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Music: Books For Kids

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 Music Books

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?

Les & Ronnie Step Out book
#2
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
#3
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
#4
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.

Giant Dance Party book
#5
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.

What's That Noise? Toot! Toot! book
#6
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.

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.

Bud, Not Buddy book
#8
Bud, Not Buddy
Written and illustrated by Christopher Paul Curtis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

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.

Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender book
#9
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.”

Music for Mister Moon book
#10
Music for Mister Moon
Written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin Stead
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

Books About Musical-instruments & 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?

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.

What's That Noise? Toot! Toot! book
#3
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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin - 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. :)

  2. 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.

  3. Music Is for Everyone - 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!

  4. 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?

Want to see even more books about music and musical-instruments?

How about books about musical-instruments?

Books About Nursery Rhymes & Music

Ring Around a Rosie book
#1
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.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat book
#2
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Written and illustrated by Annie Kubler
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

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

I'm a Little Teapot! book
#3
I'm a Little Teapot!
Written and illustrated by Annie Kubler
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Presents the lyrics to the nursery rhyme along with illustrations featuring children acting out the motions indicated by the song. On board pages.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Pat-a-cake! - Presents an illustrated version of the classic nursery rhyme. 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. Humpty Dumpty - Presents an illustrated version of the classic nursery rhyme, with music printed on the back cover. On board pages.

  4. Hey Diddle Diddle!-Kubler - Illustrates the nonsensical children's nursery rhyme. On board pages.

Want to see even more books about music and nursery rhymes?

How about books about nursery rhymes?

Books About Movement & Music

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.

Ten Little Fingers book
#2
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.

Ring Around a Rosie book
#3
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.

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 even more books about music and movement?

How about books about movement?

Books About Trying New Things & 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?

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

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

Want to see even more books about music and trying new things?

How about books about trying new things?

Books About Diversity & Music

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.

I Got the Rhythm book
#3
I Got the Rhythm
Written by Connie Scholfield-Morrison and illustrated by Frank Morrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Music Is for Everyone - 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!

  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. 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.

  4. 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

Want to see even more books about music and diversity?

How about books about diversity?

Books About Dance & Music

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

Want to see even more books about music and dance?

How about books about dance?

Books About Babies & Music

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.

If You're Happy and You Know It  book
#3
If You're Happy and You Know It
Written and illustrated by Annie Kubler
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

The words to a familiar nursery song encourage babies and their parents to have fun together. On board pages.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Wee Willie Winkie - Illustrates the popular children's nursery rhyme about Willie Winkie, who is concerned about babies being in bed on time. On board pages.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

Want to see even more books about music and babies?

How about books about babies?

Books About Biography & Music

Guitar Genius book
#1
Guitar Genius
Written by Kim Tomsic and illustrated by Brett Helquist
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart book
#2
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.

The Music in George's Head book
#3
The Music in George's Head
Written by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Stacy Innerst
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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

  2. Strange Fruit - The audience was completely silent the first time Billie Holiday performed a song called ""Strange Fruit."" In the 1930s, Billie was known as a performer of jazz and blues music, but this song wasn't either of those things. It was a song about injustice, and it would change her life forever. Discover how two outsiders--Billie Holiday, a young black woman raised in poverty, and Abel Meeropol, the son of Jewish immigrants--combined their talents to create a song that challenged racism and paved the way for the Civil Rights movement.""The audience was completely silent the first time Billie Holiday performed a song called ""Strange Fruit."" In the 1930s, Billie was known as a performer of jazz and blues music, but this song wasn't either of those things. It was a song about injustice, and it would change her life forever. Discover how two outsiders--Billie Holiday, a young black woman raised in poverty, and Abel Meeropol, the son of Jewish immigrants--combined their talents to create a song that challenged racism and paved the way for the Civil Rights movement.

