51 of the Best Nursery-Rhymes Books

Updated Mar. 12, 2019

There is just something about the rhymes we remember from our childhood. It is still fun to re-read these stories and even more fun to see the faces of our children when we share the fun with them!

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) book
#1
After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)
Written and illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the New York Times–bestselling creator of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend comes the inspiring epilogue to the beloved classic nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after? Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat's poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most. Will he summon the courage to face his fear? After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) is a masterful picture book that will remind readers of all ages that Life begins when you get back up.

Old MacDonald Had a Truck book
#2
Old MacDonald Had a Truck
Written by Steve Goetz and illustrated by Eda Kaban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

This is a book I enjoy reading over and over again. It's a fun twist to the nursery rhyme that discusses the heavy machinery trucks that Old MacDonald has on his farm and the work they're doing to prepare for Mrs. MacDonald's upcoming leap! The illustrations are cute, but it's really the fun twist and attention to detail that makes this book enjoyable.

Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a...TRUCK?! With a DIG DIG here and a SCOOP SCOOP there, this classic folk song just got revved up! Beloved machines—the excavator, dump truck, bulldozer, and more—will have the vehicle-obsessed of all ages reading and singing along.

One Fine Trade book
#3
One Fine Trade
Written by Bobbi Miller and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This story definitely hits your silly bone. Georgy is determined to get his silver dollar but also seems so naive. He trades his only asset for something less valuable and it goes downhill from there. He is so optimistic and you never get a feel that there is any reason to be anything else. It is very fun to read and the illustrations are fabulous.

Georgy Piney Woods, the best peddler who ever lived, makes several trades so his daughter can buy a wedding dress.

Red Green Blue book
#4
Red Green Blue
Written and illustrated by Alison Jay
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This is a cute book of colors. One can also spot some nursery rhyme characters being interwoven throughout the story. It is a fun combination in which you can point out both or either the color or the nursery rhyme for older children that may know those as well.

Characters from nursery rhymes populate this tale, which highlights the colorful aspects of the familiar poems. Includes a key to the nursery rhymes referenced in the story.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star book
#5
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Written by and illustrated by Sylvia Long
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-12

In this tenderly illustrated edition of the classic rhyme, award-winning artist Sylvia Long touches the hearts of readers yet again. Her detailed watercolors depict a group of animal friends as they make their way home under the night sky to complete their bedtime rituals.

The Hugely-Wugely Spider book
#6
The Hugely-Wugely Spider
Written by Ethan T. Berlin and illustrated by Karl Newsom Edwards
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This funny and clever picture book, great for spring displays, is a twist on the classic Itsy-Bitsy Spider nursery rhyme.

Mother Goose's Pajama Party book
#7
Mother Goose's Pajama Party
Written by Danna Smith and illustrated by Virginia Allyn
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Thoughts from The Goodfather

Mother Goose's Pajama Party does such a nice job of tying together many classic fairytale stories. It's fun to see the diverse worlds and characters you know so well in their individual tales come together for Mother Gooses's party. The reprinting of the traditional stories is a fun bonus at the end.

Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This is such a great tale of classic nursery rhymes combined into a fun slumber party. There is something in it for everyone to love! They story flows along with one great line from many different rhymes and swirls into a magical journey of adventure and rhyming!

"Star light, star bright, Come to story time tonight. Bring your friends and don't be late. Meet at my house, half past eight." Mother Goose has invited all her nursery rhyme friends to her house for a magical sleepover. See the Cow that jumped over the moon, who tells the Dish, who tells the Spoon, who are soon joined by Little Bo Peep, Miss Muffet, Georgie Porgie, and a whole troop of other nursery time friends. What starts with a lively parade to Mother Goose's house ends in a cozy goodnight scene featuring everyone's favorite nursery rhyme characters, the ideal note for bedtime. Includes an afterword with all the classic nursery rhymes featured in the book, making it a true treasury.

