One of the easiest ways to get kids interested in learning is through picture books! But you can’t just read a great book in a boring way…you have to read in a way that will have those kiddos hanging onto every word you say.
But how do you do that? Well, I am so glad you asked!!
One of the best ways to keep your listeners focused is to read books that rhyme.
Because books that rhyme already have a natural cadence and “sing-song” nature about them, they immediately become more interesting to your listeners.
And that’s why I put together this list of the best rhyming books for kindergarten. I wanted to you to have a group of books to choose from that included everything your students need (and want) from a read aloud.
That’s why you’ll find funny books, silly books, sweet books, and encouraging books on this list.
So without further ado…let’s get into it!
I decided to start with this one because it was one of my oldest son’s favorite books as a child. And of course, that meant we read it over and over again! He loved telling me which animal was coming next.
From a bald eagle to a spider monkey, young children will meet several endangered animals as they journey through the unique illustrations of Eric Carle and the flowing rhymes of Bill Martin, Jr.
While Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? was designed to help readers meet endangered animals, this book is dedicated to the beautiful colors we see in nature!
Written in the same sing-song rhythm with the same vivid illustrations, this story showcasing animals of all colors will delight kids of all ages and will be one they reach for again and again.
This is such a fantastic book! With simple rhymes by author Karen Beaumont and colorful artwork by David Catrow, this fun story is an excellent introduction into positive self-talk.
The main character is a young girl who shares all about why she likes herself and how even when she makes mistakes, she is still special. The over-the-top imagery and the important message in this story make it a must-have for your home or classroom library.
Another silly rhyming book that children of all ages will enjoy! After mama llama has put her young son to bed, she reads him a story, kisses him, and says good night.
But as soon as she is out of sight, the young llama wants her back. So he tries calling, crying, and fretting to get her attention. When she doesn’t come back quick enough, Llama decides to showcase a little “llama drama.”
Another amazing book by Bill Martin, Jr. in collaboration with John Archambault. With its delightfully catchy rhyme, every young child will be repeating the phrase, “I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree.”
From a-z, all of the letters of the alphabet get to make an appearance and take a trip to the coconut tree!! This is one of my favorite rhyming books for kindergarten because it is the perfect springboard for teaching phonemic awareness.
6. The Gruffalo
In this undeniably inventive tale by Julia Donaldson, we meet a mouse who is quite concerned about his station on the food chain. After meeting a fox, an owl, and a snake, he comes up with a grand tale about a creature so terrifying and mean it has the name of Gruffalo. Of course, the mouse knows the Gruffalo is just made up…or is it?
This whimsical story is so much fun and one that your students will ask you to read over and over again.
Another funny book in our list of rhyming books for kindergarten comes from author Giles Andreae. This silly book gives us a glimpse into what the jungle looks like in Africa on the night of the Jungle Dance.
Warthogs waltz, lions tango, and chimps cha-cha. Unfortunately, as a clumsy giraffe, Gerald is laughed out of the dance. Brokenhearted, Gerald finds a friend who encourages him to listen for a different song.
While many of the stories mentioned in this list of books are silly or funny, this one is unique because it reminds kids of how important they are to the world and to God himself!
Written by Matthew Paul Turner and illustrated by David Catrow, young readers will adore the bright colors and the thoughtful storyline. This is definitely one to add to your collection!
In this classic story originally published in 1947 by Margaret Wise Brown, a little bunny is getting ready for bed. He systematically goes through everything in the room telling each item in sight good night! Alternating between black & white and colorful illustrations and boasting simple, easy to read text, your new readers will ask for this book again and again.
In this rhyming picture book written and illustrated by Jan Thomas, we get a glimpse into the lives of the three rhyming dust bunnies…Ed, Ted, and Ned. Each one is a master of rhyme, but their friend Bob doesn’t get it. He just keeps saying things like “Look out!” When they realize that he is warning them about impending doom from a broom and then a vacuum cleaner, they discover how important he is to their safety.
