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15 Best Rhyming Books for Babies (Ages 0-1)

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Looking for rhyming books that are perfect for 0-12 months? My babies always seemed to pay more attention when I read books with rhyming prose.

Their ears just perked up a little, and I noticed their attention span was a little longer.

I’ve decided to go through everything we have – and a few fun finds I didn’t even know about – to bring you the very best 15 rhyming books for the first year of your baby’s life.

15 Best Rhyming Books for Babies (Ages 0-1)

Other article in this series: 30 Best Rhyming Books for 2-Year-Olds

Why Rhyming Books?

Hey diddle diddle | the cat and the fiddle | the cow jumped over the moon…

Rock-a-bye baby on the tree top | When the wind blows the cradle will rock | When the bow breaks the cradle will fall | Down will come baby, cradle and all

Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool? | Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full. | One two, buckle my shoe | Three four, shut the door…

There’s a reason all these lullabies and nursery rhymes… well, rhyme! It’s almost like they are the language babies speak. 

baby with book

For little brains that are just beginning to sort out this new language of the “outside Mama world,” the cadence of rhyme, the rhythm, resonates. 

I noticed early on that there are a few books that hooked my kiddo’s attention better than any others: books that rhyme.

Rhyming Books for Babies

Rhythm, if you think about it, is why the sound machines have the “heartbeat” setting. 

It’s why babywearing puts baby to sleep while you walk around and try to clean the house.

The sweet repetition of the lines of Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb are comforting because they form a pattern. A nice, steady beat

bundle rhyming books for babies

This is predictable, and don’t we all love us some comfort zone predictability? Baby can learn to anticipate those patterns. In fact, that’s exactly what baby is learning to do in the earliest months – find the patterns and make sense of the world. 

And maybe that’s why most lullabies make no sense! 

“Hush little baby don’t say a word,” (I mean, I get that part), “Daddy’s going to buy you a mockingbird” (and that’s where reasonable leaves the building). 

Maybe it’s really just about rhyming and creating that sing-song connection for those little bundles of squish. It doesn’t hurt that rhymes make remembering lines easier for Mama, too.

15 Best Rhyming Books for Babies

I’ve compiled a list of 15 books that I’ve found and loved, most dearly, with my babies. These are worth adding to your library (or I kicked them off the list!). 

And…I’ll just say it now so I don’t have to say it under every book on the list below: I love these baby books. Now, you won’t have to roll your eyes at me going, “this one is my favorite” just to read under the next title, “no, this one is my real favorite!” I’ll try to keep my book-loving side in check.

some of the best rhyming books for babies

Now that we have that disclaimer out of the way…  

1. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

goodnight moon

Let’s start off strong with the classic of all classics. Published in 1947, Brown introduces us to a sweet simplicity: the bedtime routine. 

For some unknown reason, I’ve discovered that saying goodbye to things helps my littles to transition from one task to the next. In Goodnight Moon, the bunny winds down and says goodnight to everything in his room, everything out his window, and slowly cozies down in his bed for the night. 

I like to read this one at bedtime and get a little quieter with every turn of the page. This one is a classic for a reason.

2. Peek-a-Boo by Lovevery

peek a boo by lovevery

The book Peek-a-Boo comes in The Inspector Play Kit for 7-8 months as part of the book bundle add-on. I absolutely adore this book!

It has some really fun elements inside including mirrors and cloth lift-the-flaps to reveal images of real babies beneath. These are so captivating for little brains.

And the whole book rhymes, which is so fun.

peek a boo inside

You can check out a review of all the new Lovevery book bundles here.

3. Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson

bear snores on

Wilson is masterful with rhyming. Get a crown and put it on her, because she deserves it. 

Not only do the words at the end of the sentences rhyme, but the rhythm of the whole text flows effortlessly. 

It’s a fun one for reading because of its flow. We actually first found this book through a Literati subscription, and I’m SO glad we have it, because it’s a favorite in our home. 

It’s also the first in a series of Bear books. I’ll include a few links to some of my other favorites here too. 

4. All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant

all in a day

This made the list for a couple of reasons. 

I love some of Cynthia Rylant’s other work, for one. She has a series called Mr. Putter and Tabby. They are darling stories of an elderly man and his cat (save this post and come back to it for that nugget right there in a few years).

Another reason to note this book, All in a Day, is that yes, it loosely rhymes but the pictures look like high-contrast art cards which will fascinate your youngest little readers. 

The illustrations are mostly black and white but also play with black images on a yellow or red background. 

5. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle

brown bear brown bear

This is such a nice book for babies because of the simple pictures that are one color (basically) on each page. One nice image to look at at a time. 

Repetitive, rhyming language. An easy win! 

inside of brown bear brown bear

It’s fun to play with the language and add your own narrative at playtime, too. 

You can pick up a toy and say, “little train, little train, what do you see?” Then pick up another toy and have the train “see” the other toy… “I see a teddy bear looking at me.” 

6. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

chicka chicka boom boom

This is a modern classic to me. It’s unique in my mind because it’s an alphabet book, but it also has a narrative. There are some onomatopoeia words that are just fun! 

“Skit skat skoodle doot. Flip flop flee.” Say that 5 times fast… without smiling. 

Those letters have some personality – watch out for that dare-devil “a” on the last page! 

7. Llama Llama Sand and Sun by Anna Dewdney

llama llama sand and sun

This book made my list because it’s a sensory touch-and-feel book with rhymes. 

I was actually introduced to this series by the Llama Llama Gives Thanks book, which I think still remains my favorite (link below). 

For this list, I had to go with Sand and Sun because of the interaction for babies. On each page, in addition to the simple text of rhyming that tells a great beach story in so few words so well, there is something to touch and interact with; a squishy beach ball, reflective sunglasses, and even a shimmery sandcastle.

8. The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Iza Trapani

itsy bitsy spider

This book takes the familiar rhyme to the next level. 

This itsy bitsy spider doesn’t leave its adventure to just that waterspout. This spider climbs up everything a spider can climb up. 

inside of itsy bitsy spider

It’s fun to help baby find Itsy Bitsy on each page, too. The illustrations are delightful and colorful.

9. I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug by Caroline B Cooney

bear hug book

This one is pretty new to me but I already see that it’s a winner. 

The Mama in this book experiments with all different types of hugs. Bear hug, Dog hug, Duck hug, even a Fish hug. 

inside of bear hug book

Celebrate those cuddles!

10. Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw

sheep in a jeep

I loved this book even before I had babies. It’s clever with its rhyming and is beautifully illustrated. 

inside of sheep in a jeep

The Sheep have a jeep and they learn a few lessons in physics; “sheep in a jeep on a hill that is steep.” A must in the library!

11. Moo Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton

moo baa la la la

This is a silly little book with repetitive language and rhyming words. 

It’s an animal sound book that is quick and oh-so-simple. The illustrations are as simple as the text. 

inside of moo ba la la la

Sometimes, it’s nice to have just a short, quick read. You catch my drift, mama? It’s sure to be a giggle, too.

12. Little One, God Loves You by Amy Warren Hilliker

little one god loves you

I’m not sure why, but we’ve been given this book around four times. And, it’s just so sweet. 

little one god loves you inside

The illustrations are darling – lots of bunnies and beautiful colors. There is so much to look at on each page. 

Dazzling if only for that but the verse is also sweet and comforting and rhymes, of course.

Related: 25 Best Toddler Easter Books

13. When I Hold You by Ashley Huffstutler

when i hold you

This book is beautiful. 

When your tiny hand grabs mine, God’s tender nearness comes to mind. | When I gaze upon your face, I catch a glimpse of hope and grace.

This book is a mom writing to her children about the gift motherhood has been to her. 

when i hold you 2

I was given this book by someone who knew the author. Huffstutler battled a terminal brain tumor and lost that battle just after releasing this book. 

She had two small girls and she and her girls are illustrated on the last page. 

14. Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear by Emily Gravett

orange pear apple bear

The title rhymes and those four words make up the entire book. 

The four words from the title get rearranged and with only one exception on the last page… the pictures tell their own story. 

inside of orange pear apple bear

It’s a fun, super simple one perfect for the first year. 

15. Any book of nursery rhymes!

This list couldn’t be complete without a book of nursery rhymes. These have been a go-to for me over the years!

There are SO many different nursery rhyme books out there – just search for “nursery rhymes” on your library’s website or check your bookshelves! You probably have at least one somewhere.

This padded board book from Amazon is a good one for babies!

Ready to Get Reading and Rhyming?

I was so excited to read to my babies and always wanted them to love books as much as I do. I’m pretty passionate about finding the best books and weeding out the filler junk books. 

As a side note, Literati is a great book subscription service that has sent us really high-quality books with great storylines.

I’d love to hear if you have had the same experience with rhyming books with your babies or would love to hear if you try out some from the list and get a baby hooked on books! 

infant looking at contrast book

Pick up a few new books from the links in this article and start rhyming your way to cuddles and memories!

More book guides:

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