eight Greatest Rhyming Books for Youngsters’s E book Writers

Last time we talked about whether or not your picture book needed to rhyme. Today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite books that rhyme to study as models. Check out the best rhyming books for children.


Why Rhyming Children’s Books Matter

In the article Should My Children’s Book Rhyme? we discussed that rhyme is an important element of early literacy skills development. From board books to picture books for older readers, rhyme can take a wonderful story in fun and unexpected directions while having a lyrical, bouncy and satisfying feel to the text.

There are lots of book lists for teachers and parents looking for fun rhyming books, but today I thought I’d share a few with clever rhymes that you can study as you decide whether your book needs to rhyme.

One thing to note with all of these is how rhyme works for the story. Notice how rhyme in these books enhances the story. None of these rhymes feel forced.

Following are seven great rhyming books that range from simple to complex to admirably clever, plus one of my very own that I love reading aloud as much as I enjoyed writing it!

I’ve divided these books into three categories:

  1. Simple, repetitive rhymes
  2. More complex rhymes
  3. Clever uses of rhyme

Note: The links on each title below aren’t affiliate links—just great books to study for craft!

Three Repetitive Rhyme Examples for the Youngest Children

These three examples from books for toddlers or preschoolers use few words and short phrases with several of the words repeated often.

Notice there’s a combination of both Perfect Rhyme and Near Perfect Rhyme as well as examples of lines 1 and 2 rhyming and lines 2 and 4 rhyming and sometimes a combination, such as in Sheep in a Jeep.

These books are a great way to teach little readers the concept of rhyme through an engaging tale while building vocabulary. The big takeaway here is how much is said in very few words and syllables.

1. Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy E. Shaw, Illustrated by Margot Apple


Sheep in a Jeep
Beep!  Beep!
Sheep in a jeep
On a hill that’s steep.

The jeep won’t go.
Sheep leap
To push the jeep.

Sheep shove.
Sheep grunt.
Sheep don’t think
To look up front.

Get Sheep in a Jeep »

2. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Llama llamaPin
Red pajama
Reads a story
With his mama.

Mama kisses
Baby’s hair.
Mama Llama
Goes downstairs.

Llama llama
Red pajama
Feels alone
Without his mama.

Get Llama Llama Red Pajama »

3. Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! by Annie Kubler

Zoom Zoom Zoom
We are going to the moon!Pin
Zoom Zoom Zoom
We are going to the moon!
If you want to take a trip,
climb aboard my rocket ship!
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
We’ll be there very soon!

Get Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! »

Two More Complex Rhyme Examples

You’ll see in these two examples more complex rhyming stories for young children.

One thing to note in Example 4: The author rhymes consecutive sentences (1 and 2; 3 and 4, etc.) in Perfect Rhyme except for the near-perfect rhyme bed and heads. Contrast this to Example 5 where the author rhymes sentences 2 and 4 in Perfect Rhyme.

4. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld


Down in the big construction site,
the tough trucks work with all their might.

To build a building, make a road.
To get the job done — load by load.

The sun has set, the work is done.
It’s time for trucks to end their fun.
So one by one, they’ll go to bed.
To yawn and rest their sleepy heads.
Then wake up to another day
of rough and tough construction play.

Get Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site »

5. Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash by Sarah Weeks, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott

Each Monday at dawn,Pin
Mrs. Nelly McNosh
brings out a barrell
and does a big wash.

It takes her all morning,
and when the sun’s high,
she hangs what she’s washed
on the clothesline to dry.

Get Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash »

Two Books That Use Rhyme in a Clever, Unexpected Way

I’ve included these next two examples for what you’ll read as very clever—and educational—storytelling!

In The Wonky Donkey, you’ll notice the beginning of the story does not rhyme except for the Wonky Donkey phrase. Instead, it uses the repetition of several phrases: I was walking down the road, Hee Haw! and of course building upon the donkey’s characteristics.

Similarly, The Icky Sticky Frog mixes and matches its rhymes while repeating SHH! and adding fun sounds—WOOP and SLURP that create fun for both the reader and listener. This use of fun repetition invites a child to be part of the story as they anticipate what might be coming next!

6. The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith and illustrated by Katz CowleyPin

I was walking down the road and I saw… a donkey,
Hee Haw!
and he only had three legs!
He was a wonky donkey.
I was walking down the road and I saw a donkey,
Hee Haw!
He only had three legs… and one eye!
He was a winky wonky donkey.
I was walking down the road and I saw a donkey,
Hee Haw!
He only had three legs, one eye… and he liked to listen to country music.
He was a honky tonky winky wonky donkey.

Get The Wonky Donkey »

 7. The Icky Sticky Frog by Dawn Bentley, Illustrated by Salina Yoon

On a pretty blue lake on a big brown logPin
sat a very quiet little green frog.
A fly flew by.
SHH! Frog didn’t make a sound.
He just eyed the fly flying around.

WOOP! Out came Frog’s tongue
so sticky and long and
SLURP! The fly was gone!

Just as Frog was swallowing the fly
a colorful beetle came crawling by.
SHH! Frog didn’t make a sound.
He just eyed the beetle crawling around.

Get The Icky Sticky Frog »

One More Rhyming Example

I’ll close with a few words (rhyming, of course!) from one of my very own titles, Hooray for You, that will encourage you to bring your unique self to your fun book projects as only you can do!

8. Hooray for You by Marianne Richmond


For quite a long time,
the world saved a place.
Millions were born,
yet none filled your space!
Until the second of a minute
of one special day,
you took your first breath
and the world said, “Hooray!”

Fuel Your Creativity With Inspiring Rhymes

I’m hoping this list of rhyming books for kids and examples gives you lots of references for how to begin writing your own stories in rhyme! Words are the writer’s tools on the page of infinite possibility. And your creative fuel is your unlimited imagination.

Words are the writer’s tools on the page of infinite possibility. And your creative fuel is your unlimited imagination.

What is your favorite rhyming children’s book and why? Share your favorites in the comments.


Set the timer for fifteen minutes. Choose one of the three types of rhyming books I outlined above: repetitive rhyme, complex rhyme, or clever rhyme.

Using one of the examples as a model, use your own characters or book ideas to create a few stanzas of your book. It can be a simple story or a funny story or just a collection of catchy rhymes, but let yourself play with words until time is up.

Then, post your favorite stanza or two in the practice box and leave feedback for other writers.

Enter your practice here: