The best children’s storybooks written in rhyme

Why am I passionate about this?

I have written poetry since I was a little boy. Rhyme came naturally to me, and I found it to be a world to escape to. This led me to songwriting and touring in bands, and it grew into my vocation as a jingle writer in Australia. Eventually, I wrote the jingle that won the World’s Best Jingle award in Hollywood, and this, in part, inspired me to move to New York City from Australia. The other driving force was getting my first book, How To Steal From Banks—an autobiography—published in America. Writing and rhyming are deeply embedded in my soul and cells. 


I wrote...

The Secret of Scrufflewood Wood

By Simon Mills, Michael Jan (illustrator),

Book cover of The Secret of Scrufflewood Wood

What is my book about?

The Secret of Scrufflewood Wood is the latest in a series of twenty Sir Rhymesalot books that take the reader on remarkable journeys atop a rhyming magic carpet. Scrufflewood Wood is a time-travel adventure that explores the love between a father and son, dealing with loss, and never giving up. Eddie Gunn goes on an adventure that he could never have imagined and comes back transformed as his eyes are opened to the unimaginable secrets of Scrufflewood Wood and the Henge.

A Potter-esque mystery with depth and thought-provoking themes. In addition, Sir Rhymesalot books now include a visual rhyme and rhythm system, which is a powerful literacy tool.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of Horton Hears a Who!

Simon Mills Why did I love this book?

Of all the Dr. Seuss books, Horton hit me hard.

It’s not just the rhyme or the time or the tale. It’s not the Who ocean on which Horton sails… Seriously though, it is the title that shines even among the genius of other Suess titles. Horton was my biggest influence in becoming a children’s author, and it helped me to find my own rhyming voice.

To tell a powerful story in rhyme is far more difficult than writers and readers may think, and this book goes deep—a rich example of Dr. Seuss’ brilliance and rhyming excellence in storytelling. 

By Dr. Seuss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Horton Hears a Who! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

When Horton the Elephant hears a tiny voice calling for help from a speck of dust, he is determined to save his new friend.

'A person's a person, no matter how small..'

Horton the elephant sets out to save the inhabitants of a speck of dust, in this classic and hilarious tale about friendship and respect, from the inimitable Dr. Seuss.

As part of a major rebrand programme, HarperCollins is relaunching Dr. Seuss's bestselling books, including such perennial favourites as The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and Fox in Socks. In response to consumer demand, the bright…


Book cover of Where the Wild Things Are

Simon Mills Why did I love this book?

Even before Dr. Seuss, I read this classic.

I reiterate my sentiment on telling powerful stories through rhyme. The rhyme tends to disappear in the same way that subtitles do when watching foreign films, and yet it drives the plot and flow seamlessly. Of course, the illustration is extraordinary and certainly contributes to the appeal, but for me, it is the mastery of the rhyme as it could easily stand on its own. 

By Maurice Sendak,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Where the Wild Things Are as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Read-along with the story in this book and CD edition!

One night Max puts on his wolf suit and makes mischief of one kind and another, so his mother calls him 'Wild Thing' and sends him to bed without his supper.

That night a forest begins to grow in Max's room and an ocean rushes by with a boat to take Max to the place where the wild things are. Max tames the wild things and crowns himself as their king, and then the wild rumpus begins.

But when Max has sent the monsters to bed, and everything is quiet,…


Book cover of Giraffes Can't Dance

Simon Mills Why did I love this book?

I found this wonderful book later in life. Actually, I literally found it lying on the street—probably dropped from a stroller.

The rhyming is so beautifully supported by the illustrations of dancing animals that it overwhelmingly makes it a compelling page-turner. Giraffes Can’t Dance immediately connects me to my inner child, and he can dance like a monkey.

By Giles Andreae, Guy Parker-Rees (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Giraffes Can't Dance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

Gerald was a tall giraffe whose neck was long and slim,
But his knees were awfully bandy and his legs were rather thin . . .

Gerald the giraffe longs to go to the great Jungle Dance, but how can he join in when he doesn't know how to tango or two-step? Everyone knows that giraffes can't dance . . . or can they?

A funny, touching and triumphant story about being yourself and finding your own tune, with joyful illustrations from Guy Parker Rees. This chunky board book edition is perfect for little hands.

"All toddlers should grow up…


Book cover of Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll

Simon Mills Why did I love this book?

I love an underdog story. Overcoming adversity against all odds.

Ricky is a rockstar. Plus, I’ve been a rocker all my life, playing in bands all over the world, so when it comes to rock n roll, I clearly identify. I like the subtle use of color in the illustrations in this book, as it gives the rhyming verse a little room to shine.

Ricky, the Rock that Couldn’t Roll also points loosely to overcoming a disability and gently navigates the emotion of living with such a burden. 

By Mr. Jay, Erin Wozniak (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

These rocks can really roll! Well, most of them, anyway...

Get ready to meet a new rock group! From zippy, little pebbles to big strong boulders, the rocks get together to play and roll around their favorite hill, only to find that one of their friends, Ricky, can't roll with them. Unlike all of the others, who are all round, Ricky can't roll because he's flat on one side.

Except for poor Ricky, who quietly sat.
You see, Rick couldn't roll, because one side was flat.

His friends didn't get it,
"Come Roll!" they would chant.
So Ricky tried, but…


Book cover of Love, Santa Claus

Simon Mills Why did I love this book?

A humble-hearted Christmas story indeed.

Liberty DeVitto—former drummer for Billy Joel and many other legendary artists—is himself a humble soul and loves to shine a light on his gratitude for being able to do a job that he dearly loves and that millions would line up to do. Like Santa Claus, Liberty is grateful for what he gets to do and takes the responsibility very seriously.

Love, Santa Claus mirrors Liberty’s view of his position in the world while telling a beautiful Christmas story in rhyming verse. 

By Liberty DeVitto,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Love, Santa Claus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Love, Santa Claus is a love letter to spiritual enlightenment and servant-hearted contentment. Follow Santa through his annual rituals and see the legendary icon of Christmas in a whole new way.


You might also like...

Totally Turtles!

By Ginjer L. Clarke,

Book cover of Totally Turtles!

Ginjer L. Clarke Author Of Animal Invaders: Creatures Causing Trouble

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Hiker Reader Dancer Nature & science lover Social justice activist

Ginjer's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Did you know that leatherback turtles can weigh up to 2,000 pounds? Or that the Florida softshell turtle can breathe through its snout and its skin? Turtles have been around for millions of years, and we’re still learning more about them!

With simple language and vivid photographs, Totally Turtles! is perfect for emerging readers curious about turtles and how they have managed to adapt, survive, and thrive for so long. Learn about the fascinating world of turtles, from sea to land and everywhere in between.

Totally Turtles!

By Ginjer L. Clarke,

What is this book about?

Learn about turtles and their many talents in this nonfiction leveled reader perfect for kids interested in these shelled creatures and their lives on land and in the water!

Did you know that leatherback turtles can weigh up to two thousand pounds? Or that the Florida softshell turtle can breathe through its snout and its skin? Turtles have been around for millions of years and we're still learning more about them!

With simple language and vivid photographs, Totally Turtles! is perfect for emerging readers curious about turtles and how they have managed to adapt, survive, and thrive for so long.


Genres
  • Coming soon!

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in life satisfaction, dancing, and Christmas?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about life satisfaction, dancing, and Christmas.

Life Satisfaction Explore 215 books about life satisfaction
Dancing Explore 30 books about dancing
Christmas Explore 251 books about Christmas