  3. When Bob Met Woody - "Hey hey, Woody Guthrie, I wrote you a song..." When Bob finished, Woody's face lit up like the sun. Bob Dylan is a musical icon, an American legend, and, quite simply, a poet. But before he became Bob Dylan, he was Bob Zimmerman, a kid from rural Minnesota. This lyrical and gorgeously illustrated picture book biography follows Bob as he renames himself after his favorite poet, Dylan Thomas, and leaves his Michigan mining town to pursue his love of music in New York City. There, he meets his folk music hero and future mentor, Woody Guthrie, changing his life forever.

  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 even more books about music and biography?

How about books about biography?

Books About Adventure & Music

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. 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.

  3. 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 even more books about music and adventure?

How about books about adventure?

Books About Animals & 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?

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 even more books about music and animals?

How about books about animals?

Books About Friendship & 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?

Ella Queen of Jazz book
#2
Ella Queen of Jazz
Written and illustrated by Helen Hancocks
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

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. The Major Eights 3: The Goo Disaster! - 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?

  2. 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.

  3. The Eleventh Trade - 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.

  4. The Major Eights 2: Scarlet's Big Break - 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!

Want to see even more books about music and friendship?

How about books about friendship?

Books About Interactive & Music

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.

Poppy and Mozart book
#2
Poppy and Mozart
Written and illustrated by Magali Le Huche
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

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!

I Got the Rhythm book
#3
I Got the Rhythm
Written by Connie Scholfield-Morrison and illustrated by Frank Morrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Poppy and Vivaldi - Go on a musical adventure with Poppy the dog and friends in Poppy and Vivaldi. Children and parents will love pressing buttons and hearing the instruments and sounds of Vivaldi on every page! Go on a musical adventure with the adorable dog, Poppy, and learn about Vivaldi as he listens to favorite sounds from the great composer with his friend Enzo. The two friends take an unforgettable trip to the Carnival of Venice, where they hear the sounds of the mandolin, cello, flute, and more. From The Four Seasons to Griselda, Poppy and Enzo explore the opera and take a ride on a gondola, listening to the sounds of Vivaldi and learning 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 Vivaldi 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 Vivaldi offers an opportunity to teach kids about classical music and the sounds of some of Vivaldi’s great works. Now that is truly unique!

  2. 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!

  3. Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite - It's a challenge to transform the "Nutcracker Suite's" romantic orchestra into jumpin' jazz melodies, but that's exactly what Duke Ellington and his collaborator, Billy Strayhorn, did. Ellington's band memebers were not so sure that a classical ballet could become a cool-cat jazz number. But Duke and Billy, inspired by their travels and by musical styles past and present, infused the composition with Vegas glitz, Hollywood glamour, and even a little New York jazz. CD recording of the Ellington/Strayhorn composition included.

Want to see even more books about music and interactive?

How about books about interactive?

Books About History & Music

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. 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.

  2. Jazz Day - 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite - It's a challenge to transform the "Nutcracker Suite's" romantic orchestra into jumpin' jazz melodies, but that's exactly what Duke Ellington and his collaborator, Billy Strayhorn, did. Ellington's band memebers were not so sure that a classical ballet could become a cool-cat jazz number. But Duke and Billy, inspired by their travels and by musical styles past and present, infused the composition with Vegas glitz, Hollywood glamour, and even a little New York jazz. CD recording of the Ellington/Strayhorn composition included.

Want to see even more books about music and history?

How about books about history?

Books About Family & Music

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.”

The Mozart Girl book
#2
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
#3
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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Twelve Days of Christmas in Tennessee - 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.

  2. Carlos Santana - 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 even more books about music and family?

How about books about family?

Books About Art & Music

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

  3. 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 even more books about music and art?

How about books about art?

Books About Artists & 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?

JIMI: Sounds Like a Rainbow - A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix book
#2
JIMI: Sounds Like a Rainbow - A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix
Written by Gary Golio and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

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.

The Life of/ La Vida De Selena book
#3
The Life of/ La Vida De Selena
Written and illustrated by Ariana Stein, Patty Rodriguez
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A Lil' Libros Bilingual Biography Selena's career started at a young age when she became lead singer in her family's band, Selena Y Los Dinos. She went on to become an award-winning artist with albums like Amor Prohibido and Selena Live, and earned the title "Queen of Tejano Music." Your little one will learn that Selena's favorite food was pizza and that the most important people in the world to her were her familiaand fans.

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

  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 even more books about music and artists?

How about books about artists?

Books About Love & 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?

Coat of Many Colors book
#2
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
#3
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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Log Driver's Waltz - 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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Books About Christmas & Music

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 Gifts They Gave book
#2
The Gifts They Gave
Written and illustrated by Patricia Eubank
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Tennessee book
#3
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.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Great Joy - It is just before Christmas when an organ grinder and monkey appear on the street outside Frances’s apartment. When it’s quiet she can hear their music, and when she looks out her window at midnight, she sees them sleeping outside. Finally the day of the Christmas pageant arrives, but when it’s Frances’s turn to speak, all she can think about is the organ grinder’s sad eyes—until a door opens just in time, and she finds the perfect words to share. With this luminous tale, Kate DiCamillo pairs with Bagram Ibatoulline to offer a timeless holiday gift.

  2. 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.

  3. Drummer Boy - 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.

  4. 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.

Want to see even more books about music and Christmas?

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Books About Self-discovery & Music

Katie's Noisy Music book
#1
Katie's Noisy Music
Written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Tammy Lyon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Katie Woo wants to learn an instrument, but she is having trouble deciding what kind of music suits her best.

The Major Eights 2: Scarlet's Big Break book
#2
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!

When Bob Met Woody book
#3
When Bob Met Woody
Written by Gary Golio and illustrated by Marc Burckhardt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"Hey hey, Woody Guthrie, I wrote you a song..." When Bob finished, Woody's face lit up like the sun. Bob Dylan is a musical icon, an American legend, and, quite simply, a poet. But before he became Bob Dylan, he was Bob Zimmerman, a kid from rural Minnesota. This lyrical and gorgeously illustrated picture book biography follows Bob as he renames himself after his favorite poet, Dylan Thomas, and leaves his Michigan mining town to pursue his love of music in New York City. There, he meets his folk music hero and future mentor, Woody Guthrie, changing his life forever.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Lord of the Mountain - Nate’s family has a secret, and it’s wrapped up in a song. The problem is, his preacher father hates music, and when he catches Nate hanging around downtown Bristol with musicians like Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, he comes down hard on him. So Nate sets out in search of himself and the song he thinks will heal his family. Set during the “big bang” of country music in the late 1920s, Nate’s journey of self-discovery parallels that of a region finding its voice for the first time.

  2. Carlos Santana - 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.

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Books About Magic & Music

The Song From Somewhere Else book
#1
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

Yellow Submarine book
#2
Yellow Submarine
Written by The Beatles and illustrated by Heinz Edelmann
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

A whole new generation will be climbing aboard this sunny, psychedelic storybook, while nostalgic Beatles fans of all ages will be clamoring for a ticket to ride. Once upon a time (or maybe twice), some 80,000 leagues beneath the sea, there lay a colorful land of song and laughter called Pepperland, where Sergeant Pepper's Band was always playing your song -- until the Blue Meanies burst on the scene and chased all the music and magic away. So began the classic 1968 film Yellow Submarine, inspired by a song and hailed as an avant-garde amalgam of pop art, Beatles music, and highly innovative animation. Now that film's dazzling images -- and its lighthearted, witty tale -- is showcased in a glorious picture book sure to be savored by fans and readers of all ages.

