Following rules can be challenging for kids, but it’s important to learn if they want to be valuable members of society. These picture books about following rules come in handy both at school and at home for those teaching their kids the fine art of rule-following. Of course, when they’re older, they can more fully understand the nuances of personal convictions and deciding which rules aren’t following.
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Picture Books About Following Rules
Here are some great children’s books about following rules:
Tea Party Rules
Published: October 3, 2013
When he follows his nose through the woods, Cub discovers a backyard tea party…with cookies! He is just about to dig in when the hostess of the tea party shows up. And she has several strong opinions on how Tea Party must be played. Cub tries to follow her rules . . . but just how much can one bear take, even for cookies?
Rules of the House
Published: May 3, 2016
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?
Published: September 2, 2021
Three little monkeys and their big monkey are sitting high on a branch in the forest canopy. “OK, monkeys! I’m off,”says the big monkey. “Remember . . . Whatever you do, do NOT go down to the mango tree. There are tigers down there.” Mmm . . . mangoes! think the little monkeys. They LOVE mangoes. Hmm . . . Maybe . . . maybe they could just look at the mangoes. That would be OK, right? With vivid colors, bold shapes, and his trademark visual humor, Chris Haughton is back with a deliciously suspenseful cautionary tale about pushing boundaries—and indulging your more impish side (when nobody is looking).
17 Things I’m Not Allowed to Do
Published: December 26, 2006
This “Parenting Magazine” Best Book of the Year and Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of the Year features a kid full of fun ideas. For example, in the morning, gluing her brother’s bunny slippers to the floor sounds like a good plan. But now she’s not allowed to use glue anymore. And what about when she shows Joey Whipple her underpants–they’re only underpants, right? Turns out she’s not allowed to do that again, either. And isn’t broccoli the perfect gift for any brother? It’s just too bad her parents don’t think so. But she has the last laugh in this humerous picture book about not-so-great behavior. And don’t miss the companion book to “17 Things I’m Not Allowed to Do Anymore: “”11 Experiments that Failed,” a zany exploration of the scientific method by everyone’s favorite troublemaking protagonist.
Published: July 25, 2006
Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, is very particular about rules in the library. No running allowed. And you must be quiet. But when a lion comes to the library one day, no one is sure what to do. There aren’t any rules about lions in the library. And, as it turns out, this lion seems very well suited to library visiting. His big feet are quiet on the library floor. He makes a comfy backrest for the children at story hour. And he never roars in the library, at least not anymore. But when something terrible happens, the lion quickly comes to the rescue in the only way he knows how. Michelle Knudsen’s disarming story, illustrated by the matchless Kevin Hawkes in an expressive timeless style, will win over even the most ardent of rule keepers.
The Book of Rules
Published: November 16, 2021
Beware! This book has rules. You must follow all the rules. If you break the rules . . . Dennis the monster will eat you. And you don’t want to be Dennis-food―do you?
Published: August 10, 2010
It’s time for the little red chicken’s bedtime story—and a reminder from Papa to try not to interrupt. But the chicken can’t help herself! Whether the tale is Hansel and Grettel or Little Red Riding Hood or even Chicken Little, she jumps into the story to save its hapless characters from doing some dangerous or silly thing.
Now it’s the little red chicken’s turn to tell a story, but will her yawning papa make it to the end without his own kind of interrupting? Energetically illustrated with glowing colors—and offering humorous story-within-a-story views—this all-too-familiar tale is sure to amuse (and hold the attention of) spirited little chicks.
You Must Bring a Hat
Published: August 8, 2017
The only rule for attending this party is . . . you MUST bring a hat. But what if you don’t own a hat? Will bringing a monkey wearing a hat be enough? Find out in this tale that builds to a gloriously surreal and hilarious ending.
No Frogs in School
Published: August 7, 2018
Bartholomew shares his love of scaly, hairy, and hoppy pets by bringing one to school each morning, starting a wild week that charms his classmates but challenges his teacher.
Don’t Push the Button!
Published: November 1, 2013
There’s only one rule in Larry’s book: don’t push the button.
(Seriously, don’t even think about it!)
Even if it does look kind of nice, you must never push the button. Who knows what would happen?
Okay, quick. No one is looking… push the button.
The Society of Distinguished Lemmings
Published: March 3, 2020
It takes an awful lot of rules to be so fancy, but this group of lemmings is determined to be grand and elegant in everything they do. That means no rolling around, no climbing, and certainly no splashing in the mud!
But Bertie has grown tired of the other lemmings and decides to venture outside his burrow, where he meets—a bear! The bear knows nothing about rules, but a lot about having fun. Bertie and the bear have a great time together…until the other lemmings discover Bertie’s new friend. They decide, at once, that everything about the bear is going to have to change if he’s ever going to fit in with the group.
Can Bertie’s friend learn how to be fancy like the lemmings, or is the bear simply too big and clumsy?
Follow Me, Flo!
Published: March 10, 2020
When Flo and her daddy go to visit a relative’s new nest, Daddy Duck says Flo must follow him or she’ll get lost. Together, they sing a song with all the directions for the journey — up, down, in, and out. But Flo starts to make up her own words, and soon she gets so carried away that she wanders off. Oh, no — now a fox is following Flo! Where is Daddy Duck? What are the words to his song again? Jarvis’s cheerful illustrations and charming text will have young readers following and singing along with Flo.
Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen
Published: August 1, 2008
Listen up (especially boys because we need it more). Listening means way more than do as we are told or trouble. It also means try your best to understand what a person is saying and know what is happening around you.
Click, Clack, Quack to School!
Published: July 3, 2018
Farmer Brown has been invited to be a guest at the elementary school’s Farm Day! The animals excitedly practice their best classroom behavior: standing quietly in line, using their inside voices, and learning how to share. But then they find out that farm animals aren’t actually allowed in school (who knew they were considered a health code violation?!). Rules are rules, so Farmer Brown goes to school solo—or so he thinks…for while our favorite barnyard bunch don’t get high marks in rules, they do excel in disguise.
The Worst Day of My Life Ever!
Published: March 15, 2011
RJ learns that his problems happen because he doesn’t listen or pay attention to directions from his mom, his school principal, his teachers, or even his friends.
There they are: Some of the best picture books about following rules! Which of these books have you read and loved? Which ones did I miss?
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