Music: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about music?

Music is often mentioned as something that helps all areas of a child’s development from emotional, social, intellectual, motor skills, and language to literacy in general. Wow, if one thing can make such a difference we should probably spend a little more time learning about it. This list of books should give you a great start to learn about music with your little ones!

Top 10 Books About Music

The Trumpet of the Swan book
#1
The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Swan Song Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can’t trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can’t even make a sound. And since he can’t trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena’s affection—he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

My Very First Mother Goose book
#2
My Very First Mother Goose
Written by Iona Opie and illustrated by Rosemary Wells
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

To a small child, words are magical. And the most magical of all are the beloved, venerable words of Mother Goose. Now folklorist Iona Opie has gathered more than sixty treasured rhymes in their most perfect, honest form. From “Hey Diddle, Diddle” and “Pat-a-Cake” to “Little Jack Horner” and “Pussycat, Pussycat,” these are familiar verses that have been passed from parent to child for generations; these are the rhymes that are every child’s birthright. With watercolors by Rosemary Wells that may prove equally enduring, MY VERY FIRST MOTHER GOOSE captures the simple joy and the sly humor that are the essence of Mother Goose. Parents and children will find themselves exploring this volume together, savoring delightful details and funny surprises on every page. This is a book that promises hours of quiet smiles and merry grins for readers of all ages.

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) book
#3
After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)
Written and illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the New York Times–bestselling creator of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend comes the inspiring epilogue to the beloved classic nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty.

Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after?

Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most.

Will he summon the courage to face his fear?

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) is a masterful picture book that will remind readers of all ages that Life begins when you get back up.

Les & Ronnie Step Out book
#4
Les & Ronnie Step Out
Written and illustrated by Andrew Kolb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Meet a left and right foot who are a pair of complete opposites! Full of clever, giggle-inducing details, this lively odd-couple tale celebrates what makes us all unique, as well as the power of friendship to bring us together despite our differences.

Feet come in twos, so they need to step out together. But Les and Ronnie often find it hard to cooperate. Les likes having a clean sock and being responsible. Ronnie is fine with a dirty sock and loves letting loose. Les is straight-laced while Ronnie doesn’t even care about laces. What’s a duo to do?

We Are Music book
#5
We Are Music
Written by Brandon Stosuy and illustrated by Nick Radford
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

From the author of Music Is… Brandon Stosuy comes a second pitch-perfect board book that’s a kid-friendly music history lesson—perfect for the little record collectors in your life. From music writer and The Creative Independent/Kickstarter Editor in Chief, Brandon Stosuy, comes a new board book called We Are Music that dives into the history of music. It starts with clapping, tapping, and drums, and from there the music moves in many different directions. From classical to blues to jazz to country to rock to punk to rap to hip hop, there is one important thread that weaves through every song that has ever been created: us.

Music Is . . . book
#6
Music Is . . .
Written by Brandon Stosuy and illustrated by Amy Martin
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The diverse illustrations are my favorite part of this book—it gives kids the opportunity to see more diverse set of people than they’re typically accustomed to seeing in children’s literature in a natural way without feeling the need to be preachy and whack you over the head. The music vocabulary is fun and the most surprising part to me is how much my toddler likes it—he’ll happily read it again and again!

From music writer and The Creative Independent/Kickstarter Editor in Chief Brandon Stosuy, comes an entertaining new board book that introduces the many moods, styles, and senses of music to the youngest audiophiles—because music is for everyone, and music is for you. Featuring Amy Martin’s dynamic art style, Music Is… explains music through our eyes and ears so that the sense of hearing is transformed into a visual experience. A pitch-perfect board book that is sure to strike a chord with readers of all ages.

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin book
#7
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin
Written by Lloyd Moss and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book does a wonderful job introducing little ones to musical vocabulary, and there’s also great rhyming and alliteration. This book counts to ten in numbers and in the names for different sizes of musical groups, such as a quartet. The colorful illustrations and text display many different instruments, and little one’s will learn to say “encore!” when they want more. :)

When this book begins, the trombone is playing all by itself. But soon a trumpet makes a duet, a french horn a trio, and so on until the entire orchestra is assembled on stage. Written in elegant and rhythmic verse and illustrated with playful and flowing artwork, this unique counting book is the perfect introduction to musical groups. Readers of all ages are sure to shout “Encore!” when they reach the final page of this joyous celebration of classical music.

Giant Dance Party book
#8
Giant Dance Party
Written by Betsy Bird and illustrated by Brandon Dorman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Betsy Bird knows all there is to know about kids and books. She is the New York Public Library’s youth collections specialist, she writes a blog hosted by School Library Journal, and has served on the Newbery Medal committee. Now Betsy Bird has written a children’s book of her own, Giant Dance Party. In this rollicking picture book, a group of giants shows up at Lexy’s door wanting dance lessons. After some initial hesitation, Lexy is happy to teach them, and her dance classes end with all her students—as well as Lexy herself—overcoming their fears and putting on a boogying performance. Brandon Dorman, an award-winning artist whose work can be found in The Wizard, and on the covers of Fablehaven and Goosebumps, brings the giants and their dance moves to life with his full-color illustrations.

Old MacDonald Had a Truck book
#9
Old MacDonald Had a Truck
Written by Steve Goetz and illustrated by Eda Kaban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

This is a book I enjoy reading over and over again. It’s a fun twist to the nursery rhyme that discusses the heavy machinery trucks that Old MacDonald has on his farm and the work they’re doing to prepare for Mrs. MacDonald’s upcoming leap! The illustrations are cute, but it’s really the fun twist and attention to detail that makes this book enjoyable.

Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a…TRUCK?! With a DIG DIG here and a SCOOP SCOOP there, this classic folk song just got revved up! Beloved machines—the excavator, dump truck, bulldozer, and more—will have the vehicle-obsessed of all ages reading and singing along.

What's That Noise? Toot! Toot! book
#10
What's That Noise? Toot! Toot!
Written and illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

“What’s that noise? Lift the flap to find out! Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills—and simply joining in!”—Page 4 of cover.

Books About Music and Nursery Rhymes

My Very First Mother Goose book
#1
My Very First Mother Goose
Written by Iona Opie and illustrated by Rosemary Wells
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

To a small child, words are magical. And the most magical of all are the beloved, venerable words of Mother Goose. Now folklorist Iona Opie has gathered more than sixty treasured rhymes in their most perfect, honest form. From “Hey Diddle, Diddle” and “Pat-a-Cake” to “Little Jack Horner” and “Pussycat, Pussycat,” these are familiar verses that have been passed from parent to child for generations; these are the rhymes that are every child’s birthright. With watercolors by Rosemary Wells that may prove equally enduring, MY VERY FIRST MOTHER GOOSE captures the simple joy and the sly humor that are the essence of Mother Goose. Parents and children will find themselves exploring this volume together, savoring delightful details and funny surprises on every page. This is a book that promises hours of quiet smiles and merry grins for readers of all ages.

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) book
#2
After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)
Written and illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the New York Times–bestselling creator of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend comes the inspiring epilogue to the beloved classic nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty.

Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after?

Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most.

Will he summon the courage to face his fear?

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) is a masterful picture book that will remind readers of all ages that Life begins when you get back up.

Old MacDonald Had a Truck book
#3
Old MacDonald Had a Truck
Written by Steve Goetz and illustrated by Eda Kaban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

This is a book I enjoy reading over and over again. It’s a fun twist to the nursery rhyme that discusses the heavy machinery trucks that Old MacDonald has on his farm and the work they’re doing to prepare for Mrs. MacDonald’s upcoming leap! The illustrations are cute, but it’s really the fun twist and attention to detail that makes this book enjoyable.

Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a…TRUCK?! With a DIG DIG here and a SCOOP SCOOP there, this classic folk song just got revved up! Beloved machines—the excavator, dump truck, bulldozer, and more—will have the vehicle-obsessed of all ages reading and singing along.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Red Green Blue - Mom of Boys - This is a cute book of colors. One can also spot some nursery rhyme characters being interwoven throughout the story. It is a fun combination in which you can point out both or either the color or the nursery rhyme for older children that may know those as well.

  2. One Fine Trade - Mom of Boys - This story definitely hits your silly bone. Georgy is determined to get his silver dollar but also seems so naive. He trades his only asset for something less valuable and it goes downhill from there. He is so optimistic and you never get a feel that there is any reason to be anything else. It is very fun to read and the illustrations are fabulous.

  3. The Hugely-Wugely Spider - This funny and clever picture book, great for spring displays, is a twist on the classic Itsy-Bitsy Spider nursery rhyme.

  4. The Classic Collection of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes Oversized Padded Board Book - Rediscover the timeless nursery rhymes of Mother Goose in this beautiful padded oversized board book format, packed with beautiful, full-color illustrations! Let the wonder begin! Tumble with Jack and Jill, jump with the cat and the fiddle, pick a pepper with Peter Piper, and rediscover the timeless nursery rhymes of Mother Goose, brought to life with new and vibrant illustrations by Gina Baek. This stunning and original oversized, padded board book will make a wonderful addition to every family library.

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Books About Music and Musical-instruments

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin book
#1
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin
Written by Lloyd Moss and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book does a wonderful job introducing little ones to musical vocabulary, and there’s also great rhyming and alliteration. This book counts to ten in numbers and in the names for different sizes of musical groups, such as a quartet. The colorful illustrations and text display many different instruments, and little one’s will learn to say “encore!” when they want more. :)

When this book begins, the trombone is playing all by itself. But soon a trumpet makes a duet, a french horn a trio, and so on until the entire orchestra is assembled on stage. Written in elegant and rhythmic verse and illustrated with playful and flowing artwork, this unique counting book is the perfect introduction to musical groups. Readers of all ages are sure to shout “Encore!” when they reach the final page of this joyous celebration of classical music.

Mole Music book
#2
Mole Music
Written and illustrated by David McPhail
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Feeling that something is missing in his simple life, Mole acquires a violin and learns to make beautiful, joyful music.

I Love Music: My First Sound Book book
#3
I Love Music: My First Sound Book
Written and illustrated by Marion Billet
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

Readers of every age will be enchanted by this charming board book, which is distinguished by the exceptional quality of the musical sounds that bring every picture to life. I Love Music has a button on every spread, which triggers one of six captivating sounds that introduces a familiar instrument to the reader. An incredibly simple but utterly fascinating interactive book with sounds bound to enchant young readers and ignite an early love of music! A delightful and compelling book in the My First Sound Book series that everyone in the family will enjoy reading again and again.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Little Melba and Her Big Trombone - “A biography of African American musician Melba Doretta Liston, a virtuoso musician who played the trombone and composed and arranged music for many of the great jazz musicians of the twentieth century. Includes afterword, discography, and sources”—

  2. Little Pig Joins the Band - Little Pig has trouble keeping up with his older—and bigger—brothers and sisters. When they get out Grandpa’s old marching-band instruments, Little Pig is too little to play any of them. But when the disorganized band has a pig-pile mishap, Little Pig has a BIG idea: They could use a leader.

  3. Listen to My Trumpet! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) - When Piggie plays her new trumpet for Gerald, the elephant decides he must be honest in his response.

  4. Charlie Parker Played Be Bop - Introduces the famous saxophonist and his style of jazz known as bebop.

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Books About Music and Diversity

Les & Ronnie Step Out book
#1
Les & Ronnie Step Out
Written and illustrated by Andrew Kolb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Meet a left and right foot who are a pair of complete opposites! Full of clever, giggle-inducing details, this lively odd-couple tale celebrates what makes us all unique, as well as the power of friendship to bring us together despite our differences.

Feet come in twos, so they need to step out together. But Les and Ronnie often find it hard to cooperate. Les likes having a clean sock and being responsible. Ronnie is fine with a dirty sock and loves letting loose. Les is straight-laced while Ronnie doesn’t even care about laces. What’s a duo to do?

Music Is . . . book
#2
Music Is . . .
Written by Brandon Stosuy and illustrated by Amy Martin
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The diverse illustrations are my favorite part of this book—it gives kids the opportunity to see more diverse set of people than they’re typically accustomed to seeing in children’s literature in a natural way without feeling the need to be preachy and whack you over the head. The music vocabulary is fun and the most surprising part to me is how much my toddler likes it—he’ll happily read it again and again!

From music writer and The Creative Independent/Kickstarter Editor in Chief Brandon Stosuy, comes an entertaining new board book that introduces the many moods, styles, and senses of music to the youngest audiophiles—because music is for everyone, and music is for you. Featuring Amy Martin’s dynamic art style, Music Is… explains music through our eyes and ears so that the sense of hearing is transformed into a visual experience. A pitch-perfect board book that is sure to strike a chord with readers of all ages.

Music Is for Everyone book
#3
Music Is for Everyone
Written by Jill Barber and illustrated by Sydney Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Music is for Everyone is sure to get you excited about making music! Singer-songwriter Jill Barber takes her young readers through many different kinds of music—hip-hop, jazz, classical, folk—and instruments in an energetic, rhyming tour. Sydney Smith’s gleeful illustrations capture all the joy that comes from making music in all its forms!

Honorable Mentions
  1. I Got the Rhythm - On a simple trip to the park, the joy of music overtakes a mother and daughter. The little girl hears a rhythm coming from the world around her- from butterflies, to street performers, to ice cream sellers everything is musical! She sniffs, snaps, and shakes her way into the heart of the beat, finally busting out in an impromptu dance, which all the kids join in on! Award-winning illustrator Frank Morrison and Connie Schofield-Morrison, capture the beat of the street, to create a rollicking read that will get any kid in the mood to boogie.

  2. Ella Queen of Jazz - Ella Fitzgerald sang the blues and she sang them good. Ella and her fellas were on the way up! It seemed like nothing could stop her, until the biggest club in town refused to let her play… and all because of her colour. But when all hope seemed lost, little did Ella imagine that a Hollywood star would step in to help. The inspiring, true story of how a remarkable friendship between Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe was born – and how they worked together to overcome prejudice and adversity.

  3. Dara Palmer's Major Drama - “Dara’s larger-than-life personality and true-to-life middle grade issues command center stage until the curtain falls.” —School Library Journal, Starred Review Dara Palmer is destined to be a star, and she’s writing herself the role of a lifetime. Dara longs for stardom—but when she isn’t cast in her middle school’s production of The Sound of Music, she get suspicious. It can’t be because she’s not the best. She was born to be a famous movie star. It must because she’s adopted from Cambodia and doesn’t look like a typical fraulein. (That’s German for girl.) So irrepressible Dara comes up with a genius plan to shake up the school: write a play about her own life. Then she’ll have to be the star. Praise for Dream On, Amber: A Booklist 2015 Top 10 First Novels for Youth A Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2015 “[This] novel is a charmer…While its humor and illustrations lend it Wimpy Kid appeal, its emotional depth makes it stand out from the pack.”—Booklist Starred review “A gutsy girl in a laugh-out-loud book that navigates tough issues with finesse.” —Kirkus Starred review “Amber’s effervescent and opinionated narration captivates from the start.” —Publishers Weekly Starred review “By turns playful and poignant, in both style and substance, this coming-of-age novel will hook readers from the first page to the last.” —School Library Journal Starred review

  4. The Major Eights 1: Battle of the Bands - Jasmine, Maggie, Becca, and Scarlet love jamming together, but are they ready to perform in front of a real audience in a Battle of the Bands competition? Find out in the first book of this early chapter book series! Jasmine, Maggie, Becca, and Scarlet love jamming together in Jasmine’s basement. Maggie bangs on the drums, Becca strums her guitar, Jasmine plunks the keys of her keyboard, and Scarlet wails into her hairbrush mic. Even though they may not have the best equipment, or an audience, they have fun making music to their own beat. But when Jasmine’s brother tells her about an upcoming Battle of the Bands competition, Jasmine thinks this could be their chance to prove they’re a real band. Now she just has to convince the other girls. . . . With each book told from a different girl’s perspective, this series is all about girl power, diversity, and marching to the beat of your own drum!

Want to see more children's books about diversity?

Books About Music and Animals

The Trumpet of the Swan book
#1
The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Swan Song Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can’t trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can’t even make a sound. And since he can’t trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena’s affection—he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

What's That Noise? Toot! Toot! book
#2
What's That Noise? Toot! Toot!
Written and illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

“What’s that noise? Lift the flap to find out! Perfect for guessing, prediction and memory skills—and simply joining in!”—Page 4 of cover.

A is for Alliguitar: Musical Alphabeasts book
#3
A is for Alliguitar: Musical Alphabeasts
Written by Nancy Raines Day and illustrated by Herb Leonard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A wacky safari that is sure to strike a chord with kids! For each letter of the alphabet, this clever book of rhymes presents a cross between an animal and a musical instrument. From newtubas and mandolions to drumonkeys and pigolos, kids will have a blast during this musical safari. Zany illustrations accompany each creation.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Kitty Alone - Kitty Alone is the latest in a series of captivating picture books, each based on a beloved songtale from the great American folk music heritage. This beautifully illustrated version sets the song in the Appalachian Mountains and uses a bobcat, called a “woods ghost” by locals, as the title character. Like the other titles in the First Steps in Music series, Kitty Alone includes song history and notation, along with a free download link for the song, sung by Jill Trinka.

  2. The Gifts They Gave - A gently illustrated adaptation of a beloved Christmas song depicts the baby Jesus in the manger surrounded by a flock of admiring animals who impart their own special gifts, from sheep who donate wool for a warm blanket to doves that coo a lullaby.

  3. Today Is Monday - Learn the days of the week with bestselling author/illustrator Eric Carle through song! String beans, spaghetti, ZOOOOP, roast beef, fresh fish, chicken and ice cream are the delicious fare during the week in this popular children’s song. Until Sunday. Then, all the world’s children are invited to come together and share in the meal. Celebrated artist Eric Carle brings new energy to these much-loved verses as lively animals parade across the page, munching on favorite dishes, and introducing young readers to the names of the days of the week. Both art and song invite children to join in the procession and sing along.

  4. Rabbityness - Tells the story of a rabbit whose love of music and art inspires other rabbits even after he disappears.

Want to see more children's books about animals?

Books About Music and Dance

Giant Dance Party book
#1
Giant Dance Party
Written by Betsy Bird and illustrated by Brandon Dorman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Betsy Bird knows all there is to know about kids and books. She is the New York Public Library’s youth collections specialist, she writes a blog hosted by School Library Journal, and has served on the Newbery Medal committee. Now Betsy Bird has written a children’s book of her own, Giant Dance Party. In this rollicking picture book, a group of giants shows up at Lexy’s door wanting dance lessons. After some initial hesitation, Lexy is happy to teach them, and her dance classes end with all her students—as well as Lexy herself—overcoming their fears and putting on a boogying performance. Brandon Dorman, an award-winning artist whose work can be found in The Wizard, and on the covers of Fablehaven and Goosebumps, brings the giants and their dance moves to life with his full-color illustrations.

Baby Loves to Boogie! book
#2
Baby Loves to Boogie!
Written and illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Boogie on down with baby in this lively companion to the board book hit Baby Loves to Rock! The chicks can do kicks, and the toucan can cancan. But who loves to boogie? Filled with funny puns and rhymes about a variety of comical animals getting groovy, this board book will delight dancers of all ages. Wednesday Kirwan’s humorous text and colorful illustrations ensure that this adorable follow-up to the board book hit Baby Loves to Rock! will win any dance-off.

Music book
#3
Music
Written and illustrated by Carol Thompson
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

We’re amazing! We can make music, dress up, sing and dance.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Feel the Beat - An irresistible book of poems about dancing that mimic the rhythms of social dances from cha-cha to two-step, by the acclaimed author of Mirror Mirror Marilyn Singer has crafted a vibrant collection of poems celebrating all forms of social dance from samba and salsa to tango and hip-hop. The rhythm of each poem mimics the beat of the dances’ steps. Together with Kristi Valiant’s dynamic illustrations, the poems create a window to all the ways dance enters our lives and exists throughout many cultures. This ingenious collection will inspire readers to get up and move! Included with the book is an audio CD of the author reading each poem accompanied by original music from composer Jonathon Roberts.

  2. Monster Boogie - Laurie Berkner, “the queen of children’s music” (People), pairs the lyrics of her infectious hit song with Ben Clanton’s whimsical illustrations in this groovy and adorable picture book—a must-have for fans of Laurie, dancing, and all things monstrous! I’m the biggest monster that you’ve ever seen! My eyes are purple and my teeth are green. I’m big and I’m scary, you know what I mean? And this is what I like to do… Boogie away those bedtime fears and embrace your inner monster with Monster Boogie, based on Laurie Berkner’s irresistibly fun song and featuring lively, playful artwork by Ben Clanton! I do the monster boogie. So can you! Rraaaahhh!

  3. Sing - We’re amazing! We can sing, make music, dress up and dance.

  4. Jack & Louisa Act 2 - Cast opposite each other when their middle school stages a production of Guys and Dolls, Jack and Lou find their ambitions of stardom threatened by a mysterious new director, a Broadway-level dance call and a new stage competitor.

Want to see more children's books about dance?

Books About Music and Babies

Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender book
#1
Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender
Written by Elvis Presley and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The king of rock-and-roll’s #1 hit song “Love Me Tender” is now an endearing picture book

Adapted from the unforgettable classic song, Elvis Presley’s Love MeTender is a heartwarming ode to the special bond between children and the adults who love and care for them–be they parents, grandparents, adoptive parents, aunts, uncles, or guardians. With its simple, timeless message, Elvis Presley’s Love Me Tender is destined to join Guess How Much I Love You as a baby shower staple. And the sweet, inclusive illustrations make it a book every family will treasure “all through the years, ’till the end of time.”

Mockingbird Song book
#2
Mockingbird Song
Written and illustrated by Carol Thompson
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

I love that this story has the same rhythm as the nursery rhyme Mockingbird. However, it has new rhymes that are clever and fun to read. The illustrations are darling!

In an updated version of the old lullaby, a baby is promised an assortment of presents from its adoring parent.

Wee Willie Winkie book
#3
Wee Willie Winkie
Written and illustrated by Annie Kubler
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Illustrates the popular children’s nursery rhyme about Willie Winkie, who is concerned about babies being in bed on time. On board pages.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Leo Loves Baby Time - On Wednesdays, Leo and his mom go to Baby Time. There he plays peek-a-boo; sings the rolly song, the happy song, and the name song; plays with animals; and meets new friends. The Baby Time activities featured in Leo Loves Baby Time will be familiar to children and parents and are presented in bright, vibrant colors that will draw the attention of the youngest readers.

  2. Wiggle and Move - Features five songs and activities that encourage interaction between parent and baby. On board pages.

Want to see more children's books about babies?