Strange Fruit book
#3
Strange Fruit
Written by Gary Golio and illustrated by Charlotte Riley-Webb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-12

The audience was completely silent the first time Billie Holiday performed a song called ""Strange Fruit."" In the 1930s, Billie was known as a performer of jazz and blues music, but this song wasn't either of those things. It was a song about injustice, and it would change her life forever. Discover how two outsiders--Billie Holiday, a young black woman raised in poverty, and Abel Meeropol, the son of Jewish immigrants--combined their talents to create a song that challenged racism and paved the way for the Civil Rights movement.""The audience was completely silent the first time Billie Holiday performed a song called ""Strange Fruit."" In the 1930s, Billie was known as a performer of jazz and blues music, but this song wasn't either of those things. It was a song about injustice, and it would change her life forever. Discover how two outsiders--Billie Holiday, a young black woman raised in poverty, and Abel Meeropol, the son of Jewish immigrants--combined their talents to create a song that challenged racism and paved the way for the Civil Rights movement.

Honorable Mentions
  1. When Bob Met Woody - "Hey hey, Woody Guthrie, I wrote you a song..." When Bob finished, Woody's face lit up like the sun. Bob Dylan is a musical icon, an American legend, and, quite simply, a poet. But before he became Bob Dylan, he was Bob Zimmerman, a kid from rural Minnesota. This lyrical and gorgeously illustrated picture book biography follows Bob as he renames himself after his favorite poet, Dylan Thomas, and leaves his Michigan mining town to pursue his love of music in New York City. There, he meets his folk music hero and future mentor, Woody Guthrie, changing his life forever.

  2. Bird & Diz - When sax player Charlie “Bird” Parker and trumpeter John “Dizzy” Gillespie make music together, they toss notes back and forth like a game of tag and chase each other with sounds. As Dizzy’s cheeks puff out like a frog with glasses, the two friends beep and bop and push each other to create a new kind of music—a thrilling fast jazz full of surprises. Blending a playful, rhythmic narration with expressive illustrations as fluid and dynamic as their subjects, this tribute to the masters of bebop by acclaimed biographer Gary Golio and beloved artist Ed Young will have readers hankering to listen for themselves!

Want to see even more books about music and magic?

How about books about magic?

Books About Bedtime & Music

Wee Willie Winkie book
#1
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.

Kitty Alone book
#2
Kitty Alone
Written by John M. Feierabend and illustrated by Mina Echevarria
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

Goodnight Songs book
#3
Goodnight Songs
Written and illustrated by Margaret Wise Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

"Baby sail the seven seas Safely in my arms When the waves go up and down You are safe from harm." Now this New York Times bestselling collection of charming lullabies by Margaret Wise Brown (Goodnight Moon) comes in an adorable board edition--still gorgeously illustrated by 12 award-winning artists. The roster of celebrated names includes Carin Berger, whose The Little Yellow Leaf was a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book; Eric Puybaret, who brought the bestselling Puff, the Magic Dragon to life on the pa≥ Coretta Scott King Honor Award winner Sean Qualls; and Caldecott Honor medalist Melissa Sweet. It's the perfect gift to wish children a sweet goodnight. The illustrators are: Jonathan Bean * Carin Berger * Sophie Blackall * Linda Bleck * Renata Liwska * Christopher Silas Neal * Zachariah OHora * Eric Puybaret * Sean Qualls * Isabel Roxas * Melissa Sweet * Dan Yaccarino

Honorable Mentions
  1. Pillowland - Laurie Berkner, “the queen of children’s music” (People), pairs the lyrics of her beloved hit with Camille Garoche’s gentle illustrations in this winning bedtime picture book—a must-have for fans of Laurie’s music and all things soft and sweet. I know a place, a kingdom far away, where people wear pajamas every night and every day. Where all the houses, the buildings, and the trees are made of fluffy pillows that are soft as they can be. Laurie Berkner’s treasured song “Pillowland” is now a beautiful picture book! Featuring magical, lush art by Camille Garoche, Pillowland carries readers away to a feather-fluffed dream world where bedtime is always a grand adventure. We’re going to land in Pillowland!

  2. Moon River - Two drifters, off to see the world / There's such a lot of world to see We're after the same rainbow's end, waiting, round the bend / My Huckleberry Friend, Moon River, and me Follow a girl (accompanied by her teddy bear—"two drifters") as she dreams about the wide and wonderful world. Cozy scenes of pajamas and bedtime make this a perfect story to share at the end of the night.

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Bonus Recommendations

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

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

  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. 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.

  2. Old Manhattan Has Some Farms - A clever new spin on “Old MacDonald,” this fun book explores the popular trend of urban farming. From rooftop farms and gardens on Manhattan high rises to neighborhood gardens in empty lots in Atlanta to hydroponic gardens in Seattle, growing food locally has become an important part of city-dwelling life. Set to the tune of the popular children’s song, this bouncy rhyming text will get everyone reading (or singing) out loud. If you’re not comfortable singing aloud, download the free recording of the song created by popular children’s performer Caspar Babypants (aka Chris Ballew, lead singer and songwriter for the band The Presidents of the United States of America). Six North American cities are highlighted, but included in the back matter are tips and tricks on how to alter the text so you can sing about your own hometown gardens. Back matter also includes more information about the different types of gardens introduced, additional resources, and the sheet music for the song.

  3. The Way to Stay in Destiny - Moving in with his resentful Vietnam War veteran uncle, young Theo devotes his time to playing the piano and helping a new friend, baseball fanatic Anabel, investigate a local mystery about famous ballplayer residents. Simultaneous eBook.

  4. 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.

  1. Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace - "When musical prodigy, Elvis Ruby, completely freezes up on television, he is forced to hide out in the Pinelands of New Jersey and try to find his way back to the music once again with the help of a new friend"--

  2. Happy! - Grammy Award winner Pharrell Williams’s super-hit song “Happy” is now a board book Nominated for an Academy Award in 2014, “Happy” hit number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 list, and has topped the charts in more than seventy-five countries worldwide. Now Pharrell Williams brings his beloved song to the youngest of readers in photographs of children across cultures celebrating what it means to be happy. All the exuberance of the song pulses from these vibrant photographs of excited, happy kids. This is a board book full of memorable, precious childhood moments that will move readers in the same way they were moved by the song. “Happy” has had the world dancing ever since it first hit the airwaves, and now the irresistibly cheerful tune will come to life on the page with Pharrell Williams’s very first picture book! A keepsake and true classic in the making.

  3. Baby Code! Music - It’s never too early to get little ones interested in computer coding with this unique series of board books! How do you explain coding in music to a baby? By showing how it’s all around them, and how they can take part in it, of course! By using experiences common in a baby’s world, like hearing a melody from a mobile or tapping on an electronic xylophone, this charming board book full of bright, colorful illustrations is the perfect introduction to coding in music for babies and their caregivers–and is sure to leave them wanting to learn more!

  4. The Croc Who Rocked - All alone, in a quiet part of the jungle, Little Croc hatches. He may be small, but he has a big voice and loves to sing. But the other animals don't like his snap-snap song and send him away. As time passes, he becomes a big croc, and his song gets better and louder, but he is lonely. He asks some birds to teach him their song, hoping the other animals might accept him. All goes well until he gets carried away, snap-snaps in the middle of the song, and is sent away. As he sings sadly to himself by the river, his song attracts an unexpected crowd of admirers, who finally join in on the music.

  1. Because - Mo Willems, a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, composes a powerful symphony of chance, discovery, persistence, and magic in this moving tale of a young girl's journey to center stage. Illustrator Amber Ren brings Willems' music to life, conducting a stunning picture book debut.

  2. Sweet Neighbors Come in All Colors - An ensemble of friendly fruit characters sing about their diversity of colors, shapes, and sizes. This title gives children the opportunity to explore early-learning concepts and offers families the chance to discuss ideas like unity and diversity. Includes sheet music and online link to the song’s recording.

  3. Super Happy Party Bears: Bat to the Bone - The bat-only punk rock band, Flying Blind, has a dedicated following of thousands of bats--their screechy sound really meshes with sonar hearing. While on tour to expand its fan base, Flying Blind stops at the Grumpy Woods for midnight performances. Soon tons of bat fans are keeping everyone awake at night! But when the bears start jamming with the band, its sound changes, driving away their early followers. This time it's Opal Owl who saves the day--and returns some peace and quiet to the woods. Illustrated in full color!

  4. Allegro: A Musical Journey Through 11 Musical Masterpieces - Classical music comes to life like never before in this magical journey through 11 beloved classical pieces. Meet Allegro, an ordinary boy who can’t stand practicing the piano. Those black dots on the page drive him crazy—until the music itself whisks him away on a breathtaking journey. Each beautifully illustrated scene on Allegro’s journey is accompanied by a famous classical theme that can be played with the press of a button. Hear Grieg’s “Morning Mood” while meandering through a misty meadow, Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” while exploring uncharted lands, Debussy’s “Claire de Lune” while pondering a shimmering night sky, and 8 more! Beautiful gold foil, lavish illustrations, and high-quality sound make this a musical masterpiece to treasure forever.

  1. Old MacDonald Had a Boat - Old Mac and Mrs. Mac are at it again! This time, these DIY-happy farmers wield a host of noisy tools—from hammers to sanders, and even a blowtorch—to soup up their rusty old fishing boat. With a BANG BANG here and a BUZZ BUZZ there, this silly, summery sequel to the wildly popular Old MacDonald Had a Truck is sure to make a splash—and have the whole family singing along.

  2. Kat Writes a Song - Kat writes a song to make things better on a gray and rainy day. After perfecting her magic song, she sings it out loud, and to her surprise, the rainy clouds go away! Kat is so pleased that she goes around her neighborhood singing her magic song. Will her song be able to help her friends too?

  3. Irving Berlin - Irving Berlin came to the United States as a refugee from Tsarist Russia, escaping a pogrom that destroyed his village. Growing up on the streets of the lower East Side, the rhythms of jazz and blues inspired his own song-writing career. Starting with his first big hit, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Berlin created the soundtrack for American life with his catchy tunes and irresistible lyrics. With "God Bless America," he sang his thanks to the country which had given him a home and a chance to express his creative vision.

  4. The Musical Life of Gustav Mole - A baby mole born into a musical family begins a lifetime of learning pleasure along with his animal friends.

  1. Baby Beluga - Presents the illustrated text to the song about the little white whale who swims wild and free.

  2. Trombone Shorty - A Grammy-nominated headliner for the New Orleans Jazz Fest describes his childhood in Tremâe and how he came to be a bandleader by age six.

  3. Jack and Louisa Act 3 - A show-stopping middle-grade series about life in and out of the spotlight from Broadway stars and Internet sensations Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead. Two weeks at Camp Curtain-Up is just what Jack and Louisa need to fuel their passion for theater: Broadway musical sing-alongs, outdoor rehearsals, and tons of new MTNs (musical theater nerds) to meet… maybe even a special someone. It almost feels like fate when the two friends return home to find local auditions for The Sound of Music. But as Louisa fantasizes about frolicking in the Alps, Jack gets tempted by a student-run drama competition that would reunite the two with their camp friends. Will Jack get Louisa to skip an audition? Can Lou handle Jack as her director? And will someone finally get a big, Broadway happy ending?

  4. P-o-t-t-y - Sing your way through the challenge of potty training Parent and child can share the fun of singing p-o-t-t-y to the tune of b-i-n-g-o Adorable original artwork.

