Best Mother Goose Rhymes Books for Children

Want to build a Mother Goose book collection for your child? If you are looking for the best Mother Goose rhymes books for children, these are some of the best collections around. You and your child will love reading and learning the nursery rhymes together!

As a former early childhood educator and a mom of 4 little ones, I have a strong appreciation for Mother Goose. I remember being surprised as a new teacher when one of the units in my first Kindergarten reading curriculum was based around nursery rhymes. I was only surprised until I realized how much early literacy is taught through simple nursery rhymes.

Reading nursery rhymes is an important part of every child’s early literacy journey.

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There are hundreds of Mother Goose rhymes and hundreds of Mother Goose rhymes books. How is one to begin choosing the best Mother Goose books? I have two recommendations.

  1. Choose a well-illustrated collection with many different nursery rhymes.
  2. Choose more than one nursery rhyme collection.

Your child learns nursery rhymes by hearing them over and over. Repetition in reading is so important for children! 

Owning a variety of nursery rhyme collections allows you to read different nursery rhymes and enjoy the different illustrations of talented artists.

We continue to add to our nursery rhyme collection with each child in our family. My 6 year old still enjoys listening to nursery rhymes, and my 4 year old loves reading them to her 2 year old sister. Even the baby pays attention when he hears the rhyming cadence of nursery rhymes. It is why we start reading nursery rhymes so early. The rhyming of short verses paired with coloring drawings holds the attention span of little ones well. This is the beauty of Mother Goose’s rhymes.

By reading different nursery rhyme books with unique illustrations to the same nursery rhymes, it is an easy way to learn nursery rhymes just by reading. I try to always keep one nursery rhyme book in our book basket. Nathan’s Kindergarten teacher was amazed at how many nursery rhymes he knew – some that even she didn’t know! I credit that to all our reading in our various Mother Goose collections.

Here are 8 of the best nursery rhyme books to add to your library. 

Links to the nursery rhyme books are included when you click on the maroon title of each Mother Goose book. 

The Real Mother Goose Board Book by Scholastic (Author), Blanche Fisher Wright (Illustrator)

This Mother Goose board book is a great introduction to nursery rhymes for babies. The pictures have stood the test of time and the board book format allows for your baby to turn the pages and enjoy looking at nursery rhymes with you. This nursery rhyme book should be in every families library. Note: There are several versions of this book. Personally, we prefer the board book to the complete book on this one – and we have both versions.

Mary Engelbreit’s Mother Goose: One Hundred Best-Loved Verses by Mary Engelbreit

You have all seen Mary Engelbreit’s whimsical drawings before, and I highly recommend her nursery rhyme collection. The detail in each picture is absolutely delightful! It is so realistic, your child will love looking through the drawings as they listen to you read.

Favorite Nursery Rhymes from Mother Goose by Scott Gustafson

This nursery rhyme book was a recent addition to our collection and we love it! Each nursery rhyme is on one page with a full page illustration on the adjacent page. Scott’s illustrations are breathtaking! They are so real like that you and your children will be enthralled. (See the cover below for an example of his beautiful artwork.)

My Wonderful Nursery Rhyme Collection Hardcover by Editors of Silver Dolphin Books

This nursery rhyme collection was newer discovery and I recommend it for slightly older children. It is a good mix of illustrations with typographical arrangements of the nursery rhymes (as shown below). This collection also includes some rhymes and songs that are not nursery rhymes but still hold to the rhyming patterns.

My Very First Mother Goose by Iona Opie & Rosemary Wells

Rosemary Wells always draws beautiful pictures and these nursery rhymes are no exception. It is a larger size book and includes a wide variety of nursery rhymes in this book.

My Bedtime Book of Favorite Nursery Rhymes  by Louise Rupnik

While this book might be harder to track down, if you can find a copy, it is a great resource for your early readers! The nursery rhymes are told in rebus style with words and pictures. I often read the words and point to the pictures for my children to fill in the missing words. This is a well loved nursery rhyme book in our home.

A Children’s Treasury of Mother Goose by Linda Bleck (Illustrator)

This treasury of Mother Good features one nursery thyme on every page with charming pictures and thick, embossed pages. It is not quite a board book but has sturdy cardboard pages, thicker than a normal. This book has a good variety of nursery rhymes.

This Little Piggy and Other Favorite Action Rhymes by Hannah Wood (Illustrator)

This is a shorter nursery rhyme book but it has a good mix of nursery rhymes that can be acted out or sung. The illustrations are whimsical and my kids love singing these nursery rhymes.

Those are some of our favorite nursery rhyme books. Do you have a favorite Mother Goose collection? We’re always looking to add to our collection!

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