Books About Music and Adventure

The Walkabout Orchestra book
#1
The Walkabout Orchestra
Written and illustrated by Chloé Perarnau
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The orchestra have an important concert to play… but all the musicians have gone walkabout! Can you help the Maestro and his faithful assistant to track them down using clues from their postcards? Take a trip from Reykjavik to Rio, through Greek islands, Venetian canals and Egyptian pyramids in this search-and-find tour of the world and learn all the instruments of the orchestra as you work your way through this spotting extravaganza.

Battle of the Pirate Bands book
#2
Battle of the Pirate Bands
Written by Michael Anthony Steele and illustrated by Pauline Reeves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Pirates from across the seven seas are gathering for the greatest of pirate competitions. But when the prize trophy is stolen, the Monkey Pirates are framed as the thieves. Can the crew clear their nearly-fearless names? A glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts round out this exciting adventure story.

The Song From Somewhere Else book
#3
The Song From Somewhere Else
Written by A.F. Harrold and illustrated by Levi Pinfold
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Frank thought her summer couldn’t get any worse—until big, weird, smelly Nick Underbridge rescues her from a bully, and she winds up at his house. Frank quickly realizes there’s more to Nick than meets the eye. When she’s at his house, she hears the strangest, most beautiful music, music which leads her to a mysterious, hidden door. Beyond the door are amazing creatures that she never even dreamed could be real. For the first time in forever, Frank feels happy . . . and she and Nick start to become friends. But Nick’s incredible secrets are also accompanied by great danger. Frank must figure out how to help her new friend, the same way that he has helped her. Paired with gorgeous black-and-white illustrations from Levi Pinfold, acclaimed author A. F. Harrold weaves a powerful story about unlikely friendship, strange magic, and keeping the shadows at bay. Awards for The Song from Somewhere Else A School Library Journal Best Book of 2017 A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2017

Honorable Mentions
  1. City Street Beat - In City Street Beat, a young girl travels along a city’s twisty road on her way to a friend’s house. Together, they embark on an adventure, taking in all the city’s sights and sounds. They hear the tippy, tappy clack of high heels on the sidewalk; the strumming and drumming of a three-piece band; the flipping and flapping of dancing pigeons; and more. The girls move and groove to the rock-n-roll and razz-ma-tazz of the city’s hip-hop beat using all five senses until at last it’s time to say good-bye.

  2. Song of the Deep - Twelve-year-old Merryn lives with her fisherman father in a little cottage by the sea. Each day, her father braves the tumultuous waves and returns home in time for dinner. One stormy evening, he doesn’t come back. Merryn has a vision that he s been dragged underwater by a terrifying sea creature, and he needs her help. Determined to rescue him, Merryn builds a tiny submarine and embarks on a journey through the undersea worlds she’s only heard about in her father’s lullabies. As she faces the dangers and wonders of the world below the waves, she realizes that her father’s stories were all real. Readers can also experience Merryn’s daring journey firsthand in the new “Song of the Deep” video game from acclaimed developer Insomniac Games.”

Want to see more children's books about adventure?

Books About Music and Movement

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes ... book
#1
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes ...
Written and illustrated by Annie Kubler
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

An illustrated version of the song which identifies parts of the body. On board pages.

Ring Around a Rosie book
#2
Ring Around a Rosie
Written and illustrated by Annie Kubler
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Presents an illustrated version of the classic nursery rhyme, with words and music.

Ten Little Fingers book
#3
Ten Little Fingers
Written and illustrated by Annie Kubler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

An illustrated board book with words and music to a song celebrating all the things a child can make ten fingers do, including shutting them up tight and opening them wide.

Honorable Mentions
  1. I'm a Little Teapot! - Presents the lyrics to the nursery rhyme along with illustrations featuring children acting out the motions indicated by the song. On board pages.

  2. If You're Happy and You Know It - The words to a familiar nursery song encourage babies and their parents to have fun together. On board pages.

  3. Plinka Plinka Ting Ting - Ting ting, boom boom, pata pata. Maracas shake, cymbals crash, and the kazoo goes WHA WOO. Every page in this music box of a book invites children to pick up an instrument and play a tune. They’ll love joining in and making a joyful noise!

  4. The Wheels on the Bus - This award winning series has been specifically designed for babies. A great introduction to books through well-known nursery rhymes and interactive text. Singing songs and rhymes is the perfect way to bond with your baby and share quality time. It also aids language development by introducing them to the natural sounds and patterns of speech. Combining these with actions also stimulates the brain and helps muscle development.

Want to see more children's books about movement?

Books About Music and History

We Are Music book
#1
We Are Music
Written by Brandon Stosuy and illustrated by Nick Radford
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

From the author of Music Is… Brandon Stosuy comes a second pitch-perfect board book that’s a kid-friendly music history lesson—perfect for the little record collectors in your life. From music writer and The Creative Independent/Kickstarter Editor in Chief, Brandon Stosuy, comes a new board book called We Are Music that dives into the history of music. It starts with clapping, tapping, and drums, and from there the music moves in many different directions. From classical to blues to jazz to country to rock to punk to rap to hip hop, there is one important thread that weaves through every song that has ever been created: us.

Elvis Is King! book
#2
Elvis Is King!
Written by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Red Nose Studio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Here’s the perfect book for anyone who wants to introduce rock ‘n’ roll and its king to the child in their lives. In single- page “chapters” with titles like “The First Cheeseburger Ever Eaten by Elvis” and “Shazam! A Blond Boy Turns into a Black-Haired Teenager,” readers can follow key moments in Presley’s life, from his birth on the wrong side of the railroad tracks in the Deep South, to playing his first guitar in grade school, to being so nervous during a performance as a teenager that he starts shaking . . . and changes the world! Jonah Winter and Red Nose Studio have created a tour-de-force that captures a boy’s loneliness and longing, along with the energy and excitement, passion, and raw talent that was Elvis Presley.

Lift Every Voice and Sing book
#3
Lift Every Voice and Sing
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

First written by a schoolteacher and activist in 1900 and then declared the official African American National Anthem by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1919, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” has been a cornerstone hymn chronicling the black experience for more than one hundred years. Lyrics to this moving history are paired with the linocuts of Elizabeth Catlett, a Harlem Renaissance artist best known for her unique representations of the struggles and triumphs of black men, women, and children. Newly back in print and updated with a fresh design as well as an introduction from beloved author and illustrator Ashley Bryan, Lift Every Voice and Sing is a more relevant than ever celebration of black lives.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The History of Rock - The History of Rock: For Big Fans and Little Punks is a magical mystery tour through popular music history, featuring trailblazing acts from the 1950s to the present. Colorful, stylish illustrations bring to life artists like Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Joan Jett, and Madonna, plus bands such as The Beatles, The Clash, Beastie Boys, and Pearl Jam, all of whom have inspired countless boys and girls to become musicians over the past seventy years. Included throughout the book are hand-picked recommendations from every time period, forming an extended playlist of over 1,000 songs that pay tribute to the genre and its many sounds. Divided into thirty-five different chapters, including “Pioneers Of Rock,” “Women At The Helm,” “Smash It,” and “Hard As Rock,” this vivid collection also covers the artistic movements that influenced rock or were influenced by it, such as blues, jazz, soul, and hip hop. What began as a successful Kickstarter campaign is now a must-have for rockers of all ages!

  2. Struttin' With Some Barbeque - This is the true story of Lil Hardin Armstrong: pianist, composer, and bandleader in the early days of jazz. Ahead of her time, Lil made a career for herself—and for Louis Armstrong, her modest, unassuming husband. Louis might never have become the groundbreaking jazz player he was, if it hadn’t been for Lil. Scat-inspired verse celebrates how Lil overcame race and gender barriers to become the first lady of the Chicago jazz scene.

  3. Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph - What happens when you invite as many jazz musicians as you can to pose for a photo in 1950s Harlem? Playful verse and glorious artwork capture an iconic moment for American jazz. When Esquire magazine planned an issue to salute the American jazz scene in 1958, graphic designer Art Kane pitched a crazy idea: how about gathering a group of beloved jazz musicians and photographing them? He didn’t own a good camera, didn’t know if any musicians would show up, and insisted on setting up the shoot in front of a Harlem brownstone. Could he pull it off? In a captivating collection of poems, Roxane Orgill steps into the frame of Harlem 1958, bringing to life the musicians’ mischief and quirks, their memorable style, and the vivacious atmosphere of a Harlem block full of kids on a hot summer’s day. Francis Vallejo’s vibrant, detailed, and wonderfully expressive paintings do loving justice to the larger-than-life quality of jazz musicians of the era. Includes bios of several of the fifty-seven musicians, an author’s note, sources, a bibliography, and a foldout of Art Kane’s famous photograph.

  4. Hello, I'm Johnny Cash - There’s never been anyone like music legend Johnny Cash. His deep voice is instantly recognizable, and his heartfelt songs resonate with listeners of all ages and backgrounds. G. Neri captures Johnny’s story in beautiful free verse, portraying an ordinary boy with an extraordinary talent who grew up in extreme poverty, faced incredible challenges, and ultimately found his calling by always being true to the gift of his voice. A. G. Ford’s luscious paintings of the dramatic southern landscape of Johnny Cash’s childhood illuminate this portrait of a legend, taking us from his humble beginnings to his enormous success on the world stage.

Want to see more children's books about history?

Books About Music and Art

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart book
#1
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Written by Isabel Muñoz and illustrated by Jane Kent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Meet composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and learn about his life and music in this engagingly illustrated biography. Wolfgang Amadeus rose to fame as a child genius who wrote his first piece at the age of five, spent a lifetime making music for archbishops and emperors, and created countless compositions until his untimely death at only 35 years old. This engaging biography explores his amazing career, from when Mozart began his musical studies under his father’s tutelage; through his time as a court composer, musician, and concertmaster; to his final work in honor of the coronation of Leopold II as King of Bohemia. Along the way, we find out about Mozart’s travels and the great composers he met, his difficulties with his rich benefactors, his financial struggles, his marriage and family, and his final illness. Appealing illustrations, information on his breakthroughs and successes, and an index of major events reveal how Mozart left his mark on humanity. A timeline and simple quiz help kids test their understanding and knowledge.

Bach to the Rescue!!! book
#2
Bach to the Rescue!!!
Written by Tom Angleberger and illustrated by Elio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Every famous piece of art has an origin story—even Bach’s Goldberg Variations! When the richest dude in town can’t sleep, he hires a much-less-rich dude named Johann Gottlieb Goldberg to play him lullabies on the harpsichord. Goldberg does an OK job, but as the Rich Dude hollers for Goldberg each night, he wakes up the whole town in the process. As the town gets sleepier and sleepier and grumpier and grumpier, Goldberg worries he may be out of a job soon. But then, the one and only Bach enters the scene with a series of lullabies composed specifically for the Rich Dude. And, thus, the Goldberg Variations are born! This zany, nontraditional nonfiction picture book comes from the inimitable Tom Angleberger, author of the bestselling Origami Yoda series.

Making the Band book
#3
Making the Band
Written by Martha Maker and illustrated by Xindi Yan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Maddie, Bella, Emily, and Sam create rock star–worthy instruments with found objects in this second book in the brand-new Craftily Ever After chapter book series! Emily Adams, Maddie Wilson, Bella Diaz, and Sam Sharma are eight-year-olds with one special thing in common: they love to create. They each have unique talents, too! Emily is great at constructing and building; Maddie has an eye for fashion, fabrics, and sewing; Bella is a gadget whiz; and Sam is a gifted artist. Together, these four crafty friends dream up new projects to design, build, and create and through their experiences, they’ll learn how to handle various obstacles at school and in their everyday eight-year-old lives. In the second Craftily Ever After book, there’s a talent show at school and for the first time, Maddie, Bella, Emily, and Sam can’t think of anything to do. That is, until an old tin can and some plastic tubing give them a musical idea! With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Craftily Ever After chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

Honorable Mentions
  1. JIMI: Sounds Like a Rainbow - A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix - Jimi Hendrix was many things - a superstar, a rebel, a hero, an innovator. But first, he was a boy named Jimmy who loved to draw and paint and listen to records. A boy who played air guitar with a broomstick and longed for a real guitar of his own. A boy who asked himself a question: Could someone paint pictures with sound? This a story of a talented child who learns to see, hear, and interpret the world around him in his own unique way. It is also a story of a determined kid with a vision, who worked hard to become a devoted and masterful artist. Jimi Hendrix - a groundbreaking performer whose music shook the very foundations of rock ‘n’ roll.

  2. Little Leonardo's Fascinating World of the Arts - “Little Leonardo’s Fascinating World of the Arts is a great way to encourage kids’ interests in all manner of artistic pursuits that they might aspire to. This volume introduces children to the many different types of creative fields in the arts including drawing and painting, music and dance, writing, design, architecture, and photography.”—Publisher’s description.

Want to see more children's books about art?

Books About Music and Songs

Go, Pea, Go! book
#1
Go, Pea, Go!
Written and illustrated by Chris Sonnenburg and Joe Moshier
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Pea Junior has to go, go, go, go! The end feels so far away, but with his family and friends cheering him on, Pea knows he can make it and go number one! A potty chart, a sheet of stickers, and the lyrics and music notation for the “Go, Pea, Go!” song are included to make an easy, all-in-one, go-to book for parents to help ease the pressure of the race to the Pea Bowl.

Puff, the Magic Dragon book
#2
Puff, the Magic Dragon
Written by Lenny Lipton and Peter Yarrow and illustrated by Eric Puybaret
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-3

The adventures of a boy and his dragon friend are recounted in this classic song from the 1960s.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star book
#3
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Written by and illustrated by Sylvia Long
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-12

In this tenderly illustrated edition of the classic rhyme, award-winning artist Sylvia Long touches the hearts of readers yet again. Her detailed watercolors depict a group of animal friends as they make their way home under the night sky to complete their bedtime rituals.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Hey Little Ant - A song in which an ant pleads with the kid who is tempted to squish it.

  2. Silly Lullaby - It all starts with the big bear observing to the little bear in the red footie pajamas: Your pajamas are on. There’s a duck on your head. I think that this means you are ready for bed. Curl up with your favorite little person and this charmingly unpredictable go-to-sleep book. Whether you are a parent, child, or just another snoozing chicken in the bathtub, Silly Lullaby is truly a sweet dream surprise. The sneakers in the freezer heartily concur.

  3. Do Your Ears Hang Low? - Do your ears hang low? Do they wobble to and fro? These bunnies will know! This classic childhood song paired with fun illustrations is sure to have you and your little one singing and laughing along during storytime!

  4. Car, Car, Truck, Jeep - This book is bursting with cars, buses, planes, trains, trucks, diggers—and many more Things That Go. And with a text set to the tune of Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, vehicle-obsessed little ones will never want to put this book down!

Want to see 13 more children's books about music and songs?

How about children's books about songs?

Books About Music and Christmas

The Sound Orchestra: The Nutcracker book
#1
The Sound Orchestra: The Nutcracker
Written and illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Follow Clara on a magical Christmas adventure in this retelling of the classic ballet story. Watch the Nutcracker battle the Mouse King, meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and journey to the Land of Sweets, where wonder and excitement await… Including music from: ‘The Dance of the Reed Flutes’, ‘The Waltz of Flowers’ and ‘The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’.

