Nursery Rhymes: Picture Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about nursery rhymes?

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!

My Very First Mother Goose book
#1
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.

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) book
#2
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
#3
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
#4
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.

The Hugely-Wugely Spider book
#5
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.

  1. Mother Goose's Pajama Party - 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!

  2. The Muffin Man - Do you know the Muffin Man? He makes lots of tasty treats in his popular bake shop. Sing and dance along as you follow him through his day, making muffins and feeding all of the hungry people right on Drury Lane. This hardcover library bound book comes with CD and online music access.

  3. Three Blind Mice Team Up with the Three Little Pigs - 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.

  4. Sylvia Long's Mother Goose - 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

What Really Happened to Humpty? book
#10
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.

Old MacDonald Had a Farm book
#11
Old MacDonald Had a Farm
Written by Susie Linn and illustrated by Dan Crisp
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A favorite nursery rhyme counting book with cute farm animals that disappear one-by-one! Each time a die-cut card page is turned a colorful card farm animal disappears, encouraging children to learn to count as they read and sing the familiar nursery rhyme with a twist, and find out where all the animals go to! Ideal for parents to share with children age 3 and up.

The House That Jack Built book
#12
The House That Jack Built
Written and illustrated by Diana Mayo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

This classic children’s rhyme gathers pace and complexity as it tumbles across the pages. Children will delight in repeating the rhymes and following antics of animals and characters of every size and shape.

Hickory Dickory Dock book
#13
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.

These Little Piggies Go to the Beach book
#14
These Little Piggies Go to the Beach
Written by Amy E. Sklansky and illustrated by Christine Davenier
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

From New York Times bestselling illustrator Christine Davenier and bestselling author Amy E. Sklansky comes this utterly charming, silly, and irresistible read-aloud that sends the little piggies from everyone’s favorite nursery rhyme off to the beach. Following the rhythm and rhyme scheme of the original (This little piggy went to market..), young children get to follow along as the five piggies pack the car, arrive at the beach, build a sand castle, swim and explore, and play with a beach ball. It’s the perfect read-aloud for young children and their adults, providing lots to look at, loads of fun action, and a perfect ending to a perfect day at the beach.

  1. Old Macdonald Had A... Zoo? - An extended retelling of the classic children’s song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” by beloved author/illustrator Iza Trapani featuring zoo animals running amok on the farmstead. Iza Trapani is known for her clever twists on classic nursery rhymes. This time she outdoes herself with a vist to longtime favorite Old MacDonald. His busy little farm–with a moo, moo here and a moo, moo there is out of controwhen zoo animals like kangaroos, elephants, and hippos join the menagerie. What’s a farmer to do? Iza Trapani’s hilarious, jam-packed illustrations are full of details animal-loving readers will point at with glee. And the sweet ending will keep them giggling until the next reading.

  2. Little Bunny Foo Foo - Reveals the reason Little Bunny Foo Foo has been bopping field mice on the head, and why the Good Fairy should be more careful.

  3. The Itsy Bitsy Spider: Classic Nursery Rhymes Retold - 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.

  4. Mary Had a Little Lab - Mary is an enterprising young inventor. She wants a pet, but it isn’t one she can easily buy…so she makes one with the Sheepinator! Mary’s pet sheep and her new invention make her popular with her classmates. But when she starts making sheep for her new friends, things go hilariously awry. Can Mary invent a way to fix this mess?

Sylvia Long's Big Book for Small Children book
#19
Sylvia Long's Big Book for Small Children
Written and illustrated by Sylvia Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Sylvia Long has been creating bestselling children’s books for more than 25 years. Her edition of Mother Goose rhymes is a modern classic, and Sylvia Long’s Big Book for Small Children, her latest compendium, is destined to become another nursery staple. From beloved stories like “The Three Little Pigs” and important early childhood concepts (colors, counting, ABCs) to her own family’s favorite recipes and lullabies, this warm, joyous, and comprehensive collection is the perfect start to every child’s library.

Snow White book
#20
Snow White
Written by Brothers Grimm and illustrated by Bernadette Watts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Snow White in a newly illustrated edition. Bernadette Watts’ beautiful pastel illustrations bring both a softness and new life to this beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tale about the princess with skin as white as snow.

Good Night, Sleep Tight book
#21
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.

Mary Had a Little Glam book
#22
Mary Had a Little Glam
Written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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!”

Hey Diddle Diddle book
#23
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.

  1. The Great Gran Plan - From the author of The Giant of Jum comes a rollicking new rhyming fairytale retelling in which one of the Three Little Pigs must save Little Red Riding Hood’s granny. In this riff on “Little Red Riding Hood,” the pig from “The Three Little Pigs” gets mixed up in the Big Bad Wolf’s plot to eat Granny. Fortunately, Granny is a tough old bird who can take care of herself—and everyone else, too. A funny, rhyming read-aloud!

  2. The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk - This picture book brings an international twist to the beloved nursery rhyme, The Wheels on the Bus, by bringing you aboard a busy three-wheeled taxi in India! Anything can happen as the tuk tuk rolls through town—from an elephant encounter to a tasty treat to a grand fireworks display. And in the midst of all the action, one thing’s for sure: passengers young and old love every minute of their exciting ride as the wheels of the tuk tuk go round and round!