  1. The 5 O'Clock Band - In this companion to the Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award-winning Trombone Shorty, join a scrappy young musician named Shorty on a tour of his beloved New Orleans. After letting his band down by missing rehearsal, Shorty has some serious questions about what it means to be a leader. He hits the streets of New Orleans to find some answers and soak up inspiration. Along the way he'll meet street musicians, a favorite restaurant owner, and the famous Mardi Gras Indians. Each has some NOLA-bred wisdom to share with Shorty about being an artist, a leader, and a friend. In The 5 O'Clock Band, Troy Andrews has crafted another unforgettable love letter to New Orleans illustrated by the incomparable Bryan Collier.

  2. Ella Fitzgerald - Meet Ella Fitzgerald, one of the most influential jazz singers of all time! New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the inspirational life of the First Lady of Song, from her early singing days on the streets of Harlem, to her success as a jazz legend, with the message: 'It's not where you come from, but where you're going that counts.' With stylish and quirky illustrations and a facts and photo section at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

  3. A Giant Man from a Tiny Town - When Angus MacAskill was still just a boy, he began to grow...and grow...and...grow! Known far and wide as the Cape Breton Giant, Angus was loved by his neighbours as much for his beautiful singing voice as for his renowned strength. But as much as Angus loved his little town of St. Ann's, Cape Breton, he decided to leave and seek fortune and adventure. With heartfelt text from critically acclaimed author Tom Ryan and meticulously researched and joyful illustrations from Christopher Hoyt (A is for Adventure), A Giant Man from a Tiny Town tells the story of a remarkable man who travelled the world performing for crowds, but never stopped longing to return to the place he loved the best: his Cape Breton home.

  4. The Orphan Band of Springdale - With the United States on the verge of World War II, eleven-year-old Gusta is sent from New York City to Maine, where she discovers small-town prejudices -- and a huge family secret. It's 1941, and tensions are rising in the United States as the Second World War rages in Europe. Eleven-year-old Gusta's life, like the world around her, is about to change. Her father, a foreign-born labor organizer, has had to flee the country, and Gusta has been sent to live in an orphanage run by her grandmother. Nearsighted, snaggletoothed Gusta arrives in Springdale, Maine, lugging her one precious possession: a beloved old French horn, her sole memento of her father. But in a family that's long on troubles and short on money, how can a girl hang on to something so valuable and yet so useless when Gusta's mill-worker uncle needs surgery to fix his mangled hand, with no union to help him pay? Inspired by her mother's fanciful stories, Gusta secretly hopes to find the coin-like "Wish" that her sea-captain grandfather supposedly left hidden somewhere. Meanwhile, even as Gusta gets to know the rambunctious orphans at the home, she feels like an outsider at her new school -- and finds herself facing patriotism turned to prejudice, alien registration drives, and a family secret likely to turn the small town upside down.

  1. Story of Rap - Lay down a baby beat and learn all about the history of rap! From Grandmaster Flash to Kendrick Lamar, rap has shaped generations and brought a voice to the voiceless. Bop along with the greats in this adorable baby book that introduces little ones to the rappers that started it all! Parental Advisory: May cause toddlers to develop excessive amounts of swagger.

  2. Long May She Wave - Discover the story of the girl who sewed the American flag that inspired the lyrics of the National Anthem in this beautifully illustrated celebration of our country’s iconic symbol for freedom. Caroline Pickersgill came from a family of the best flag makers in Baltimore. She and her family proudly stitched the grand flag that gallantly whipped in the wind over Fort McHenry. But when the British attacked Baltimore on September 12, 1814, would those broad stripes and bright stars still wave strong? Would America still be free and remain the home of the brave?

  3. Corduroy Takes A Bow - When Lisa takes Corduroy to the theater for the very first time, it’s so magnificent and exciting that he just can’t help heading out on his own to explore. From the orchestra pit to the prop table to the dressing rooms, Corduroy sees it all. Could there be a place for Corduroy on stage, too?

  4. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star - An illustrated version of the popular children's song.

If you're still looking for suggestions for books about music, take a peek at the list below.

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