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Tennessee book
#2
The Twelve Days of Christmas in Tennessee
Written by Alice Faye Duncan and illustrated by Mary Uhles
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The Volunteer state is GREAT! When Carly visits her cousin Teddy in Tennessee for Christmas, she discovers how amazing it is. She hikes the Great Smoky Mountains, dances to bluegrass music, tastes Nashville’s famous hot chicken, and meets more than one Elvis Presley. Every day, Teddy gives her a special Tennessee gift, from 12 rockers rocking and 11 eagles nesting to a mockingbird in a tulip poplar tree.

Drummer Boy book
#3
Drummer Boy
Written and illustrated by Loren Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In a wintry little town, a drummer boy appears on a child’s doorstep. And when it is still and quiet, the drummer boy plays, boom pum pum boom pum, and warms the child’s heart. But one day the drummer boy is accidentally knocked into the trash, sending him on a journey he never imagined–a journey on which he continues to play his drum, warming the hearts of others, from a rat to an owl to a snowman. And in a touching conclusion, his own heart is warmed as he plays to his most perfect audience: the baby in a manger.

Loren Long brings this story of an unforgettable little drummer boy to vivid life with his timeless and magical art.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Mr. Noisy and the Silent Night - In this Christmas-themed Mr. Men book, Mr. Quiet might get the peaceful Christmas he’s always wanted! Poor Mr. Quiet doesn’t look forward to Christmas—it’s too noisy for him! Noisy decorations, noisy carol singers, a noisy postman delivering Christmas cards, and, noisiest of all, an annual visit from Mr. Noisy himself! But this Christmas, a snowstorm might give Mr. Quiet the silence he so desperately craves.

  2. Silent Night - A warm and wonderful story of the creation of the timeless hymn, Silent Night, and its creator Joseph Mohr. Silent Night celebrates the 200th anniversary of the beloved hymn, and shares the story behind the creation of one of the world’s most recognizable tunes.

  3. Michael Hague's Treasury of Christmas Carols - Collects four Christmas carols filled with animals celebrating Noel, from a dandified bunny dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh to bears, rabbits, and chipmunks awaiting their hot bowls of figgy pudding.

  4. Pirate's Twelve Days of Christmas - Ahoy mateys Christmas be comin, and even pirates celebrate! In this sly, high-seas reimagining of The Twelve Days of Christmas,” a brave cabin boy receives marvelously mysterious gifts for 12 days. But who are they from? With a lively sense of fun and rhythm, Philip Yates and Sebastia Serra create a delightful world all their own.”

Want to see more children's books about Christmas?

Books About Music and Family

The Mozart Girl book
#1
The Mozart Girl
Written and illustrated by Barbara Nickel
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Nannerl Mozart’s twelfth-birthday wish is to become a famous composer. She’s already considered a brilliant musician, touring eighteenth-century Europe with her little brother, Wolfgang, and playing for queens and kings in the great courts. But Papa doesn’t take her seriously as a composer, Mama usually has a list of chores for her, and Wolfi always manages to steal everybody’s attention. Can Nannerl defy everyone’s expectations and capture some of the spotlight that shines on her brilliant younger brother?

Sing, Don't Cry book
#2
Sing, Don't Cry
Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Once a year, Abuelo comes from Mexico to visit his family. He brings his guitar, his music—and his memories. In this story inspired by the life of Apolinar Navarrete Diaz—author Angela Dominguez’s grandfather and a successful mariachi musician—Abuelo and his grandchildren sing through the bad times and the good. Lifting their voices and their spirits, they realize that true happiness comes from singing together.

Carlos Santana book
#3
Carlos Santana
Written by Gary Golio and illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Discover the childhood story of Carlos Santana in Gary Golio’s “”Sound of the Heart, Song of the World””, featuring illustrations by Rudy Gutierrez, the internationally celebrated artist who created the iconic Santana “”Shaman”” CD cover.

Carlos Santana grew up surrounded by music. His father, a beloved mariachi performer, teaches his son how to play the violin when he is only six years old. But when Carlos discovers American blues, he is captivated by the raw honesty of the music. Unable to think of anything else, he loses all interest in the violin. When Carlos finally receives his first guitar, his whole life begins to change.

From his early exposure to mariachi to his successful fusing of rock, blues, jazz, and Latin influences, here is the childhood story of a legendary musician.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Lorraine - The songs they sang always lifted their spirits—on good days or bad it was joyful to hear it.And even when storms hit those Tennessee hills,the music they played made their worries stand still.Grammy Award-winning, founding member of Old Crow Medicine Show, Ketch Secor, and award-winning illustrator Higgins Bond bring an Americana fable to life in this bold, sweeping story. Pa Paw and Lorraine spend their days celebrating life with the music of the Tennessee hills. But when a fearsome storm rolls through, the two must rely on the power of music to get them through.

  2. A Tuba Christmas - With a family that loves music as much as hers does, it was only a matter of time before it was Ava’s turn to pick out an instrument. Her mother plays the piano, her father plays the violin, and one brother plays the cello while the other plays the clarinet. As soon as Ava selects an instrument, she will be able to join them as they practice for the annual holiday concert. And her family has definite ideas on what instrument Ava should select, from the piano to the flute to the violin. But Ava isn’t interested in any of them. Ava wants to play the tuba. And she gets her wish. But playing the tuba isn’t as easy as it seems. And there is no place for a tuba in the annual concert. But with the encouragement of her music teacher, Ava finds a place for her and her tuba in a special holiday celebration.

Want to see more children's books about family?

Books About Music and Friendship

The Major Eights 3: The Goo Disaster! book
#1
The Major Eights 3: The Goo Disaster!
Written by Melody Reed and illustrated by Emilie Pepin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In book three of the Major Eights series, Maggie has to ace her science fair project or she won’t be able to perform with the band at the annual arts banquet! Maggie is thrilled to perform with the Major Eights at the school’s annual arts fund-raising banquet. But when Maggie’s science grade starts slipping (her one difficult subject), her mom refuses to let her play at the banquet unless she can get an A on her science fair project. Can Maggie and the girls find a way to make sure Maggie aces the project?

The Eleventh Trade book
#2
The Eleventh Trade
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

From debut author Alyssa Hollingsworth comes a story about living with fear, being a friend, and finding a new place to call home. They say you can’t get something for nothing, but nothing is all Sami has. When his grandfather’s most-prized possession—a traditional Afghan instrument called a rebab—is stolen, Sami resolves to get it back. He finds it at a music store, but it costs $700, and Sami doesn’t have even one penny. What he does have is a keychain that has caught the eye of his classmate. If he trades the keychain for something more valuable, could he keep trading until he has $700? Sami is about to find out. The Eleventh Trade is both a classic middle school story and a story about being a refugee. Like Katherine Applegate, author of Wishtree, Alyssa Hollingsworth tackles a big issue with a light touch.

The Major Eights 2: Scarlet's Big Break book
#3
The Major Eights 2: Scarlet's Big Break
Written by Melody Reed and illustrated by Emilie Pepin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In book 2 of the Major Eights series, Scarlet goes solo and risks alienating her bandmates. After their Battle of the Bands competition, the girls are famous! Everyone knows who they are now—even strangers recognize them! But the attention starts to go to Scarlet’s head, and she decides to sign up for the school’s talent show as a solo artist. But what about the Major Eights? Should she really leave the band and her friends behind? With each book told from a different girl’s perspective, this series is all about girl power, diversity, and marching to the beat of your own drum!

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Major Eights 5: The New Bandmate - In book 5 of the Major Eights series, Jasmine breaks her arm just when the Major Eights have a big show coming up. Can they find a way to save the show? Just before a big show, Jasmine breaks her arm. The Major Eights don’t want to let down their audience, so they ask Leslie to sub. But Jasmine is worried the band will like Leslie better. Is this the end of the Major Eights as they know it?

