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Books With Rhyme, Alliteration, and Other Word Play
Nancy Schimmel and Fran Avni

This lesson is excerpted from Fran Avni's I'm All Ears: Sing Into Reading.

Cahoon, Heather. Word Play ABC  Walker, 1999.
Visual puns for each letter: C, crock-pot, shows a little crocodile in a pot.

Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes = [Ju tzu ko t`u]  selected and edited by Robert Wyndham;
pictures by Ed Young.  Philomel Books, 1989, © 1968.
A collection of nursery rhymes translated from Chinese; also includes the rhymes in Chinese characters.

Degen, BruceJamberry.  Harper, 1983.
A story about a boy and a bear with lots of berries and rollickinginventive rhymes. Kit.

De Paola, TomieAndy: That's My Name.  Prentice Hall, 1973.
Children play with huge letters to make different words from ANDY: candy, dandy...

de Regniers, Beatrice Schenk, et. al.  Sing a Song of Popcorn.  Scholastic, 1988.
High quality poems and excellent illustrators. Word/sound-play poems include "Galoshes," and "Eletelephony" which starts, "Once there was an elephant/Who tried to use the telephant..."

Dodds, Dayle Ann.  Wheel Away.  Harper, 1989.
The bicycle wheel gets away and rolls, ba-da-rump, pa-da-rump, pa-da-rump-pump-pump through the noisy town.

Dragonwagon, CrescentAlligator Arrived with Apples: A Potluck Alphabet Feast.
Macmillan, 1987.
Amazing, amusing Thanksgiving. 
Anne Shelby's Potluck  (Orchard, 1991) does the same thing with people instead of animals.

Edwards, PamelaFour Famished Foxes and Fosdyke.  Harper Collins, 1995.
A fascinating fancy rife with Fs.

Ehlert, LoisEating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z.  Harcourt Brace, 1989.
Bright bold beets, beans, bananas, etc.

Evans, DilysMonster Soup and Other Spooky Poems compiled by Dilys Evans. Scholastic, 1992.
Good creepy poems (some pictures may be too creepy for the younger kids).

Golick, MargieWacky Word Games.  Pembroke, 1995.
Silly rhymes, tricky riddles and wacky word games challenge children of all ages.

Gordon, Jeffie RossSix Sleepy Sheep.  Puffin, 1991.
Sheep try alliterative activities such as slurping celery soup in their efforts to fall asleep.

Guarino, DeborahIs Your Mama a Llama?  Scholastic, 1989.
Easy rhyming guessing game.

Hopkins, Lee BennettBlast Off! Poems About Outer Space,
selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins. An I Can Read Book. Harper, 1995
A good selection, most in rhyme.

Hort, LennyThe Seals on the Bus.  Holt, 2000.
A new twist on the old "Wheels on the Bus."

Hutchins, Pat. Don't Forget the Bacon! William Morrow, 1976.
Words play tricks on a forgetful shopper. Also available as a Mulberry Big Book.

Kuskin, KarlaRoar and More.  Harper, 1990.
Rhymed text invites children to make animal sounds.

Lindbergh, ReeveThe Day the Goose Got Loose.  Viking Penguin, 1990.
Chaos on the farm in tumultuous drawings and fine rhymes

Martin, Bill, Jr. and John ArchambaultChicka Chicka Boom Boom.  Scholastic, 1989.
Alphabet scat.

Martin, Bill, Jr. and Egielski, R.  "Fire! Fire!" Said Mrs. McGuire. 
Harcourt Brace, 1971.
Everyone's name rhymes with an exclamation for help, but not all the missus' are victims. Some are female firefighters, police, newscasters, etc.

Martin, Sarah Catherine.  Old Mother Hubbard and Her Wonderful Dog.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1991.
James Marshall's zany pictures enliven this old rhyme which can inspire new verses.

Las Nanas de abuelita: canciones de cuna, trabalenguas y adivinanzas de Suramérica = Grandmother's nursery rhymes: lullabies, tongue twisters, and riddles from South America compiled by Nelly Palacio Jaramillo; illustrated by Elivia Savadier. Holt, 1994.
A collection of traditional South American nursery rhymes in Spanish and English.

Perkins, Al.  Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb.  Random House, 1969.
Bright and Early Books for Beginning Readers.
Very easy, lots of rhyme and rhythm.

Pomerantz, CharlotteIf I Had a Paka.  Mulberry, 1993.
For this stylish picture book, Pomerantz has written poems in English which incorporate words from eleven other languages: Swahili, Vietnamese, etc. She also has a rhyming/alliteration story, Piggy in the Puddle.

Prelutsky, JackThe Baby Uggs Are Hatching.  Mulberry, 1982.
Huge fun with rhyme, alliteration, and endearingly awful monsters.

RaffiDown by the Bay.  Crown, 1987.
This song invites new verses.

Sandburg, Carl.  Rootabaga Stories.  Harcourt, 1922.
218 pages of fanciful stories full of wordplay and tonguetwistings:
"The checker pigs had checker bibs on, the striped pigs had striped bibs on. And the polka dot pigs had polka dot bibs on."

Shapiro, Arnold LMice Squeak, We Speak: A Poem
illustrated by Tomie de Paola. Putman's, 1997.
Different animals make different sounds, but I speak/say/talk.

Shaw, NancySheep in a Shop.  Houghton Mifflin, 1986.
The rhymes come fast and faster, the sheep are a disaster. Kit.
Also, Sheep in a Jeep, Sheep Out to Eat, etc. Kits not available.

Silverstein, ShelFalling Up.  HarperCollins, 1996.
These poems are favorites with children. Several can be used with I'm All Ears songs: "Molly's Folly"(p. 157)  and "Pinocchio" (p. 46) with"Name Game," "Complainin' Jack" (p. 9) with "Down by the Track," and"Kanga Ruby" (p. 97) for general wordplay.

Watson, ClydeFather Fox's Pennyrhymes
All rollicking rhyme and rhythm here, no free verse. If this isn't in your library, some of the rhymes can be found set to music in Father Fox's Feast of Songs by Clyde Watson (Boyds Mills Press,1992).                                        

More of alliterative songs can be found on Songs that Teach Sounds of Letters, Digraphs, and Blends.


Many thanks to Fran Avni and Nancy Schimmel for permission to publish this lesson.
© Nancy Schimmel and Fran Avni 1998.  All rights reserved.
Lyrics may be reproduced for classroom use only.

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