Three Blind Mice Team Up with the Three Little Pigs book
#8
Three Blind Mice Team Up with the Three Little Pigs
Written by Paul Harrison and illustrated by Mariano Epelbaum
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

The Big Bad Wolf keeps trying to eat the three little pigs. The farmer's wife keeps chasing the three blind mice. If they work together, maybe they can solve each other's problems.

Do Your Ears Hang Low? book
#9
Do Your Ears Hang Low?
Written by Melissa Everett and illustrated by Andrea Doss
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-6

Do your ears hang low? Do they wobble to and fro? These bunnies will know! This classic childhood song paired with fun illustrations is sure to have you and your little one singing and laughing along during storytime!

Mary Had a Little Glam book
#10
Mary Had a Little Glam
Written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Mary has STYLE! In this fun take on Mother Goose, fashion-forward Mary helps some childhood favorites go glam. From the kid who lives in a shoe (and dons some fab footwear) to Jack, who breaks his crown but gets a great new one, Mary's friends look fine. But are they too well dressed for recess? Don't worry--Mary always shows her flair for what to wear!

What Really Happened to Humpty? book
#11
What Really Happened to Humpty?
Written by Jeanie Franz Ransom and illustrated by Stephen Axelsen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Detective Joe Dumpty rushes to investigate the mysterious circumstances under which his older brother, Humpty, fell from a wall on his first day as captain of the new Neighborhood Watch program.

Baby Loves to Party! book
#12
Baby Loves to Party!
Written and illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Have a blast with baby in this party-time companion to the hit board books Baby Loves to Rock! and Baby Loves to Boogie! The baboons blow up the balloons, and the lemurs hang the streamers. The snake bakes a cake, and the pheasants wrap some presents. But who is ready to party? With playful illustrations, funny puns, and rhymes about a crew of critters bringing down the house, this energetic and adorable story from the rock star creator of Baby Loves to Rock! and Baby Loves to Boogie! is sure to please party animals of all ages!

Good Night, Sleep Tight book
#13
Good Night, Sleep Tight
Written and illustrated by Mem Fox
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In this book with rhyming text, Bonnie and Ben's favorite babysitter reads them nursery rhymes before putting them to bed.

The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer book
#14
The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer
Written by Jeffrey Burton and illustrated by Sanja Rescek
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

A merry Christmas twist on the favorite nursery rhyme “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”! The itsy bitsy reindeer worked up in Santa’s shop, helping the elves to do their Christmas job. Building the toys and singing songs of joy, as they wrapped all of the presents for every girl and boy. The itsy bitsy reindeer spreads holiday cheer as he helps Santa’s Workshop get ready for Christmas. Little ones will love this fresh holiday spin on the classic nursery rhyme, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”!

Hey Diddle Diddle book
#15
Hey Diddle Diddle
Written by Melissa Everett and illustrated by Mary Manning
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

"Hey Diddle Dilly, Its time to Get Silly, Like Mother Goose likes to do." Spinning a creative and entertaining tale from the original rhyme, this Re-Versed Rhyme picture book is designed as a read aloud tale to inspire rhyming fun with early learners. Extension activities add layers of fun and engagement to the book.

The Itsy Bitsy Snowman book
#16
The Itsy Bitsy Snowman
Written by Jeffrey Burton and illustrated by Sanja Rescek, Jeffrey Burton
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

A fun and playful seasonal twist on “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” makes this favorite nursery rhyme perfect for wintertime! The itsy bitsy snowman went sledding into town, looking at the snowflakes softly falling down. Out came his friends to lend a happy hand. And everything was perfect in his winter wonderland. Little ones will love this fresh winter spin on a classic nursery rhyme, as one little snowman sleds through a winter wonderland.

This Old Man book
#17
This Old Man
Written and illustrated by Claire Keay
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Learn to count and add with this traditional rhyme. Bouncy illustrations, innovative die cutting and popular rhymes make Books with Holes a must for every child. This is a board book edition.

