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Music: Books For Kids

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

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

Top 10 Books About Music

#1
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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?
#2
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Les & Ronnie Step Out
Written & 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?
#3
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We Are Music
Written by Brandon Stosuy & 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.
#4
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Music Is . . .
Written by Brandon Stosuy & illustrated by Amy Martin
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!
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
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.
#5
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Giant Dance Party
Written by Betsy Bird & 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.
#6
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Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin
Written by Lloyd Moss & illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
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. :)
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.
#7
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What's That Noise? Toot! Toot!
Written & 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.
#8
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Bud, Not Buddy
Written & illustrated by Christopher Paul Curtis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
The Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-winning classic about a boy who decides to hit the road to find his father—from Christopher Paul Curtis, author of The Watsons Go To Birmingham—1963, a Newbery and Coretta Scott King Honoree. It’s 1936, in Flint Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud’s got a few things going for him: 1. He has his own suitcase full of special things. 2. He’s the author of Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself. 3. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers advertising Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!! Bud’s got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road to find this mystery man, nothing can stop him—not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself. AN ALA BEST BOOK FOR YOUNG ADULTS AN ALA NOTABLE CHILDREN'S BOOK AN IRA CHILDREN'S BOOK AWARD WINNER NAMED TO 14 STATE AWARD LISTS “The book is a gem, of value to all ages, not just the young people to whom it is aimed.” —The Christian Science Monitor “Will keep readers engrossed from first page to last.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred “Curtis writes with a razor-sharp intelligence that grabs the reader by the heart and never lets go. . . . This highly recommended title [is] at the top of the list of books to be read again and again.” —Voice of Youth Advocates, Starred
#9
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Mole Music
Written & illustrated by David McPhail
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Feeling that something is missing in his simple life, Mole acquires a violin and learns to make beautiful, joyful music.
#10
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Music for Mister Moon
Written by Philip C. Stead & illustrated by Erin E. 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.
Table of Contents
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Books About Music and First Concepts

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Les & Ronnie Step Out
Written & 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?
Add to list
We Are Music
Written by Brandon Stosuy & 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.
Add to list
Music Is . . .
Written by Brandon Stosuy & illustrated by Amy Martin
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!
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
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.
Honorable Mentions
I'm a Little Teapot! book
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Hey Diddle Diddle!-Kubler book
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Wee Willie Winkie book
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The Twelve Days of Christmas book
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  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. Hey Diddle Diddle!-Kubler - Illustrates the nonsensical children’s nursery rhyme. On board pages.

  3. 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.

  4. The Twelve Days of Christmas - With art so stunning it glistens like freshly fallen snow, this cozy Christmas tale is an essential treasure for anyone celebrating the holiday season! Bursting with gorgeous illustrations that accompany the lyrics to this classic carol, the festive artwork and jolly characters capture all the merriment of the popular Yuletide tune. Randall’s style feels charmingly classic while also strikingly contemporary, making this particular partidge in a pear tree the perfect one for the modern reader. The joyful pictures and beloved song are sure to make this a recurring holiday favorite.

Books About Music and Action And Adventure

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Bud, Not Buddy
Written & illustrated by Christopher Paul Curtis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
The Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-winning classic about a boy who decides to hit the road to find his father—from Christopher Paul Curtis, author of The Watsons Go To Birmingham—1963, a Newbery and Coretta Scott King Honoree. It’s 1936, in Flint Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud’s got a few things going for him: 1. He has his own suitcase full of special things. 2. He’s the author of Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself. 3. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers advertising Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!! Bud’s got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road to find this mystery man, nothing can stop him—not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself. AN ALA BEST BOOK FOR YOUNG ADULTS AN ALA NOTABLE CHILDREN'S BOOK AN IRA CHILDREN'S BOOK AWARD WINNER NAMED TO 14 STATE AWARD LISTS “The book is a gem, of value to all ages, not just the young people to whom it is aimed.” —The Christian Science Monitor “Will keep readers engrossed from first page to last.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred “Curtis writes with a razor-sharp intelligence that grabs the reader by the heart and never lets go. . . . This highly recommended title [is] at the top of the list of books to be read again and again.” —Voice of Youth Advocates, Starred
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The Walkabout Orchestra
Written & 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.
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Battle of the Pirate Bands
Written by Michael Anthony Steele & 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.
Honorable Mentions
The Song From Somewhere Else book
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City Street Beat book
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Band of Babies book
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Down by the Station book
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  1. The Song From Somewhere Else - 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

  2. 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.

  3. Band of Babies - Named one of Amazon's Best Children's Books of 2017: Baby to Age 2New York Times bestselling illustrator Jane Dyer teams up with award-winning author Carole Gerber to lead a band of marching babies all through town. It was just an ordinary day at play group until Benny arrived. With flute in hand and drums in tow, Benny's love of music inspires the babies to get up and put on a show. Toot! Toot! Whee! Benny and his band of babies are a sight to see!With rhythmic text from veteran author Carole Gerber and lively illustrations from bestselling artist Jane Dyer, this musical journey will have readers of all ages snapping their fingers and tapping their toes!

  4. Down by the Station - Did you ever wonder who rides the zoo train early in the morning? Climb aboard and join the mischievous, sleepy, and playful baby animals on their way to the children’s zoo. The engineer has to get them there before the first busload of children arrives . . . but these baby animals just want to have fun! This delightful adventure full of mishaps, daring rescues, and a runaway red balloon has a cumulative text and playful animal noises that will have readers singing along-if they’re not racing to the zoo to ride the train themselves.

Books About Music and Love

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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?
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Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender
Written by Elvis Presley & 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.”
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The Magic Flute
Written & illustrated by Chris Raschka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
From Caldecott Medalist and New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Chris Raschka comes a gorgeously illustrated retelling of Mozart’s classic opera, The Magic Flute. The Magic Flute is the favorite choice of many opera lovers. But ask any of them to tell you the rambunctious, mystical, and downright oddball story of the opera and no two tellers will agree. Enter Chris Raschka, an opera goer himself. His stunning version of the original plot and the otherworldly events which inspired Mozart’s glorious music showcases his interpretation from the storytelling front curtain at the start, to the radiant finale at the end. Readers will be exclaiming, Bravo!
Honorable Mentions
Coat of Many Colors book
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All You Need Is Love book
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  1. Coat of Many Colors - 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.

  2. All You Need Is Love - 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.

Want to see books about love?

Books About Music and Dance

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Giant Dance Party
Written by Betsy Bird & 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.
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Baby Loves to Boogie!
Written & 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.
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Duck & Goose, Let's Dance!
Written & illustrated by Tad Hills
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
"Duck and Goose have fun dancing together as friends"--
Honorable Mentions
Music book
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Music book
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Dressing Up book
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The Bunny Rabbit Show! book
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  1. Music - We’re amazing! We can make music, dress up, sing and dance.

  2. 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.

  3. Dressing Up - We’re amazing! We can dress up, sing, dance and make music. There’s nobody quite like us! Enjoy the antics of this inclusive and diverse group of friends, as they celebrate the natural and boundless creativity to be found in every child.

  4. The Bunny Rabbit Show! - You’ve got front-row seats to the cutest revue in town—hop on down to The Bunny Rabbit Show! The latest addition to Sandra Boynton’s phenomenal bestselling Boynton on Board series, this book stars a cast of high-kicking bunnies performing in perfect unison to a lively song all about . . . them. We are ten terrific rabbits And we like to dance and sing. Ten terrific rabbits. We can do most anything. Bunnies are very welcoming, so everyone (Boynton’s pigs, sheep, chickens, and YOU) can come join the chorus line—bunny ears mandatory, of course. An exuberant original song by Sandra Boynton and Mike Ford is available for download.

Want to see 7 more books about music and dance ?

How about books about dance?

Books About Music and Movement And Motion

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Ring Around a Rosie
Written & illustrated by Annie Kubler
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2
Presents an illustrated version of the classic nursery rhyme, with words and music.
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Ten Little Fingers
Written & 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.
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If You're Happy and You Know It
Written & 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
Dance book
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Plinka Plinka Ting Ting book
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  1. Dance - From the #1 New York Times bestselling children’s book creator Matthew Van Fleet comes a laugh-out-loud, jazzy story of a little baby chick who learns how to dance from a friendly band of animals who know all the right moves! Shake, shake, shake, shimmy, shimmy, shake! You can dance! Young readers will delight in the charming art, jazzy text, and in pulling the five sturdy pull tabs to make the different animals bounce, shake and bop as they dance to the Hippoppta Hula, Gator Mashed Patater, and more! Listen and dance to the song at VanFleetBooks.com. Get your dancing feet ready!

  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!

Books About Music and Feelings And Emotions

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Music for Mister Moon
Written by Philip C. Stead & illustrated by Erin E. 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.
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Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace
Written & illustrated by Nan Marino
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
"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"--
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Singing in the Rain
Written by & illustrated by Tim Hopgood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain, Oh, what a glorious feeling! Spring calls in this classic Broadway number, brought to life in a beautiful picture book—perfect for sharing! Jump in puddles, raise umbrellas, and dance with joy through the pages of this visual story. With colorful, springy scenes and the familiar lyrics, this is a beautiful, gift-worthy, feel-good read-aloud.
Honorable Mentions
With a Little Help from My Friends book
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Wild Symphony book
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Pippa's Island 3: Kira Dreaming book
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Musical Mac book
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  1. With a Little Help from My Friends - Celebrate friendship with this lyrical picture book that beautifully illustrates John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s world-renowned words from “With a Little Help from My Friends.” I get by with a little help from my friends… In this gorgeously illustrated picture book, the universally loved words to “With a Little Help from My Friends” come vividly to life, showing that sometimes, all you need is a little help from your friends!

  2. Wild Symphony - #1 New York Times bestselling author Dan Brown makes his picture book debut with this mindful, humorous musical, and uniquely entertaining book! Travel through the trees and across the seas with Maestro Mouse and his musical friends! Young readers will meet a big blue whale and speedy cheetahs, tiny beetles and graceful swans. Each has a special secret to share. Along the way, you might spot the surprises Maestro Mouse has left for you- a hiding buzzy bee, jumbled letters that spell out clues, and even a coded message to solve! Children and adults can enjoy this timeless picture book as a traditional read-along, or can choose to listen to original musical compositions as they read—one for each animal—with a free interactive smartphone app, which uses augmented reality to play the appropriate song for each page when a phone’s camera is held over it.

  3. Pippa's Island 3: Kira Dreaming - Kira Cove Public School is hosting a talent quest. Cici, Meg, and Charlie couldn’t be more ex- cited to perform, but Pippa gets butter ies at the thought of singing on stage. After a disastrous audition, can Pippa nd a way to smash her stage fright before the VIP concert?

  4. Musical Mac - Mac the millipede loves to make music. He dreams of playing in a talent show with a band, but wherever he auditions, everyone says NO. No one wants him . . . until Mac comes up with an ingenious one-millipede solution to his problem! Brendan Kearney’s funny picture book will inspire kids who like to march to the beat of their own drum.

