Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to rules. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about rules.
Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about rules, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Cody and the Rules of Life to popular sellers like Rules of the House to some of our favorite hidden gems like You Must Bring a Hat!.
We hope this list of kids books about rules can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
“You are cordially invited to the BIGGEST, BESTEST, HATTIEST party of all time!” Come join the fun—but only if you have a hat. AND you know the entry rules. Unfortunately, there seems to be a surprising number of those, as a young boy discovers. Will he—and the cool collection of animals he befriends along the way—ever get in? Gloriously illustrated, the art contains loads of details that serve as clues to the satisfying surprise ending. Kids will read this thoroughly hilarious cumulative picture book again and again!
Ian always follows the rules. His sister, Jenny, breaks them all the time-especially “Don’t pinch.” So Ian is thrilled when the house where his family is vacationing posts a tidy list of rules. But when Jenny breaks them all, the house itself decides it’s time for payback. The rug, the stove, and the bathtub are hungry for rulebreaker soup, and they’ve found the perfect ingredient: Jenny! Now Ian is faced with a thorny question: What if saving your sister means breaking the rules? From the New York Times best-selling team of Mac Barnett and Matthew Myers comes a hilarious tale of sibling rivalry, moral complexity, and disgruntled monsters, perfect for sharing with your own favorite rulebreakers. Praise for Count the Monkeys “This spot-on spoof of counting books is the perfect reward for anyone who’s put in a hard day’s work with numbers, big or small.” -Publishers Weekly, starred review Praise for Oh No! Not Again! “Wonderfully ridiculous in premise and execution and abounding in creative touches, this will surely spark student spinoffs.” -Kirkus Reviews, starred review Praise for Chloe and the Lion “[R]at-a-tat dialogue and fresh visuals should keep it at the top of the bedtime pile.” -Publishers Weekly Praise for Mustache “Youngsters will get a kick out of this kingly comedy .” -Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books Praise for Oh No! “A must-have.” -Kirkus Reviews, starred review Praise for Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem “Definitely funny and slyly subversive.” -Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Mike Gordon loves a good thrill. And he’s not afraid to break the rules to get one. But when Mike goes too far, a friend steers him in the right direction: up. Rock climbing gives Mike all the excitement he needs. But when things get tough, will Mike fall back into his old habits?
Bartholomew Botts loves pets—but his teacher, Mr. Patanoose, says No Frogs in School! So what will happen when Bartholomew’s beloved creatures meet up with Mr. Patanoose’s rules? Lots of FUN! Hoppy pets, hairy pets, scaly pets: Bartholomew Botts loves them all. And he doesn’t want to go to school without one. Unfortunately, when Bartholomew brings his brand-new frog to class, his teacher, Mr. Patanoose, declares: No frogs in school! How will Bartholomew keep his animal friends close at hand . . . and follow Mr. Patanoose’s rules, too? Illustrated with energetic and humorous artwork, this back-to-school story will be a favorite with every animal-loving kid!
Mind your manners! Wondering what to expect on your first day of school? With 44 simple rules on how to behave, and how not to behave, at school, this giggly guidebook shows you exactly what it means to be the perfect student, and what happens when you’re not… Giggles are sure to ensue, and kids and their parents will surely want the companion book of how to behave, too!
Anybody's Game - In 1950, Kathryn Johnston wanted to play Little League, but an unwritten rule kept girls from trying out. So she cut off her hair and tried out as a boy under the nickname “Tubby.” She made the team—and inspired future generations. An inspiring and suspenseful story about what it means to want to do something so badly you’re willing to break the rules—and how, sometimes, breaking the rules can lead to change.
A Is for Elizabeth - Elizabeth is in second grade. Class 2B! It’s great! Friends, recess, homework! Even a big project: Make a poster of your name. Yayyy! Hang on. The name Elizabeth has a bajillion letters in it! The name Anna has only four letters. Plus, Anna’s first letter is A, which is also the first letter of Alphabetical Order. But Anna can’t always be first! That’s not fair! In A is for Elizabeth, Elizabeth makes more than a poster. She also makes some important choices—about fairness, rules, speaking up, and glue. But the most important thing she makes is…a friend! With copious line art by Paige Keiser, this first book in a new series—spun off from Vail’s beloved Justin Case series—is sure to delight fans of Judy Moody, Junie B. Jones, and Clementine.
