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Rhyming Books

rhyming books

Best Rhyming Stories for Children

On this booklist, we have picked a selection of rhyming books suitable for primary school classrooms. This hand-picked collection of rhyming stories will delight and entertain children throughout EYFS and KS1 and boost phonics learning and language development in Early Years classrooms.

Established classics like Each Peach Pear Plum, Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy and The Giant Jam Sandwich feature alongside relative newcomers like Nabil Steals a Penguin and The Gecko and the Echo, which are already proving themselves as ‘all-join-in’ favourites in classrooms across the country.

So jump on in, it’s not to be missed: the BooksForTopics Rhyming List!

 

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Classic Rhyming Stories

Jez Alborough
Picturebook

This one is an oldie but a goodie. This fast-paced, hilarious, rhyming text follows Eddie. who is looking for his teddy in the woods. It’s super-fun to join in with the repeated rhymes and readers will love the HUGE surprise in store for Eddie when he eventually finds what he’s looking for. This book is a timeless classic, gorgeously illustrated throughout.

Lynley Dodd
Picturebook

Lovable canine Hairy Maclary sets off for a walk and encounters all kinds of friends along the way, whose names cleverly rhyme with their descriptions – from Bottomley Potts covered in spots to Schnitzel von Krumm with his very low tum.

This classic read-aloud book that shows how fun rhyming can be is a staple in Early Years classrooms and for good reason. With its bounce-along rhythm, delightful rhymes and charming illustrations of dogs, its memorable characters and catchy verses stay with you well after the pages close.

Janet Burroway & John Vernon Lord
Picturebook
How would you solve the problem if 1 million wasps invaded your town? The residents of Itching Down find a creative solution by trying to construct a giant jam sandwich to trap the wasps. This classic rhyming picturebook and BooksForTopics HQ favourite has stood the test of time and is always a hit in KS1 classrooms.
Allan Ahlberg,Janet Ahlberg
Picturebook

The classic storybook Each Peach Pear Plum is an ideal choice for Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) due to its fun rhyming verses, lovable illustrations by Janet and Allan Ahlberg and familiar fairy-tale characters that children enjoy spotting. Readers who recognise the characters will have fun guessing the rhymes, using the pictures for clues (Where is Cinderella? In the cellar! Who is in the wood? Robin Hood!).

The book has stood the test of time and remains a firm favourite with Preschool and Reception children.

Funny Rhyming Stories

Claire Freedman
 & Ben Cort
Picturebook

This laugh-out-loud favourite continues to be a popular rhyming book for Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) children, with its whimsical narrative, catchy rhymes and humorous storyline (pants AND space aliens – what’s not to love?).

The playful text and super fun illustrations by Ben Cort capture the imagination of young readers, while the rhythmic flow and repetition make it hard to resist joining in. All in all an absolute essential for delighting young children at storytime.

 

Kjartan Poskitt
 & Alex Willmore
Picturebook

This is the story of one excitable pea in search of somewhere more fun to be than a plate of food at dinner time! Primary classes love The Runaway Pea for its exciting storyline, vibrant illustrations and a good dose of humour. The food-based characters add a fun element, making the story enjoyable and engaging for young readers. We love the expressions of surprise on the vegetables’ faces as their little green friend catapults himself off the plate and lands with a splat in a pile of ketchup. A series of mishaps follow, until the little pea accidentally finds himself making a brilliant new start.

With its playful themes of friendship and spirit of adventure, along with rhyming verses and repetition, this ensures a lively and entertaining storytime that young children always giggle along with.

Jeanne Willis
 & Adrian Reynolds
Picturebook
Who's in the loo? There's a very long queue. Is it an elephant having a poo?' If your house has many occupants, then this witty rhyme from the irreverent and observant pen of Jeanne Willis will resonate profoundly. Adrian Reynolds's exuberant illustrations highlight the fun!
Ross Collins
Picturebook

This is a delightfully silly story that will engage children of all ages, but especially younger ones who can delight in the opportunities for silly voices and revelling in the funny relationship between the bear and the mouse.

Alongside the energy and vibrant colour of the illustrations, the quirky story and the witty rhyme, this book also comes with a QR Code on the inside cover for listen to the story online, This is the kind of book that young children absorb and learn off by heart in no time at all.

Suzy Senior
 & Claire Powell
Picturebook
The perfect pants are hard to find for someone shaped like me. Could Octopants be just the job? Why not dive in and see . . .? There are all-in-ones for urchins and slipper-socks for eels... but will Octopus ever find a pair of pants to fit? A hilarious rhyming romp, packed with underwater underwear!

Steve Smallman
 & Florence Weiser
Picturebook
Oh dear! Someone’s done a doo-doo on Farmer Jill’s new hairdo! Who on earth could it have been? Cock-a-doodle-POO!A side-splitting rhyming riot packed full of toots, poops, plops and parps from award-winning author Steve Smallman and illustrator Florence Weiser. This poop-packed extravaganza is the perfect read for fans of Poo in the Zoo, Hippobottymus and The Dinosaur That Pooped series.

Rhyming Books that Help Phonics and Language Development

Jez Alborough
Picturebook
Watch out! Here comes Duck in a brand new edition of the first book in the million copy bestselling series!This is the tale of a duck in a truck - a truck that was stuck in some yucky brown muck. A sheep in a jeep and a frog in a bush saw the truck stuck and gave it a push. But the truck stayed stuck! What now, can you guess? Could a goat in a boat get them out of this mess?
Em Lynas
 & Matt Hunt
Picturebook

The Cat And the Rat And The Hat by Em Lynas and Matt Hunt is going to be a firm favourite of mine for reading to KS1 classes! As a cat-owner (slave?) myself, I absolutely love the scene-setting of the cat on the mat, playing and sleeping and dreaming…only to be interrupted by the rat, swanning around in his great big hat. The ensuing tug-of-war fight is brilliantly illustrated, the back-and-forth pictures giving children lots to notice and comment on. This is where the book really comes into its own as both a class read-aloud and a shared-focus – in a class situation you’ll have children taking sides, you could even act it out with props and be completely raucous!