Books About Music and Rock Musicians

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Rockabet
Written by Kelly Polark & illustrated by Kelli Ann Little
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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!
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Elvis Is King!
Written by Jonah Winter & 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.
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Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears
Written by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Beth Coulton & illustrated by Nate Wragg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
A rockin' twist on Goldilocks and the Three Bears Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear know how to rock! But they need a new singer, so they audition everyone—the Three Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and more. To their dismay, no one seems just right. Could the perfect lead singer be the mysterious girl sleeping on Baby Bear’s keyboard? This mash up of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Voice is a surefire storytime hit.
Honorable Mentions
The History of Rock book
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When Paul Met Artie book
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Queen: The Unauthorized Biography book
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Forever Young book
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  1. The History of Rock - The History of Rock: For Big Fans and Little Punks is a magical mystery tour through popular music history, featuring trailblazing acts from the 1950s to the present. Colorful, stylish illustrations bring to life artists like Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Joan Jett, and Madonna, plus bands such as The Beatles, The Clash, Beastie Boys, and Pearl Jam, all of whom have inspired countless boys and girls to become musicians over the past seventy years. Included throughout the book are hand-picked recommendations from every time period, forming an extended playlist of over 1,000 songs that pay tribute to the genre and its many sounds. Divided into thirty-five different chapters, including “Pioneers Of Rock,” “Women At The Helm,” “Smash It,” and “Hard As Rock,” this vivid collection also covers the artistic movements that influenced rock or were influenced by it, such as blues, jazz, soul, and hip hop. What began as a successful Kickstarter campaign is now a must-have for rockers of all ages!

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

  3. Queen: The Unauthorized Biography -

  4. Forever Young - Since it first appeared on the 1974 album Planet Waves, “Forever Young” has been one of Bob Dylan’s most beloved songs. Now award-winning artist Paul Rogers gives us a new interpretation of the lyrics. With images inspired by classic Dylan songs and pieces of his life, this is a bold and touching tribute to an anthem whose message will always stay forever young.

Books About Music and Multicultural

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Feel the Beat
Written by Marilyn Singer & illustrated by Kristi Valiant
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
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.
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Ella Queen of Jazz
Written & 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.
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Happy!
Written & illustrated by Pharrell Williams
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
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.
Honorable Mentions
Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe book
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The Major Eights 4: Starstruck book
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Sweet Neighbors Come in All Colors book
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Here and There book
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  1. Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe - Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe. On the outside, you couldn’t find two girls who looked more different. But on the inside, they were alike—full of hopes and dreams and plans of what might be. Ella Fitzgerald’s velvety tones and shube-doobie-doos captivated audiences. Jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington couldn’t wait to share the stage with her, but still, Ella could not book a performance at one of the biggest clubs in town—one she knew would give her career its biggest break yet. Marilyn Monroe dazzled on the silver screen with her baby blue eyes and breathy boo-boo-be-doos. But when she asked for better scripts, a choice in who she worked with, and a higher salary, studio bosses refused. Two women whose voices weren’t being heard. Two women chasing after their dreams and each helping the other to achieve them. This is the inspiring, true story of two incredibly talented women who came together to help each other shine like the stars that they are.

  2. The Major Eights 4: Starstruck - In book four of the Major Eights series, Becca shoots, but will she score a meet and greet with her favorite basketball player? When Becca finds out about her school’s free throw competition, she is ready to put her basketball skills to the test! And if she wins, she’ll get to meet her favorite basketball player! But after a series of bad practices, her nerves start to get the best of her. Can the Major Eights help Becca regain her confidence and meet her hero?

  3. 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.

  4. Here and There -

Books About Music and Sounds Or Noises

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What's That Noise? Toot! Toot!
Written & 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.
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Pokko and the Drum
Written & illustrated by Matthew Forsythe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
**From E.B. White Read Aloud honor artist Matthew Forsythe comes a picture book about a magical drum, an emerald forest, and the little frog who dares to make her own music.** The biggest mistake Pokko’s parents ever made was giving her the drum. When Pokko takes the drum deep into the forest it is so quiet, so very quiet that Pokko decides to play. And before she knows it she is joined by a band of animals —first the raccoon, then the rabbit, then the wolf—and soon the entire forest is following her. Will Pokko hear her father’s voice when he calls her home? *Pokko and the Drum* is a story about art, persistence, and a family of frogs living in a mushroom.
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Lost and Found, What's that Sound?
Written by Jonathan Ying & illustrated by Victoria Ying
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
**“An excellent choice for any library.” —*School Library Journal*** It's a busy day at Rabbit's Lost and Found. Poor Squirrel has lost his drum, Elephant has lost her piano, and Bat has lost his entire band! Will Rabbit find their lost instruments before show time? With lively rhyming text and colorful illustrations, this sturdy board book from brother-and-sister team Jonathan and Victoria Ying (*Not Quite Black and White*) is perfect for little hands.
Honorable Mentions
I Love Music: My First Sound Book book
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The Music of Life book
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Sounds book
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  1. I Love Music: My First Sound Book - Readers of every age will be enchanted by this charming board book, which is distinguished by the exceptional quality of the musical sounds that bring every picture to life. I Love Music has a button on every spread, which triggers one of six captivating sounds that introduces a familiar instrument to the reader. An incredibly simple but utterly fascinating interactive book with sounds bound to enchant young readers and ignite an early love of music! A delightful and compelling book in the My First Sound Book series that everyone in the family will enjoy reading again and again.