  3. The Rooster Crows - The Caldecott Medal–winning collection of classic American rhymes, songs, and jingles. Beautifully rendered illustrations accompany well-known nursery rhymes, counting-out games, skipping-rope songs, finger games, and other schoolyard classics beloved by generations of American children. Collected from across America, The Rooster Crows features rhymes both old and new, and will be a perfect addition to any child’s collection.

  4. Indestructibles: Row, Row, Row Your Boat - Baby’s favorite book series (rip-proof, drool-proof, and nontoxic—designed for the way babies “read” with their mouths) now features one of baby’s favorite songs, with all the lyrics!

Maria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía Una Llamita book
#28
Maria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía Una Llamita
Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Everyone knows about Mary and her little lamb. But do you know Maria? With gorgeous, Peruvian-inspired illustrations and English and Spanish retellings, Angela Dominguez gives a fresh new twist to the classic rhyme. Maria and her mischievous little llama will steal your heart.

Cindy Moo book
#29
Cindy Moo
Written by Lori Mortensen and illustrated by Jeff Mack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

One night on the farm, the cows overhear a fantastic tale.

“Hey Diddle Diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon!”

Inspired by this classic rhyme, a plucky cow named Cindy Moo sets out to prove that cows really can leap over the moon.

The other cows laugh at her, but that doesn’t stop Cindy from trying—and failing—night after night . . . until a trick of nature shows Cindy a way to triumph.

As delightfully silly as the original nursery rhyme, this hilarious picture book will have readers of all stripes (and spots) cheering for its determined heroine.

The Crown Affair book
#30
The Crown Affair
Written by Jeanie Franz Ransom and illustrated by Stephen Axelsen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

In the sequel to What REALLY Happened to Humpty?, Jack (Jill’s other half) fell down the Hill and had his crown stolen. It’s up to detective Joe Dumpty to round up the usual suspects and track down the culprit.

Sleep Tight, Snow White book
#31
Sleep Tight, Snow White
Written by Jen Arena and illustrated by Lorena Alvarez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Everyone has a hard time nodding off sometimes—from Prince Charming, who snores so loud it’s alarming, to Hansel and Gretel, who have Sleepytime tea in the kettle. With a good night’s sleep, even the Wicked Queen can have a new day, fresh and clean!

Blooming Beneath The Sun book
#32
Blooming Beneath The Sun
Written by Emily Calandrelli and illustrated by Renee Kurilla
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Newbery Award honoree Ashley Bryan has hand-selected a collection of celebrated English poet Christina Rossetti’s poems to illustrate with his inimitable flourish.

The world changes so quickly, but the joy and fun of being a child always remains. Christina Rossetti’s classic nursery rhymes have embodied the simple essence of childhood for centuries, and now award-winning illustrator Ashley Bryan brings new life to them with this wonderfully illustrated selection of Rossetti’s poetry.

Bryan’s bright and intricate collage art perfectly complement Rossetti’s simple text, and together they create a vibrant book for both kids—and kids at heart.

  1. Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush - There’s so much to do on a cold and frosty day. . . . Two young pups are excited to go outside and play - but first they have to get ready for school. Sing along as they wake up, brush their teeth, get dressed, march to school, and finally get to go have fun. All the neighborhood children - from three young mice bundled up tight to a cuddly pig in a cozy hat - brave the cold to play together. Experience the familiar nursery rhyme celebrating morning routine . . . and continue the day’s routine into an afternoon of fun and cozy bedtime wishes that makes this picture book perfect for both story hours and bedtime. Send little ones off to school for the first time knowing what to expect - and also what to be excited for! Jane Cabrera’s Story Time celebrates children’s best-loved read along nursery rhymes and songs. These interactive favorites are given a new twist by award-winning artist Jane Cabrera and feature her bold, bright, kid-friendly illustrations. Other titles in the series include If You’re Happy and You Know It, One Two Buckle My Shoe, and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.

  2. Giggly Wiggly: Playtime Rhymes - “This collection of silly rhymes and poems is sure to please. . . . An excellent choice for pre-readers and very young children, as well as anyone with a love for nursery rhymes.” — School Library Journal (starred review) Michael Rosen invites children to joyfully celebrate sounds and the infinite possibilities of language with these nine clever poems adapted from A Great Big Cuddle. Nonsense verses with the feel of classic nursery rhymes tickle the ear and set feet tapping while expressive illustrations by Chris Riddell illuminate the larger-than-life characters. With subject matter that runs the gamut of a child’s emotional range from hungry and angry to wiggly and giggly, this collection will delight little listeners.

  3. Bonnie & Ben Rhyme Again - Come along as a pair of rhyme-loving siblings take a walk and are inspired to recite their favorite nursery rhymes to the world around them in this sweet and funny read-aloud. Bonnie and Ben are two rambunctious siblings who love to rhyme. One day, on a walk with their friend Skinny Doug, they recite beloved nursery rhymes for each new thing they encounter. When they reach a hill, they recite “Jack and Jill.” When they see a sheep, they recount the story of “Little Bo Peep.” The nursery rhyme characters join them on their lively walk until, with a last “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” the pair arrive home and snuggle into bed.

  4. She'll Be Coming 'round the Mountain - 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.

This Old Man book
#37
This Old Man
Written and illustrated by Claire Keay
picture 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.

    Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!