  2. When Paul Met Artie - Long before they became one of the most beloved and successful duos of all time, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were just two kids growing up in Queens, New York—best friends who met in a sixthgrade production of Alice in Wonderland and bonded over girls, baseball, and rock ’n’ roll. As teens, they practiced singing into a tape recorder, building harmonies that blended their now-famous voices until they sounded just right. They wrote songs together, pursued big-time music producers, and dreamed of becoming stars, never imagining how far their music would take them. Against a backdrop of street-corner doowop gangs, the electrifying beginnings of rock ’n’ roll, and the rise of the counterculture folk music scene, G. Neri and David Litchfield chronicle the path that led two young boys from Queens to teenage stardom and back to obscurity, before finding their own true voices and captivating the world with their talent. Back matter includes an afterword, a discography, a bibliography, and a fascinating list of song influences

  3. The Life of / la Vida de Celia - Born in 1924 in Havana, Cuba, Celia Cruz has become one of the most popular singers in the world. Her career started at a young age, when she began began entering singing contests and winning pastelitos for her efforts! Celia and her husband later moved to New York, where they became friends with other performers such as Tito Puente. As her popularity soared, Celia became known as the ?Queen of Salsa’. To this day, her magnificent music continues to be sugar to our ears!

  4. Jack & Louisa Act 1 - A show-stopping series about life in the spotlight from Broadway actors and internet sensations Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherheada. Twelve-year-old Jack Goodrich was a Broadway star-until a sudden voice change cost him his dream role. Now he lives with his parents in Shaker Heights, Ohio trying hard to leave his acting past behind. But his new neighbor, Louisa-a self-proclaimed musical theater nerdo-won’t stop until Jack auditions for a local production of Into the Woods. Fans ofTim Federle’s Nate Foster bookswill rejoice to meet the newest MTN’s (musical theater nerds) on the block- Jack & Lou.

Want to see 9 more children's books about music and friendship?

How about children's books about friendship?

Books About Music and Love

Coat of Many Colors book
#1
Coat of Many Colors
Written by Dolly Parton and illustrated by Brooke Boynton Hughes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-99

Dolly Parton lends the lyrics of her classic song “Coat of Many Colors” to this heartfelt picture book for young readers.

Country music legend Dolly Parton’s rural upbringing in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee provides the backdrop for this special picture book. Using lyrics from her classic song “Coat of Many Colors,” the book tells the story of a young girl in need of a warm winter coat. When her mother sews her a coat made of rags, the girl is mocked by classmates for being poor. But Parton’s trademark positivity carries through to the end as the girl realizes that her coat was made with love “in every stitch.” Beautiful illustrations pair with Parton’s poetic lyrics in this heartfelt picture book sure to speak to all young readers.

All You Need Is Love book
#2
All You Need Is Love
Written by and illustrated by Marc Rosenthal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Celebrate the love that surrounds us every day with this lyrical picture book that beautifully illustrates John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s world-renowned classic song “All You Need Is Love.”

All you need is love, all you need is love All you need is love, love, love is all you need

In this gorgeously illustrated picture book, the universally loved song “All You Need Is Love” comes vividly to life, showing that if we follow the music we will see there is indeed love all around us.

The Log Driver's Waltz book
#3
The Log Driver's Waltz
Written by Wade Hemsworth and illustrated by Jennifer Phelan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-99

Acclaimed illustrator Jennifer Phelan reimagines Wade Hemsworth’s iconic log driver in a beautiful, contemporary picture-book adaptation of a beloved Canadian classic. If you ask any girl from the parish around What pleases her most from her head to her toes She’ll say I’m not sure that it’s business of yours But I do like to waltz with a log driver Based on the perennially popular Canadian folk song and animated short film of the same name, The Log Driver’s Waltz showcases a spunky, independent young woman whose parents are keen for her to marry. The town’s well-to-do doctors, merchants, and lawyers try to impress her, but it’s the humble log driver—with his style, grace, and joie de vivre—who captures her attention. When she and the log driver finally meet on the dance floor, their joy leaps off the page. With homages to the original film, and celebrating the flora, fauna, and folk art of this great land, The Log Driver’s Waltz brings a hallmark of Canadian childhood to life.

Honorable Mentions
  1. She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah) - The year is 1966. The Vietnam War rages overseas, the Beatles have catapulted into stardom, and twelve-year-old Rhode Island native Trudy Mixer is not thrilled with life. Her best friend, Michelle, has decided to become a cheerleader, everyone at school is now calling her Gertrude (her hated real name), and the gem of her middle school career, the Beatles fan club, has dwindled down to only three other members–the least popular kids at school. And at home, her workaholic father has become even more distant. Determined to regain her social status and prove herself to her father, Trudy looks toward the biggest thing happening worldwide: the Beatles. She is set on seeing them in Boston during their final world tour–and meeting her beloved Paul McCartney. So on a hot August day, unknown to their families, Trudy and crew set off on their journey, each of them with soaring hopes for what lies ahead.

  2. Muppets Meet the Classics: the Phantom of the Opera - Leroux’s classic tale of love, intrigue, and jealousy at the Paris Opera House is reimagined with the cast of the Muppets. Readers can join Kermit, Miss Piggy, Uncle Deadly, and the other Muppets as they bring this gripping tale to life in their own hilarious way.

Want to see more children's books about love?

Epilogue

32 books that are just too good to leave off of our music list.

  1. Bud, Not Buddy - Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father—the renowned bandleader, H. E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.

  2. Music for Mister Moon - After shy cello player Harriet Henry accidentally knocks the moon out of the sky, the moon becomes her friend, and Harriet gains the courage to share her music.

  3. Mother Goose's Pajama Party - Mom of Boys - This is such a great tale of classic nursery rhymes combined into a fun slumber party. There is something in it for everyone to love! They story flows along with one great line from many different rhymes and swirls into a magical journey of adventure and rhyming!

  4. Rockabet - Are you ready to rock A to Z? Let’s roll through some music history! ROCKABET: CLASSIC EDITION introduces classic artists of rock ‘n’ roll in catchy couplets. This fun book promotes the arts, literacy, and learning the ABC’s. Cute illustrations depict musicians in a childlike manner. Reading rocks!

  1. Poppy and Mozart - Go on a musical adventure with Poppy the dog and friends in Poppy and Mozart. Children and parents will love pressing buttons and hearing the variety of instruments and sounds of Mozart on every page! Go on a musical adventure with the adorable dog, Poppy, and learn about Mozart as he listens to favorite sounds from the great composer with his friend Frannie. The two friends take an unforgettable trip to a music festival, where they hear the sounds of thepiano, violin, harp, flute, and more. From The Magic Flute to A Little Night Music, Poppy and Frannie not only listen to the sounds of Mozart, but also learn a little bit about this great composer at the same time. With 16 buttons to push and hear, kids will love listening to the sounds of Mozart and the different instruments as they follow along with the story. With colorful illustrations and a new sound to discover on each page, both kids and parents will be entertained and engaged for hours. Poppy and Mozart offers an opportunity to teach kids about classical music and the sounds of some of Mozart’s great works. Now that is truly unique!

  2. The Muffin Man - Do you know the Muffin Man? He makes lots of tasty treats in his popular bake shop. Sing and dance along as you follow him through his day, making muffins and feeding all of the hungry people right on Drury Lane. This hardcover library bound book comes with CD and online music access.

  3. Guitar Genius - This is the story of how Les Paul created the world’s first solid- body electric guitar, countless other inventions that changed modern music, and one truly epic career in rock and roll. How to make a microphone? A broomstick, a cinderblock, a telephone, a radio. How to make an electric guitar? A record player’s arm, a speaker, some tape. How to make a legendary inventor? A few tools, a lot of curiosity, and an endless faith in what is possible. Featuring richly detailed, dynamic illustrations by Brett Helquist, this unforgettable biography will resonate with inventive readers young and old.