  2. The Music of Life - Full of joy and discovery, Louis Thomas’ The Music of Life is a simple, melodious picture book about finding big inspiration and beauty in the smallest of details. At night when everyone else is asleep, one artist sits awake—pencil in hand, stuck. Lenny is a composer, but this evening, no music floats from his head. Then as night breaks into dawn, Lenny’s cat, Pipo, begins lapping milk. Lick lick lick. Birds yawn awake, singing in the trees. Tweet tweet! A bike bell tings on the street below. Suddenly, Lenny notices a rhythm to the world around him. He pulls on his coat and walks through the city to write down every sound he can find. Lenny listens to a gardener, a jogger, a dogwalker, and more neighborhood characters. Finally, the morning’s sounds culminate in a sun-dappled symphony that Lenny conducts in the center of the park.

  3. Sounds - Touch, listen, and learn. The latest addition to the Montessori –inspired Discovery Concepts series, joins the band to learn the sounds a variety of instruments make. From the “OOMPAH” of a tuba to the “CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!” of cymbals, little ones will love reciting each sound. Tactile sandpaper musical notes illustrate each instrument’s output while creative words encourage kids to make the sounds for themselves. Innovative back matter includes a QR code on the final spread of the book, which when scanned on a smartphone, features a marching band playing all of the instruments featured in the book.

Books About Music and Technology

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Guitar Genius
Written by Kim Tomsic & 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.
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Baby Code! Music
Written by Sandra Horning & illustrated by Melissa Crowton
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
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!
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Dark Was the Night
Written by Gary Golio & illustrated by E.B. Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
**The poignant story of Blind Willie Johnson--the legendary Texas musician whose song "Dark Was the Night" was included on the _Voyager I_ space probe's Golden Record** Willie Johnson was born in 1897, and from the beginning he loved to sing--and play his cigar box guitar. But his childhood was interrupted when he lost his mother and his sight. _How does a blind boy make his way in the world?_ Fortunately for Willie, the music saved him and brought him back into the light. His powerful voice, combined with the wailing of his slide guitar, moved people. Willie made a name for himself performing on street corners all over Texas. And one day he hit it big when he got a record deal and his songs were played on the radio. Then in 1977, his song--"Dark Was the Night"--was chosen to light up the darkness when it was launched into space on the _Voyager I_ space probe's famous Golden Record. His immortal song was selected for the way it expresses the loneliness humans all feel, while reminding us we're not alone.
Honorable Mentions
The Major Eights 3: The Goo Disaster! book
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Festival Frenzy! book
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  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. Festival Frenzy! - When Lucy’s parents plan a camping trip, Lucy manages to convince them to let her bring the rest of the gang along to attend Chesterbury Music Festival. It looks set to be a summer they will never forget!

Want to see books about technology?

Books About Music and Transportation

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Wheels on the Bus
Written by & illustrated by Jerry Smath
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
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.
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Old MacDonald Had a Truck
Written by Steve Goetz & illustrated by Eda Kaban
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a...TRUCK?! With a DIG, DIG here and a SCOOP, SCOOP there, this board book edition of the wildly popular picture book introduces favorite machines—like the excavator, dump truck, bulldozer, and more—and will have the vehicle-obsessed of all ages reading and singing along.
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Old MacDonald Had a Truck
Written by Steve Goetz & illustrated by Eda Kaban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a...TRUCK?! With a DIG DIG here and a SCOOP SCOOP there, this classic folk song just got revved up! Beloved machines—the excavator, dump truck, bulldozer, and more—will have the vehicle-obsessed of all ages reading and singing along.
Honorable Mentions
Yellow Submarine book
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She'll Be Coming 'round the Mountain book
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The Wheels on the Bus book
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Old MacDonald Had a Boat book
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  1. Yellow Submarine - 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.

  2. She'll Be Coming 'round the Mountain - She’ll be coming round the mountain, when she comes. Toot, Toot! How will she arrive next? Featuring a range of vehicles, activities and sounds, this catchy song is a delightful way to learn new words. Bouncy illustrations, innovative die cutting and popular rhymes make Books with Holes a must for every child.

  3. The Wheels on the Bus - The 25th anniversary edition of a beloved classic Over a million young readers have enjoyed the wheels that go round, doors that open and shut, and people who go bumpety-bump. Today it remains as fresh and engaging as when it was first published twenty five years ago. To celebrate the anniversary, Paul O. Zelinsky has created an all-new cover featuring twenty five, hidden 25s. Some are the number 25 and others are 25 of something in the picture. Can you find them all?

  4. 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.

Books About Music and Jazz

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Charlie Parker Played Be Bop
Written & illustrated by Chris Raschka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Introduces the famous saxophonist and his style of jazz known as bebop.
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Trombone Shorty
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.
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Little Melba and Her Big Trombone
Written by Katheryn Russell-Brown & illustrated by Frank Morrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
"A biography of African American musician Melba Doretta Liston, a virtuoso musician who played the trombone and composed and arranged music for many of the great jazz musicians of the twentieth century. Includes afterword, discography, and sources"--
Honorable Mentions
Sonny's Bridge book
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Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters book
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The 5 O'Clock Band book
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Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite book
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  1. Sonny's Bridge - This groovy, bebopping picture book biography chronicles the legendary jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins’s search for inspiration on the Williamsburg Bridge after quitting the jazz scene in 1959. Rollins is one of the most prolific sax players in the history of jazz, but, in 1959, at the height of his career, he vanished from the jazz scene. His return to music was an interesting journey—with a long detour on the Williamsburg Bridge. Too loud to practice in his apartment, Rollins played on the New York City landmark for two years among the cacophony of traffic and the stares of bystanders, leading to the release of his album, The Bridge. Written in rhythmic prose with a bebop edge, this picture-book biography of Sonny Rollins’s journey to get his groove back will delight young and old fans alike.

