4 Rhyming Books Your Toddler Will Love (And You Won’t Mind the Earworm)
You know how you hear a rhyming, rhythmic commercial jingle, nursery rhyme or proverb… and you simply can’t get it out of your head? This type of singsong writing might seem annoying at times, but it has many benefits when it comes to children’s books.
Rhymes such as “Ring around the Rosey” and “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary” have been used for hundreds of years to provide meaningful lessons or pass down historical messages from one generation to the next. The very fact that they have an earworm quality is what has kept them around for centuries.
Books written in this manner are easy to recall and help kids build general memory capabilities. There’s more to singsong stories than memorability, though. Stories that have rhyming repetition help young children learn how language works. They can help preserve culture, engage children to become involved in story time by reciting parts of the book along with the reader, and they reinforce the notion that reading really can be fun.
Have some entertaining reading time and build some pleasant memories with your kiddos by gathering a collection of singsong books that everyone will enjoy. Following are a few titles that incorporate this repeating, rising and falling rhythm along with delightful illustrations and amusing storylines:
by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
A family on a nature walk decides to go on a “bear hunt.” Along the way, they encounter many different obstacles and perils. At each hurdle, the narrator announces, “We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it. Oh no! We’ll have to go through it!”
Kids will have a blast helping with the sound effects of tall swishy grass; thick, gloopy mud; and a swirling, whirling snowstorm. Running away from the bear and facing the obstacles in reverse at the end of the book is even more fun. Helen Oxenbury’s sketches (when the family is contemplating their next move) and watercolors (as they action takes place) help make the book even more appealing.
by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
Paired with illustrator Eric Carle’s unique style of paint and paper collage, this is one of the best rhyming books for preschoolers. The book begins with the narrator asking, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?” To which the marvelously illustrated bear responds, “I see a red bird looking at me.”
The book continues in this manner as each animal is asked what it sees and, in turn, introduces another bright and brilliant creature. Along with helping them learn animal names and colors, this book can teach even the youngest kiddos that those letters printed on the pages actually representing meaningful, relatable words. Bonus: After three or four reads, your little one will likely memorize most of the book, making light work for Mom or Dad.
by Anne Miranda and Janet Stevens
If your parents read or recited Mother Goose nursery rhymes to you as a child, you’re likely familiar with the verse that states, “To market, to market to buy a fat pig. Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.”
This is not that nursery rhyme. While the story begins with that famous first phrase, the rest is completely different. Kids will giggle as the pig escapes his pen and raids the refrigerator or the lamb climbs into the dishwasher. Along with the singsong cadence of the book, tots will love Stevens’ intricate and hilarious illustrations.
by Karen Beaumont and David Catrow
You might recall Mickey Mouse’s buddy Goofy singing, “How the heck can I wash my neck when it ain’t gonna rain no more?” The repeated refrain of this book is a play on that classic silly tune.
When the main character of the book paints the living room –ceiling, walls, floor and even the curtains—his mama says that he ain’t gonna paint no more. This zany, colorful kids’ book will encourage kids to participate by guessing what part of his body the little boy is going to paint next (“I guess there ain’t no harm if I paint my…”). You might want to stash the finger paints for a while after this one, though!
This is just a sampling of some of the best singsong books for children. So many titles for little ones incorporate rhythm and rhyme that make them memorable and engaging.
Do you have some favorite rhyming books for early years? Please share your list with us!
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