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Our top 10 rhyming picture books

Rhyming picture books are an important way to help young children acquire a natural feeling for rhyme and pattern in language. Here are a selection of some of our favourites:

animal boogieAnimal Boogie
Debbie Harter
Barefoot Books
Age 0-5

Down in an Indian jungle, children and animals have fun boogie-woogie-ing together by stomping, shaking, flapping, leaping, slithering and swaying.

See an animated version here.

cat-in-the-hatThe Cat in the Hat
Dr Seuss
Random House
Age 3-7

A classic rhyming story of the Cat in a hat who transforms a dull day into pure joy.
This hilarious book transforms children into readers too!
See the animated version here.

(See also: Green Eggs and Ham, Wacky Wednesday, Hop on Pop and more)

dinosaur roar coverDinosaur Roar
Paul and Henrietta Stickland
Dutton Books
Age 3-5

Dinosaurs roar, dinosaurs galore in this irresistible tale of dinosaurs weak and strong,
above and below, who gather for a memorable lunch. A great, rambunctious joining-in rhyme.
Click here to see lovemybooks activities.

hairy-maclaryHairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy
Lynley Dodd
Age 3-7

A memorable, cumulative rhyme about a gathering of distinctive dogs. Unforgettable characters and great pictures (see also Slinky Malinky).

lottie potterLottie Potter wants an Otter                Jeanne Willis, Leonie Lord (illus)
Harper Collins
Age 3-7

Lottie Potter is very keen to have a pet, and only an otter will do! She finds Mr Trotter’s shop which is full of otters and Lottie makes her choice. But this otter turns out to be an absolute rotter! So Lottie’s search for the perfect pet continues.

This is a rhyming picture book with a very satisfying rhythm which skips along delightfully making it a great read aloud and easy for children to join in with too. The story is very silly but great fun and the illustrations add to the humour.

mr-magnoliaMister Magnolia
Quentin Blake
Red Fox
Age 0-5

Everyone loves Mr Magnolia and his rooty-toot trumpet. He is full of fun and the joys of life even though he has only one boot. Life is complete when he receives a unique present. Children will love the exuberance and humour.(See also All Join In).
Click here to see lovemybooks activities.

oi-dogOi Dog
Kes & Claire Gray, Jim Field (illus)
Age 5-7

‘Oi Dog!’ is a wonderful and sophisticated rhyming game of a book. The rules are animals have to sit on something which rhymes with their name, from cats sitting on gnats to cheetahs sitting on fajitas. Frog, who in the prequel ‘Oi Frog!’ was squashed by dog, takes charge of the rules in this book and gets his own back. This is quite a tongue twister to read aloud but enormous fun, children could try to guess what each animal might have to sit on and perhaps come up with alternatives of their own. The brilliant illustrations add to the humour.

See a trailer for the prequel, Oi Frog here

this-is-the-bearThis is the Bear
Sarah Hayes, Helen Craig
Age 3-7

A delightful rhyming story of ‘sibling’ rivalry. Dog is jealous of Bear for the boy’s affections and nudges him into the bin. All ends well when Bear is safely retrieved after his adventure. Thought and speech bubbles reveal what the characters are really thinking.

what the ladybird heardWhat the Ladybird Heard
Julia Donaldson, illustrator Lydia Monks
Age 3-5

Ladybird may be tiny but she’s the heroine whose clever plan saves the cow from being stolen by two crafty robbers at the farm. She just needs a little help from her noisy friends. Watch and listen to the author singing the song of the book here.

See our activities for What the Ladybird Heard

(See also : The Snail and the Whale, The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Room on the Broom and more).

wheres-my-teddyWhere’s My Teddy?
Jez Alborough
Age 5-7

Bear and Eddie are frightened when thy bump into each other in the woods, until they realise they have something important in common. They both love their love their Teddy Bears! A humorous, touching tale of vulnerability. (See also It’s the Bear!, My Friend Bear, Duck in the Truck and more).
Click here to see lovemybooks activities.