  2. Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters - A picture book celebration of the indomitable Muddy Waters, a blues musician whose fierce and electric sound laid the groundwork for what would become rock and roll. Muddy Waters was never good at doing what he was told. When Grandma Della said the blues wouldn’t put food on the table, Muddy didn’t listen. And when record producers told him no one wanted to listen to a country boy playing country blues, Muddy ignored them as well. This tenacious streak carried Muddy from the hardscrabble fields of Mississippi to the smoky juke joints of Chicago and finally to a recording studio where a landmark record was made. Soon the world fell in love with the tough spirit of Muddy Waters. In blues-infused prose and soulful illustrations, Michael Mahin and award-winning artist Evan Turk tell Muddy’s fascinating and inspiring story of struggle, determination, and hope.

  3. 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.

  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.

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How about books about jazz?

Books About Music and Singing

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Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes ...
Written & 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.
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Sing
Written & illustrated by Carol Thompson
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
We’re amazing! We can sing, make music, dress up and dance.
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Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
Written by Eric Litwin & illustrated by James Dean
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
An award-winning and bestselling Pete the Cat hardcover picture book! Count down with Pete in this rocking story that makes counting fun! Pete the Cat is wearing his favorite shirt—the one with the four totally groovy buttons. But when one falls off, does Pete cry? Goodness, no! He just keeps on singing his song—after all, what could be groovier than three groovy buttons? The winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Award. The fun never stops—download the free groovin’ song!
Honorable Mentions
The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito book
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Early Sunday Morning book
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If You're Happy and You Know It book
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Paddington at St. Paul's book
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  1. The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito - Timely, Fun, Challenging and Wise! Tomson Highway’s musical cabaret, The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito, couldn’t be more vividly presented unless you were sitting in the middle seat of the front row watching the Cree playwright, performer, musician and poet himself. The story of a wingless little mosquito from Manitoba has all the whimsy and wise humour any audience could ask for. The ageless theme of a misfit, who finds her voice through song and who learns to make friends by communicating directly with her audience, is a timely treat for anyone who has felt like an outsider, dealt with bullying, moved to a new place, or was different from the rest of the pack. The entire script is here, complete with song lyrics, stage directions, Cree vocabulary, and challenging tongue twisters to delight all ages. A perfect book for drama students, teachers, and theatre enthusiasts, this beautiful full-colour volume serves as an interactive read-aloud for the young, or a great way to introduce students to the joys of staging a musical production.

  2. Early Sunday Morning - In this heartwarming story of love and family, a community comes together to help a young girl find the courage to lift her mighty voice. Sundays are June’s favorite days because she gets to spend it with Mommy, Daddy, and her brother, Troy. Next Sunday is more special than most, because she will be leading the youth choir in front of her entire church. June loves to sing. She sings loud, silly songs with Daddy, she sings to herself in front of the bedroom mirror, but performing in front of the entire congregation is another thing altogether. As her special moment approaches, June leans on the support of her whole community to conquer her fear of singing in front of the congregation.

  3. If You're Happy and You Know It - Sing, stomp, and clap along - if you’re happy, let it show! Get the youngest listeners moving, clapping, and flapping in this brightly colored board book, perfect for small hands, full of joyful jungle animals. Nod along with groovy giraffe, flap with baby bird, and ROAR out loud with lion. Jane Cabrera’s fresh spin on the familiar song is a family favorite for baby dance parties since 2003. An Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award Winner. Jane Cabrera’s Story Time celebrates children’s best-loved read along nursery rhymes and songs. These interactive favorites are given a new twist by award-winning artist Jane Cabrera and feature her bold, bright, kid-friendly illustrations. Other titles in the series include Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, One Two Buckle My Shoe, and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.

  4. Paddington at St. Paul's - Celebrate the 60th anniversary of Paddington Bear with this final classic picture book adventure from beloved author Michael Bond. Paddington Bear’s adventures never go quite as planned. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t filled with fun and laughter! When Mr. Gruber takes Paddington on a special outing to St. Paul’s Cathedral, there is one surprise after another. And the biggest surprise of all comes when Paddington is mistaken for a choir bear and suddenly finds himself taking part in a most unusual rehearsal. For six decades, stories of Paddington have charmed readers all over the world. Now another generation of fans can join the beloved bear in this brand-new adventure written by Michael Bond and illustrated by artist R. W. Alley.

Want to see books about singing?

Books About Music and New York

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Old Manhattan Has Some Farms
Written by Susan Lendroth & illustrated by Kate Endle
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
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.
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Hosea Plays On
Written by Kathleen M. Blasi & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9
This heartwarming picture book (based on a true story) depicts a day in the life of Hosea Taylor, a musician who—with his charm, talent, and generosity—brought joy to everyone he met. Every day, Hosea takes the Number 42 bus into the city to play his shiny brass saxophone—and to hopefully earn enough money. Setting up in his favorite place, Hosea makes sweet music as people greet him with a smile, a little girl dances, and crowds surround him. A surprise ending reveals what the money is really for. Kathleen Blasi’s delightful text and Shane Evan’s colorful images capture the real-life closeness between the much-loved Hosea—who shared his passion for music and life with everyone—and his community. An Author's Note explains how Blasi learned about Hosea Taylor (1948-2016), and what compelled her to write his story.
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New York Melody
Written & illustrated by Helene Druvert
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
Soar through New York and discover its magic and monuments in this evocatively illustrated children’s book enriched by intricate lasercut pages. A musical note filled with wanderlust breaks away from its sheet music to roam all around New York City. It visits Carnegie Hall, the bright lights of Broadway, and a hidden jazz club. It soars between skyscrapers, flies into a bass, improvises in a trumpet, and dances a little swing with a trombone, until it finally finds its place in a guitar playing in Central Park. There, it makes all the difference, and the guitar’s melody becomes a song that enchants passersby. Beautifully crafted with He´le`ne Druvert’s intricate lasercuts, New York Melody is a wonderfully imaginative introduction to New York and its many unique rhythms for young children.
Honorable Mentions
Irving Berlin book
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Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph book
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  1. 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.