The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin book
#18
The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin
Written by Sonali Fry and illustrated by Sanja Rescek
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

This gently spooky twist on “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” makes a favorite nursery rhyme just perfect for Halloween! The itsy bitsy pumpkin rolled down the spooky street. He passed a ghoulish ghost and some stinky goblin’s feet. A little pumpkin is trying to find his way back home! And with a little help from a friendly witch, he is soon safe and sound, back on his porch—where there are no spiders to be seen! Little ones will love this fresh fall spin on a classic nursery rhyme!

My Very First Mother Goose book
#19
My Very First Mother Goose
Written by Iona Opie and illustrated by Rosemary Wells
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

To a small child, words are magical. And the most magical of all are the beloved, venerable words of Mother Goose. Now folklorist Iona Opie has gathered more than sixty treasured rhymes in their most perfect, honest form. From "Hey Diddle, Diddle" and "Pat-a-Cake" to "Little Jack Horner" and "Pussycat, Pussycat," these are familiar verses that have been passed from parent to child for generations; these are the rhymes that are every child's birthright. With watercolors by Rosemary Wells that may prove equally enduring, MY VERY FIRST MOTHER GOOSE captures the simple joy and the sly humor that are the essence of Mother Goose. Parents and children will find themselves exploring this volume together, savoring delightful details and funny surprises on every page. This is a book that promises hours of quiet smiles and merry grins for readers of all ages.

Star Light, Star Bright: A Mother Goose Bedtime Collection book
#20
Star Light, Star Bright: A Mother Goose Bedtime Collection
Written and illustrated by Sourcebooks, Inc
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Just in time for the holidays, this padded board book features original illustrations and your favorite Mother Goose rhymes Filled with lovely artwork, this is a padded board book treasury of the most popular bedtime Mother Goose rhymes. This soothing collection will whist every toddler off to dreamland. The rhymes include: • Twinkle Twinkle • Star Light, Star Bright • Hickory Dickory Dock ...and more!

She'll Be Coming 'round the Mountain book
#21
She'll Be Coming 'round the Mountain
Written and illustrated by Anne Passchier
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

She'll be coming round the mountain, when she comes. Toot, Toot! How will she arrive next? Featuring a range of vehicles, activities and sounds, this catchy song is a delightful way to learn new words. Bouncy illustrations, innovative die cutting and popular rhymes make Books with Holes a must for every child.

Humpty Dumpty book
#22
Humpty Dumpty
Written by Charles Reasoner and illustrated by Marina Le Ray
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Illustrator Charles Reasonor's charming version of the traditional nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. Word balloons add a touch of sweet humor to a familiar tale.

Sylvia Long's Mother Goose book
#23
Sylvia Long's Mother Goose
Written and illustrated by Sylvia Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

From bestselling artist Sylvia Long comes an enchanting collection of over seventy-five classic Mother Goose rhymes. Imbued with the artist's love of nature and overflowing with charming details, this spectacular compilation includes such timeless favorites as Old Mother Hubbard, Mary had a little lamb, and Rock-a-bye baby. Sylvia Long's Mother Goose is a perfect gift that, like the rhymes themselves, will be passed from one generation to the next

Hickory Dickory Dock book
#24
Hickory Dickory Dock
Written and illustrated by Keith Baker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Rhythmic text expands on the Mother Goose rhyme, including a variety of animals that react as the clock strikes one through twelve.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider: Classic Nursery Rhymes Retold book
#25
The Itsy Bitsy Spider: Classic Nursery Rhymes Retold
Written by Joe Rhatigan and illustrated by Carolina Farias
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Find out what happens next to the poor, wet spider and his insect friends in this classic nursery rhyme retold for today's kids. "The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the waterspout" So begins the new and expanded version of the 100-year-old classic nursery rhyme. In this silly, fun, and must-read-aloud book, young children find out what happens next to the poor, wet spider and his insect friends. Follow along as caterpillars play leap frog in the trees, ladybugs play hide-and-seek, a beetle builds a swimming pool for his ant friends, and busy bees jump rope with a worm. There are giggles aplenty as each turn of the page offers new surprises and super-silly situations.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!