Join Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, and Excavator as they finish their hard work for the day and turn in for the night. The wonderful illustrations punctuate the great rhymes and add to the impact of this simple book. This book is an ideal introduction into early literacy skills for students who might otherwise tune out read alouds. If you have a student who is truck-obsessed, this book will be an absolute winner.
Take Me Out of the Bathtub written by Alan Katz was the original book full of “silly dilly” songs written to the tune of some of our favorite children’s songs and nursery rhymes.
In this second installment, we find our young friend (who is still in the bathtub), six brussel sprouts, and a whole host of new and interesting characters bringing lots of hilarity! And yes, I will admit it…even I think this book is equal parts ridiculous and hysterical.
Another fantastic option on this list of rhyming books for kindergarten, comes this hilarious story by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague.
Ever wondered what it’s like trying to get dinosaurs to go to bed each night? Well, it turns out, they do a lot of the same things children do at night…especially when it comes to putting off going to sleep. Enjoy this classic rhyming story full of bright illustrations.
The quintessential classic rhyming book by Dr. Seuss! I remember reading this book when I was a little girl and I even remember my mom making us green eggs!!
Unfortunately, I was not a child who liked anything green on her plate, so they weren’t a real hit for me. But I digress… This Dr. Seuss book is full of excellent rhymes that even the most hesitant listener will enjoy. Trust me, this is definitely one to add to your library.
16. Fox in Socks
Another Dr. Seuss book that is full of rhyming words, but much more complex than others! This book would be an excellent introduction into words that rhyme and sound similar, but are spelled completely differently.
From Joe Crow and Mr. Knox to Tweetle beetles and Mr. Fox, this book with have your tongue in a knot! And trust me, it is definitely another winner to add to your rhyming books for kindergarten collection.
If you want to incorporate rhyming into the first day of school, this book by Corinne Demas and Artemis Roehrig fits the bill. With a focus on manners and respect, young kids get to compare what they’ve always heard about pirates to the new things they learn about pirates in this fanciful tale. Oh and it rhymes, too!
18. Rhyme Crime
There is a mystery that needs to be solved. Marlow’s smile has been stolen, Dingle’s sneeze is gone, and Tumble’s orange can’t be found. It’s proof that there is a thief on the loose!!
But this isn’t a normal thief, this individual is replacing all of the stolen items with things that rhyme. Trust me when I tell you, young children will adore all of the silly rhymes in this fun book by Jon Burgerman.
19. Lloyd Llama
It can be really hard to get along with others who dislike the things you like. Lloyd Llama discovers this to be very true when he meets Al Alpaca. While Lloyd like roller coasters, lollipops, and spelling, Al likes art, air guitar, and apples. They have nothing in common…or so it seems. Until the day they discover they both have allergies. Come along and join the fun in this silly story!
When a tortoise decides to set off on an adventure, he packs his bags and then sets off to tell all of his animal friends goodbye. But he doesn’t just tell a few friends. He decides to tell every animal including the timid mouse to the bumblebee goodbye. As he goes along, his goodbyes get more outrageous causing the listener to question whether the tortoise actually wants to leave at all.
21. Sheep in a Jeep
If you are just looking for a simple story that will have your listeners cracking up, then this is the one you want. Ever wondered what would happen if sheep got behind the wheel of a jeep? Well, you don’t have to wonder anymore because you get to come along for the ride of your life as the silly sheep take the jeep out for a spin. And just so you know…things get a little messy!
So there you have it! 21 of the very best rhyming books for kindergarten!
While this is a list of some of my very favorites, you know your kindergarteners best. Therefore, you know which books will be the best investment for your classroom library.
However, I can honestly say they are all winners.
And even though I have included them in this list of rhyming books, they can be used to teach so many other concepts.
In fact, I would use these books to teach cause and effect, countries of origin, food chains, endangered species, author’s craft, similarities and differences, perspective, point of view, and so much more.
That’s the amazing thing about children’s books. They can be used as a springboard to teach so many skills. You just have to be willing to think outside the box.