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

Want to see books about New York?

Books About Music and Latinos

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Ada's Violin
Written by Susan Hood & illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A town built on a landfill. A community in need of hope. A girl with a dream. A man with a vision. An ingenious idea.
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Salsa Lullaby
Written by Jen Arena & illustrated by Erika Meza
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
How to get baby to sleep? Mami and Papi will try anything in this bouncy, loving, bilingual lullaby that gently says good night in both Spanish and English. Mami starts a salsa song. Papi keeps the beat. Baby loves this lullaby, moves those dancing feet. Baila, baby, baila! Dance, dance, dance. When nighttime falls, it's time for baby to go to sleep. In this household, that means it's also time for mama, papa, and baby to baila/dance, canta/sing, salta/jump, and more all the way to bedtime! This bouncy bilingual text and gorgeous, inviting illustrations gently wind down to make this a bedtime favorite no matter what language families say "good night" in!
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Selena: Queen of Tejano Music
Written by Silvia Lopez & illustrated by Paola Escobar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
This is a moving and impassioned picture book about the iconic Queen of Tejano music, Selena Quintanilla, that will embolden young readers to find their passion and make the impossible, possible! Selena Quintanilla's music career began at the age of nine when she started singing in her family's band. She went from using a hairbrush as a microphone to traveling from town to town to play gigs. But Selena faced a challenge: People said that she would never make it in Tejano music, which was dominated by male performers. Selena was determined to prove them wrong. Born and raised in Texas, Selena didn't know how to speak Spanish, but with the help of her dad, she learned to sing it. With songs written and composed by her older brother and the fun dance steps Selena created, her band, Selena Y Los Dinos, rose to stardom! A true trailblazer, her success in Tejano music and her crossover into mainstream American music opened the door for other Latinx entertainers, and she became an inspiration for Latina girls everywhere.
Honorable Mentions
Sing, Don't Cry book
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Dancing Hands book
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Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music book
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  1. Sing, Don't Cry - 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.

  2. Dancing Hands - As a little girl, Teresa Carreño loved to let her hands dance across the beautiful keys of the piano. If she felt sad, music cheered her up, and when she was happy, the piano helped her share that joy. Soon she was writing her own songs and performing in grand cathedrals. Then a revolution in Venezuela forced her family to flee to the United States. Teresa felt lonely in this unfamiliar place, where few of the people she met spoke Spanish. Worst of all, there was fighting in her new home, too—the Civil War. Still, Teresa kept playing, and soon she grew famous as the talented Piano Girl who could play anything from a folk song to a sonata. So famous, in fact, that President Abraham Lincoln wanted her to play at the White House! Yet with the country torn apart by war, could Teresa’s music bring comfort to those who needed it most?

  3. Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music - Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream. Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba’s traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.

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Books About Music and Family Life

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A Crooked Kind of Perfect
Written & illustrated by Linda Urban
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12
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.
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The Eleventh Trade
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14
From debut author Alyssa Hollingsworth comes a story about living with fear, being a friend, and finding a new place to call home. They say you can't get something for nothing, but nothing is all Sami has. When his grandfather’s most-prized possession—a traditional Afghan instrument called a rebab—is stolen, Sami resolves to get it back. He finds it at a music store, but it costs $700, and Sami doesn’t have even one penny. What he does have is a keychain that has caught the eye of his classmate. If he trades the keychain for something more valuable, could he keep trading until he has $700? Sami is about to find out. The Eleventh Trade is both a classic middle school story and a story about being a refugee. Like Katherine Applegate, author of Wishtree, Alyssa Hollingsworth tackles a big issue with a light touch.
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Jasmine Toguchi, Drummer Girl
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
It’s talent show time at school, and eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is excited to show her stuff. But as she thinks about her strengths—tree-climbing, mochi making, collage—none of them feel quite right to perform on-stage. Jasmine’s friends already have a talent: Tommy yo-yo’s, Daisy dances, and Linnie plays piano. Plus, Maggie Milsap (aka Miss Perfect) is saying she'll have the best talent. When Jasmine’s mom introduces her to the taiko, a traditional Japanese drum, Jasmine finally finds an activity that feels just right. But will she be good enough at taiko in time to beat Maggie Milsap? Join Jasmine as she discovers her talent—and the difference between being the best and trying your best.
Honorable Mentions
Drum Roll, Please book
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Jack & Louisa Act 2 book
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  1. Drum Roll, Please - Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat in this big-hearted middle grade novel. Not to be missed by fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Drama and Tim Federle’s Better Nate Than Ever! Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It’s the only time she doesn’t feel like a mouse. Now she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods. But this summer brings a lot of big changes for Melly: her parents split up, her best friend ditches her, and Melly finds herself unexpectedly falling for another girl at camp. To top it all off, Melly’s not sure she has what it takes to be a real rock n’ roll drummer. Will she be able to make music from all the noise in her heart? Ami Polonsky, acclaimed author of Gracefully Grayson, raved, “Drum Roll, Please is a perfect middle-grade love story. Bigelow delivers a mighty message to turn up the volume on your inner drumbeat.”