My First Day at School - What’s the first day of kindergarten like? Covering all the basics, from lockers and bathroom etiquette to playground rules and afternoon snack time, My First Day of School walks young readers through a typical first, first day of school, complete with kid-friendly, 1st-person narration and playful yet realistic illustrations.
The Station Mouse - Maurice is the Station Mouse, and so he must follow The Station Mouse Handbook: Rule 1: A Station Mouse must remain unseen. Rule 2: A Station Mouse must never go out in the daytime. Rule 3: A Station Mouse must never approach the passengers. Now, there’s a reason why these rules exist: people do not like mice. And if Maurice breaks the rules, even to help a little boy who has lost something very important, there’s going to be a price to pay. There are funny details to spot on every page, including his tiny spider side-kick. Each endpaper is a map of the train station, showing where the Station Mouse goes, and where is dangerous!
Mind your manners! There’s more to good manners than just saying “please” and “thank you”! With 44 simple rules on how to behave, and how not to behave, this giggly guidebook shows you exactly what it means to have good manners, and what happens when you don’t follow the rules of good behavior… Kids and their parents will giggle their way through this clever and colorful guide on polite behavior, and are sure to want the companion book on how to behave at school, too!
Doing the right thing can be hard! When prized possessions start going missing, Cody gets a crash course in the most important rules of all — the rules of life. In Cody’s life, many things are hard to predict. Like why her older brother, Wyatt, is obsessed with his new bicycle called the Cobra, or why her best friend Pearl suddenly wants to trade favorite toys. Pearl says she will trust Cody with Arctic Fox because Cody is a trusty person. But Cody doesn’t want to give up her beloved Gremlin, and she regrets it as soon as she hands him over. When the Cobra goes missing, Cody has to decide for herself who is trusty and who is not. If only she had Gremlin to talk to! Surely Pearl wouldn’t mind if she secretly traded back . . . it’s not stealing if it belonged to you in the first place, right?
Ginny Goblin has one simple rule to follow: She is not allowed to open this box. Not until dinnertime. But Ginny Goblin doesn’t like to follow the rules, so nothing will stop her from trying to open this box. Not a tall tower, not a misty mountain, not a frightful forest, and certainly not a murky moat filled with scaly, scary serpents . . . But wait! What is in the box? You’ll have to open this book to find out! (Don’t worry, you’re allowed.)
In a society of lemmings, can a bear ever belong?
The Society of Distinguished Lemmings aims to be distinguished in abosultely everything. It takes an awful lot of rules to be so distinguished, including: no rolling around, no climbing about, and certainly no splashing in the mud! But Bertie has had quite enough of the society and all its rules. After venturing outside, Bertie discovers a bear, who is very unlike a lemming. With the bear’s help, Bertie learns that prancing about in the wild is quite a lot of fun! But when the other lemmings find out about the bear, they decide everything about him will have to change if he’s ever to fit in. Will the Society ever accept Bertie’s new friend, or is the bear simply too big and clumsy of a creature to be distinguished?
This hilarious tale features valuable themes of finding new friends, challenging peers, and questioning the rules. Readers will return to the story again and again to discover the quirks of every distinguished lemming while also learning about the importance of staying true to yourself amidst pressure to conform.
Listening is an essential life skill that helps children achieve success at school, follow safety rules and show others that they care about them. In a world filled with distractions, being a “good listener” has become more difficult than ever. The playful rhymes of Yes, I Can Listen! encourage children to appreciate the rewards of attentive listening. With sweet characters, varied type faces, and vivid colors, this picture book introduces a variety of listening scenarios. Each two-page spread let children imagine how they might listen in a number of common situations. Yes, I Can Listen! concludes with a page of suggestions for parents who wish to explore more activities that encourage and develop their children’s listening skills.