  4. Three Blind Mice Team Up with the Three Little Pigs - The Big Bad Wolf keeps trying to eat the three little pigs. The farmer’s wife keeps chasing the three blind mice. If they work together, maybe they can solve each other’s problems.

  1. In the Hall of the Mountain King - Based on the 1867 play Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen, set to Edvard Grieg’s musical masterpiece, author and music teacher Allison Flannery captures the wonder and imagination of childhood while also providing an age-appropriate, entertaining introduction to music theory and appreciation. Children, educators, and parents will be delighted by Vesper Stamper’s beautiful watercolors that bring Flannery’s retelling to life. Come sing, dance and explore with Peer to Greig’s music on the included CD.

  2. Shark in the Dark - The shark has been lurking in the deep, dark sea, searching for a fishy snack. He’s big and he’s mean and he’s always hungry. Tired of fleeing the shark, the other seas creatures come up with a plan. If they all work together it might be possible to teach the shark a lesson he’ll never forget. With a lively rhyming text; bright, expressive illustrations; and a playful die-cut cover, this is one shark’s tale that will be a hit either at story hour . . . or feeding time.

  3. Down by the Bay - A classic silly song that toddlers know and love, Down by the Bay has been a favorite and best-selling Raffi Songs to Read/reg/ since it was first published in 1988. In this friendly board book edition, irresistible art by Nadine Bernard Westcott depicts wonderfully amusing creatures such as a bear combing his hair, a goose kissing a moose, and a whale with a polka-dot tail. Very young children will find this book both entertaining and instructive in early language skills such as rhyme, rhythm, and repetition, and will delight in hearing it read or sung aloud to them.

  4. Wheels on the Bus - This best-selling book based on the popular children’s song has driven its way into the hearts of many since its 1991 release. With wheels that go round, doors that open and shut, wipers that swish, and people that go bumpety-bump, the board book version of The Wheels on the Bus is the perfect token for a whole new generation of readers.

  1. Chicka Chicka ABC - Race to the top of the coconut tree with this delightful alphabet rhyme from the creators of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.

  2. The Piano - What do you do when a piano shows up in your yard? Take a cat-nap? Use it as a coffee table? What’s a band to do when one of its instruments goes missing? And what does a yellow sock have to do with anything? Join Filippa and friends in a whacky adventure when they wake up to find a piano in the front yard. Kids will love the bright and whimsical artwork in this book as they find out how the piano is returned to the band, new friends are found, and music is made.

  3. Kat Keeps The Beat - Join Kat, the musical kitten, and Bird, her kind-hearted pal, as they learn to count and keep the beat in this brand-new board book that stars the same characters from Greg Foley’s adorable picture book Kat Writes a Song! Kat, Bird, and the rest of her friends are sure to have readers clapping, counting, and cheering for more as they learn about rhythm and how to count in this inventive board book that shows the power of song. A great read-aloud for parents and little ones to share, this sweet story proves that music has the power to bring friends together.

  4. Mary Had a Little Glam - Mary has STYLE! In this fun take on Mother Goose, fashion-forward Mary helps some childhood favorites go glam. From the kid who lives in a shoe (and dons some fab footwear) to Jack, who breaks his crown but gets a great new one, Mary’s friends look fine. But are they too well dressed for recess? Don’t worry—Mary always shows her flair for what to wear!

  1. Can You Hear It? - Presents an introduction to music and musical instruments, through the matching of excerpts of classical music with art works selected from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  2. Sylvia Long's Mother Goose - From bestselling artist Sylvia Long comes an enchanting collection of over seventy-five classic Mother Goose rhymes. Imbued with the artist’s love of nature and overflowing with charming details, this spectacular compilation includes such timeless favorites as Old Mother Hubbard, Mary had a little lamb, and Rock-a-bye baby. Sylvia Long’s Mother Goose is a perfect gift that, like the rhymes themselves, will be passed from one generation to the next

  3. Music - Mom of Boys - This book shows a lot of different instruments and things that makes sound. It is fun for little ones, because it can help them see that they can make music in many different ways.

  4. Violet's Music - From the days she banged her rattle in the crib, Violet has been looking for friends to share her love of music.

  1. What Really Happened to Humpty? - Detective Joe Dumpty rushes to investigate the mysterious circumstances under which his older brother, Humpty, fell from a wall on his first day as captain of the new Neighborhood Watch program.

  2. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and Other Bedtime Nursery Rhymes - An illustrated collection of twenty familiar nursery rhymes and lullabies, such as “Are You Sleeping?,” “Hey Diddle Diddle,” and “All Through the Night.”

  3. Hey Diddle Diddle and Other Nursery Rhymes - “Hey, diddle, diddle, The cat and the fiddle, The cow jumped over the moon…” Experience classic nursery rhymes in this beautifully illustrated board book. With adorable illustrations alongside modern typography of classic childhood rhymes, this book is both a great baby shower gift and a lovely introduction to the nursery rhymes we know and love.

  4. Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf - Despite Grandfather’s warning about wolves in the forest, Peter and his animal friends capture one.

  1. The Music in George's Head - George Gershwin heard music all the time—at home, at school, even on New York City’s busy streets. Classical, ragtime, blues, and jazz—George’s head was filled with a whole lot of razzmatazz! With rhythmic swirls of words and pictures, author Suzanne Slade and illustrator Stacy Innerst beautifully reveal just how brilliantly Gershwin combined various kinds of music to create his masterpiece, Rhapsody in Blue, a surprising and whirlwind composition of notes, sounds, and one long wail of a clarinet. Includes author’s note, timeline, and bibliography.

  2. Star Light, Star Bright: A Mother Goose Bedtime Collection - Just in time for the holidays, this padded board book features original illustrations and your favorite Mother Goose rhymes Filled with lovely artwork, this is a padded board book treasury of the most popular bedtime Mother Goose rhymes. This soothing collection will whist every toddler off to dreamland. The rhymes include: • Twinkle Twinkle • Star Light, Star Bright • Hickory Dickory Dock …and more!

  3. Five Little Speckled Frogs - “Five Little Speckled Frogs, sitting on a hollow log, eating some most delicious bugs. Yum, yum!” This picture book beautifully illustrates the familiar children’s song through watercolor, collage and graphic design. Children and adults can easily read or sing the repetitive text while they count down from five. Watch for patterns by keeping an eye on the frogs and those “most delicious bugs.”

  4. I Ate a Cicada Today - Based on a song of outrageous rhymes, I Ate a Cicada Today is a humorous children’s picture book illustrated in ink and watercolor drawings. Each two-page spread features a verse of the song, including such fanciful scenarios as “I peppered a leopard” and “I hid a giant squid.” The accompanying CD is a guitar vocal performance of the song by author/illustrator Jeff Crossan, who interjects each verse with a short, spoken aside for added comic punch.

  1. Mr. Mergler, Beethoven, and Me - Not long after arriving in North America from China, a young girl and her father bump into a kind old man at their local park. They have no idea that he has been teaching young people music for over fifty years. Mr. Mergler can hear music in a way that most of us can’t, and he knows this little girl has a talent that, with encouragement, will grow into something magical. He gives her a gift that will tie them together forever

  2. Katie's Noisy Music - Katie Woo wants to learn an instrument, but she is having trouble deciding what kind of music suits her best.

  3. A Crooked Kind of Perfect - Ten-year-old Zoe Elias, who longs to play the piano but must resign herself to learning the organ, instead, finds that her musicianship has a positive impact on her workaholic mother, her jittery father, and her school social life.

  4. Row, Row, Row Your Boat - In this traditional nursery rhyme, a group of babies and their toy animal friends row merrily down the stream. On board pages.

Did you enjoy our music book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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