  2. 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.

Books About Music and History

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Bach to the Rescue!!!
Written by Tom Angleberger & 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.
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For Spacious Skies: Katharine Lee Bates and the Inspiration for "America the Beautiful"
Written by Nancy Churnin & illustrated by Olga Baumert
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9
Katharine Lee Bates first wrote the lines to "America the Beautiful" after a stirring visit to Pikes Peak in 1893. But the story behind the song begins with Katharine herself, who pushed beyond conventional expectations of women to become an acclaimed writer, scholar, suffragist, and reformer. Katharine believed in the power of words to make a difference, and in "America the Beautiful," her vision of the nation as a great family, united from sea to shining sea, continues to uplift and inspire us all.
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Struttin' With Some Barbeque
Written by Patricia Hruby Powell & illustrated by Rachel Himes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
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.
Honorable Mentions
Hello, I'm Johnny Cash book
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A Giant Man from a Tiny Town book
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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Books About Music and Bedtime

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Kitty Alone
Written by John M. Feierabend & 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.
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Animal Lullabies
Written by Mandy Ross & illustrated by Krisztina Kallai Nagy and Krisztina Nagy
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-5
It's night-time in the Animal Kingdom and time for all the animal children to go to bed. All children will love to imitate their favorite animals as they nestle to sleep, and the book finishes with a lullaby all human animals will love.
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Nighttime Symphony
Written by Timbaland & illustrated by Christopher Myers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
The sounds of the city at night create a lively lullaby in this melodious bedtime story from superstar producer and musician Timbaland, Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator Christopher Myers, and Kaa Illustration! hey there, darling baby child, you’re safe in here though the storm is wild the streetlights glow through dark so deep but safe in sound you’ll go to sleep As a little boy gets ready for bed, the sounds of a wild storm echo around him, lulling him to sleep. From the crash of thunder to the pitter-patter of raindrops to the beat of passing cars, the music of the city creates a cozy bedtime soundtrack.
Honorable Mentions
Goodnight Songs book
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Pillowland book
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  1. Goodnight Songs - “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

  2. 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!

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Books About Music and Singers

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Ella Fitzgerald
Written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara & illustrated by Bàrbara Alca
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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!
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A Voice Named Aretha
Written & illustrated by Katheryn Russell-Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A beautiful picture book biography about the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, and how she fought for equal rights throughout her life. Aretha Louise Franklin grew up in a house of music. The shy daughter of a famous Detroit preacher and civil rights activist, Aretha’s big voice surprised those around her, and everyone agreed: her powerful singing would someday make her a star. After relocating to New York City and signing a record deal, Aretha relentlessly pursued her dream of stardom. But it took many years of tireless touring and recording until her hit record "Respect" finally brought her the acclaim she deserved. Along the way, Aretha used her talents to fight for respect and equal rights along the way by refusing to perform for "whites only" audiences. With six decades of hits, countless memorable performances, and millions of lives touched, Aretha’s legacy of resilience and respect will inspire for generations to come.
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The Life of / la Vida de Celia
Written by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein & illustrated by Citlali Reyes
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Born in 1924 in Havana, Cuba, Celia Cruz has become one of the most popular singers in the world. Her career started at a young age, when she began began entering singing contests and winning pastelitos for her efforts! Celia and her husband later moved to New York, where they became friends with other performers such as Tito Puente. As her popularity soared, Celia became known as the ?Queen of Salsa'. To this day, her magnificent music continues to be sugar to our ears!
Honorable Mentions
The Life of - La Vida De Ritchie book
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Ella Fitzgerald: My First Ella Fitzgerald book
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Strange Fruit book
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  1. The Life of - La Vida De Ritchie - Born May 13, 1941, Ritchie Valens was a Mexican-American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. His musical journey at age 5 when his father encouraged him to take up guitar. In high school, he made his performing debut with the band The Silhouettes. At 17, Ritchie recorded his final record, which included classics like “Donna” and “La Bamba”. That record went on to sell over one million copies. To this day, Ritchie Valens’ music lives on in the hearts of many!

  2. Ella Fitzgerald: My First Ella Fitzgerald - This board book version of Ella Fitzgerald—an international bestseller in the beloved Little People, BIG DREAMS series—introduces the youngest dreamers to the First Lady of Song, from her early singing days on the streets of Harlem to her success as a jazz legend. Ella Fitzgerald grew up near Harlem, in New York, where she was surrounded by music and dance. After winning first prize in a talent competition at the Apollo Theater, she went on to tour the world with her pioneering voice. Babies and toddlers will love to snuggle as you read to them the engaging story of this fascinating icon, and will also enjoy exploring the stylish and quirky illustrations of this sturdy board book on their own. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

  3. 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.

