fox, Pamela Allen and Julia Donaldson.

In this post, I’m sharing some of the rhyming books that are read repeatedly at our place.

Rhyming Picture Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey

Pig was a Pug
and I’m sorry to say,
he was greedy and selfish
in most every way.

It’s no secret that I’m an Aaron Blabey FanGirl.
His way with rhyme is fun and fabulous.
Pig the Pug has been so popular with young readers that he now has several books following his selfish, devious and narcissistic adventures.


Rhyming Picture Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Thelma the Unicorn by Aaron Blabey

Oh, Thelma looked amazing.
She was a unicorn!
‘I’m special now,’ she cried out loud.
And so, a star was born…

What happens when an ordinary pony finds a carrot at the exact same time that a truck carrying pink paint and glitter crashes nearby?
This is a beautiful story about friendship and being comfortable in your own skin.

Rhyming Picture Books
Ninja, Ninja, Never Stop by Todd Tuell and Tad Carpenter

Ninja tiptoe,
Ninja stalk.
Granny kisses?
Ninja block.
Gorgeous retro-style illustrations, witty rhyme and action-packed, this book makes me laugh every time I read it. A rollicking good time for young readers.
A little Ninja moves stealthily around the house.  What happens when his ninja moves upset Little Brother’s tower of blocks?

Rhyming Picture Books
I’m a Dirty Dinosaur by Janeen Brian and Ann James

This is such a fabulous book to read aloud to young children.
It tells the tale of a cheeky dinosaur who loves rolling around in the mud.
Filled with action verbs, it’s a book that encourages young readers to act out the story.
Also look out for I’m a Hungry Dinosaur.

Rhyming Picture Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers
T-Veg– The Story of a Carrot Crunching Dinosaur by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Katherina Manolessou

Reginald is a T-Rex with a penchant for fruit and vegetables.
He is ostracised by the other T-Rexes for his herbivore ways and leaves to find some veggie-loving soul mates.
This book celebrates diversity and shows kids that the world needs them to embrace what makes them unique and different.
This is a super-fun book to read aloud and illustrations are a riot of fun and colour.

Rhyming Picture Books Toddlers and PreschoolersMy Dead Bunny by Sigi Cohen and James Foley

Poor Bunny Brad chews through a TV cord and electrocutes himself.
His owner, our narrator, misses Bradley so much that he digs him up from his backyard grave.
Parents may be slightly taken a back by the slightly morbid subject matter, but kids will be rolling around on the floor laughing.
The rhyming text has a perfect mix of black humour and sass.

Rhyming Picture Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers


I’ve an Uncle Ivan by Ben Sanders

This book has been described as “Seuss meets Sasek.”
The illustrations are divine and the rhyming text is fun to read aloud.
We meet Uncle Ivan in his pie van and are then introduced to his extended family and the various modes of transport they use. Where are they all going?
The illustrations give us hints before the big reveal on the final spread.

Rhyming Picture Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Traffic Jam by Aino-Maija Metsola

This is a beauty of a board book featuring detachable puzzle pieces.
It celebrates vehicles whilst teaching prepositions.

Rhyming Picture Books

Birthday party themes tend to be an indicator of much-loved books at our place.
For her first birthday, our Little Ladybird had a “Where is the Green Sheep?” party.
This book by Mem Fox was the most-read book during her first year of life.

For her second birthday, she had a Hairy Maclary party.
This series by Lynley Dodd, following a rag tag brigade of dogs, features rhyme and rhythm that makes reading aloud an absolute pleasure.

What are the favourite rhyming books at your place?

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