Kes Grey
 & Jim Field
Picturebook
The laughter never ends with Oi Frog and Friends!Jam-packed with the silliest of animals, this bestselling rhyming story will have the youngest of readers in fits of laughter.Cats sit on mats, hares sit on chairs, mules sit on stools and gophers sit on sofas. But Frog does not want to sit on a log. Jam-packed with animals and silliness, this original rhyming story is guaranteed to get children giggling!
Julia Donaldson
 & Axel Scheffler
Picturebook
How the cat purred and how the witch grinned, As they sat on their broomstick and flew through the wind. A very funny story of quick wits and friendship, Room on the Broom is another smash hit from the unparalleled picture book partnership of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, creators of The Gruffalo . The witch and her cat fly happily over forests, rivers and mountains on their broomstick until a stormy wind blows away the witch's hat, bow and wand. Luckily, they are retrieved by a dog, a bird and a frog, who are all keen for a ride on the broom. It's a case of the more, the merrier, but the broomstick isn't used to such a heavy load and it's not long before . . . SNAP! It breaks in two! And with a greedy dragon looking for a snack, the witch's animal pals better think fast. This edition features the captivating classic story with a stunning, redesigned cover and beautiful finish, making it a must-have addition to the bookshelves of all Donaldson and Scheffler fans - big and small!

Rhyming Stories about Animals

Giles Andreae
 & Guy Parker-Rees
Picturebook
Number One bestseller Giraffes Can't Dance from author Giles Andreae has been delighting children for over 20 years. Gerald the tall giraffe would love to join in with the other animals at the Jungle Dance, but everyone knows that giraffes can't dance . . . or can they?A funny, touching and triumphant picture book story about a giraffe who finds his own tune and confidence too, with joyful illustrations from Guy Parker Rees and a foiled cover.
Peter Bently
 & Steven Lenton
Picturebook
A brilliantly bonkers story about an octopus who lives on the roof, by two award-winning and bestselling picture book creators.When a giant octopus arrives, the children LOVE their new friend; it makes the perfect slide and is fantastic at football! But some of the grown-ups aren't so pleased. Will they drive it away . . . or will they realise just how helpful an octopus can be?A warm and witty rhyming story about welcoming newcomers. Sunglasses at the ready - this book has zingy fluorescent ink on the cover and inside illustrations.
Nishani Reed
 & Junissa Bianda
Picturebook

Nabil Steals A Penguin is an absolute hoot for infant classes. With rhyming text and lots of action, the story of how Pierre the Penguin falls in love with curry and steals away in Nabil’s rucksack in the hope of a lifetime of delicious food (definitely NO FISH!) will have your little ones giggling (and also hungry).

Nabil’s family is warm and welcoming when Mum finally discovers Pierre in the bath, and they feed up their visitor with joy.The book works well as a class read as there’s plenty you can act out with lots of expression; but the illustrations are great for a shared-focus read with a parent too as there’s lots to see. The colours are vibrant but not overwhelming. I would suggest Y1-2 would borrow this most often from the library, but Y3 children just starting French would also find it fun to hear the greetings (and a few “ooh la las!”) in context.

The book comes with the Nosy Crow “Stories Aloud” QR code, so that you can listen along, which is a great bonus.

Sarah Roberts
 & Hannah Peck
Picturebook

This is a wonderful book that follows the cycle of a mysteriously individual jellyfish-like creature named Stanley as he travels through the ocean. As he meets other sea creatures, differences between him and them start to become apparent – like his two handles and colourful stripes. Various creatures swallow Stanley as he tenaciously continues on his journey until he is found by a human, on the shore, who chooses to put Stanley to much better use. A fun and brightly illustrated picture book with a clear message that plastic does not belong in the sea.

Rachel Bright
 & Jim Field
Picturebook
A flamboyantly fun tropical tale of love, fame, friendship from the creators of the international bestseller The Lion Inside.Goldy wants one thing, and one thing only - to be a STAR. On the sunny island this gecko calls home, it's always THE GOLDY SHOW, morning 'til night.But when you're dazzled by the limelight, it's easy to lose sight of the world around you. And when Goldy's performance starts to go wrong, the little gecko discovers that friendship means so much more than fame. Because when you treat the world with love, then love will come echoing back.This funny and touching rhyming story is perfect for sharing, reminding us all that treating others with kindness makes the whole world a better and happier place.

Julia Donaldson
 & Axel Scheffler
Picturebook
"How I long to sail!" said the tiny snail.The Snail and the Whale is a delightful tale of adventure and friendship by the unparalleled picture book partnership of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, creators of The Gruffalo.One little snail longs to see the world and hitches a lift on the tail of an enormous whale. Together they go on an amazing journey, past icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins, and the little snail feels so small in the vastness of the world. But when disaster strikes and the whale is beached in a bay, it's the tiny snail's big plan that saves the day.This edition features the classic story with a stunning, redesigned cover and beautiful finish, making it a must-have addition to the bookshelves of all Donaldson and Scheffler fans – big and small!Also available with redesigned covers are: The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo's Child, Room on the Broom, The Smartest Giant in Town, Monkey Puzzle, Charlie Cook's Favourite Book, and A Squash and a Squeeze.

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