Great Rhyming Books to Build Reading Skills

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In a previous post, How to Raise a Reader, I discussed ways to grow a reader in the early stages of life. I mainly talked about the importance of reading to your children from an early age. In this post, I will talk about other ways to promote reading skills in your kids. I will also focus on which books to choose for developing rhyming skills.

A key component for learning to read is through the development of phonological awareness skills. According to a definition on Reading Rockets:

Phonological awareness is a broad skill that includes identifying and manipulating units of oral language – parts such as words, syllables, and onsets and rimes.

Phonological awareness skills are an important predictor of later reading ability. Because of this importance, many research studies have been completed involving the development of this skill. How can you develop these skills in your own children? One impactful way is by reading aloud to your kids from high-quality books which focus on these skills. It also helps if you understand the progression of when and how a child learns these skills.

First Skills of Phonological Awareness: Rhyming and Alliteration

Reading Rockets is a great site giving evidence-based information about reading and how parents can use this information to develop their own readers. On this site, you’ll find a helpful chart showing the progression of these skills for a typically developing child. You can access this chart here: Development of Phonological Awareness Skills. The first skill developed (at age 4)  is the enjoyment of rhyme and alliteration.

When read aloud, there are many books which can enhance these skills in your children. In this post, I will only list books that have great rhyming structure. In a future post, I will provide you with some books that feature alliteration.  Through repetition of the following rhyming books, your children will become familiar with their rhyming structure and will begin developing this skill. When reading these books, emphasize the rhyming words with your voice so that your child hears the patterns.

[bctt tweet=”Check out some great rhyming books to build reading skills!”]

Great Books for Rhyminggirlreadingquote

You should be able to get most of these at your library.

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont

I Like Myself  by Karen Beaumont

Shoe-La-La by Karen Beaumont

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Jamberry by Bruce Degan

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa by Anna Dewdney

Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney

We Go Together by Todd Dunn

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin and Eric Carle

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle

Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle

Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle

Zin Zin Zin, A Violin! by Lloyd Moss

Books by Dr. Seuss: Just about all of the Dr. Seuss books rhyme. Some may be a little long for really young children. These would be good for young children.

  • Green Eggs and Ham
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
  • Hop On Pop
  • Fox in Socks
  • The Foot Book
  • Dr. Seuss’ ABC

Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw and Margot Apple

Sheep Take a Hike by Nancy Shaw and Margot Apple

Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas

This is not an exhaustive list, just an introduction to some high-quality picture books which feature rhyming. Look for these at your library and you are sure to find some new favorite books for your kids.

What are some of your favorite rhyming books for young kids? Please comment below so I can add them to my list.


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  1. My new children’s book, Oliver Poons and the Bright Yellow Hat, would fit in perfectly on this list! It’s a happy, whimsical rhyming story for children ages Birth – 7. We also recently launched a Pre-K through Grade 2 workbook to accompany the book that includes a variety of lessons for use at home or in the classroom, including rhyming activities.

    1. Thank you for sharing your book! And, it’s nice to have a workbook/lesson plans to go along with it.

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