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Books About Music and Concerts

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Because
Written & illustrated by Mo Willems
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
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.
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The Polar Bear Express (Mermaid Tales)
Written by Debbie Dadey & illustrated by Tatevik Avakyan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
A lost baby polar bear shares the spotlight with a popular boy band in this Mermaid Tales adventure. Kiki Coral is thrilled beyond words when she meets a brand-new friend: a baby polar bear! The problem is, the little bear, whose name is Nestor, has floated away from home on a patch of ice and now he’s lost, hungry, and all alone! Kiki, Shelly, and Echo want to send Nestor back to his home on the Manta Ray Express, but a one-way ticket costs a whopping four jewels! That’s a fortune! Not to mention, all anyone at school can talk about is the Rays, who are performing a concert in Poseidon. Kiki loves the cute boy band as much as the next mergirl, but what about Nestor? Isn’t saving him more important than a concert? Can Kiki and her friends find a fun way to send their new furry friend home—and hang out with the Rays in the process?
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Bats in the Band
Written & illustrated by Brian Lies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
When the weather warms up, bats take advantage of an empty theater to stage a concert.
Honorable Mentions
The Piano Recital book
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She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah) book
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A Tuba Christmas book
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The Bass Plays the Bass and Other Homographs book
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  1. The Piano Recital - It’s the day of Momo’s first piano recital. As she nervously waits for her turn to play, she tells herself, “I’ll be okay … I’ll be okay …” Then she hears a voice nearby, also saying, “I’ll be okay … I’ll be okay …” It’s a mouseling! And the little mouse is nervous about her first performance, too. The mouseling invites Momo through a small door backstage, where Momo is amazed to find a miniature theater filled with an audience of finely dressed mice there to watch singers, dancers and circus performers! When it’s the mouseling’s turn, Momo agrees to accompany her on piano. The mouse audience is so appreciative! But then, as she rises to take her bow, Momo is surprised to discover - it isn’t a mouse audience at all! Here’s another magical, dreamlike picture book from Akiko Miyakoshi, the multi-award-winning and internationally bestselling author-illustrator. The imaginative narrative is woven around the common childhood experience of anxiety, felt by performers but also by every child who faces a new life challenge. Momo serves as a wonderful example to children, using the power of her imagination to understand and work through her feelings. Even the youngest readers will be able to follow this story through the beautiful and fantastically detailed illustrations, which perfectly capture Momo’s emotions as she transitions from the real to the imagined and back again.

  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. 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.

  4. The Bass Plays the Bass and Other Homographs - Playing a variety of musical instruments, animals on a concert tour introduce words that are spelled the same but sound different and have different meanings, such as tear (to cry) and tear (to rip).

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Books About Music and Songs As Books

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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.
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Over in the Woodland: A Mythological Counting Journey
Written by Nicole Abreu and Shar Abreu & illustrated by Susanna Covelli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
Over in the Woodland, where the mythic creatures roam, Lived a noble griffin pride that protects the Woodland home. “Guard,” said the mother. “We will guard every home.” So her young griffins flew where the mythic creatures roam. With gorgeously detailed illustrations and rhythmic text, Over in the Woodland is a magical adventure sure to capture the imagination of readers young and old. Based on the classic children's rhyme "Over in the Meadow," this version replaces frogs and birds with mermaids, dwarves, centaurs, and other creatures of the Woodland realm. Count from one phoenix to ten griffins, and find the adorable baby griffin hiding on each delightful page!
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The President Sang Amazing Grace
Written by Zoe Mulford & illustrated by Jeff Scher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
Lyrical account of the day President Obama sang with a grieving nation following the 2015 shooting in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina When nine people were killed in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, the nation grieved as one, and when President Barack Obama sang "Amazing Grace" during his eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney, it was acknowledged as one of the most powerful moments of his presidency. Singer/songwriter Zoe Mulford was so moved that she wrote the song "The President Sang Amazing Grace," which was then illustrated by filmmaker and painter Jeff Scher for a video that has been viewed countless times. This book presents the lyrics to the song, Scher's paintings, excerpts from Obama's eulogy, biographies of those who were killed, historical context, and sheet music.
Honorable Mentions
Do Your Ears Hang Low? book
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Car, Car, Truck, Jeep book
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Hey Diddle Diddle book
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Rock-a-Bye, Dino book
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  1. Do Your Ears Hang Low? - Do your ears hang low? Do they wobble to and fro? These bunnies will know! This classic childhood song paired with fun illustrations is sure to have you and your little one singing and laughing along during storytime!

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

  3. Hey Diddle Diddle - “Hey Diddle Dilly, Its time to Get Silly, Like Mother Goose likes to do.” Spinning a creative and entertaining tale from the original rhyme, this Re-Versed Rhyme picture book is designed as a read aloud tale to inspire rhyming fun with early learners. Extension activities add layers of fun and engagement to the book.

  4. Rock-a-Bye, Dino - The classic lullaby, “Rock-a-Bye, Baby” gets a prehistoric twist as different dinosaurs get ready for bedtime in this board book with soft touch-and-feels on the cover! Rock-a-bye, T. rex, in the tree top When your feet stomp, the mountains do rock You give a big yawn, that means it’s nightfall So home you come, dino—claws, teeth, and all Written to the beloved tune of “Rock-a-Bye, Baby,” this adorable board book with soft touch-and-feels on the cover is a sweet bedtime lullaby that’s sure to put all sorts of dinosaurs—and children—to bed!

Books About Music and Holidays

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Poppy and Vivaldi
Written & 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 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!
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The Twelve days of Christmas
Written & illustrated by Jan Brett
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Jan Brett’s The Twelve Days of Christmas has long been a holiday favorite. Now this classic picture book has been redesigned for maximum legibility as a charming board book, perfect for sharing the wonder and magic of Christmas with Jan Brett’s youngest fans.
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You Can Do It, Noisy Nora!
Written by Rosemary Wells
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
**Noisy Nora is learning to play the violin, but her family isn't sure they can survive it!** The lovable heroine of _Noisy Nora_ returns in a new book that will charm parents and children alike. Nora is determined to play the violin, but her parents, sister Kate, and brother Jack are appalled by the terrible sounds that emerge during her practice sessions. _Scrape and shriek, screech and squeak_\--everybody holds their ears. But when a special evening comes, Nora succeeds in playing the secret song she's struggled hard to learn. _You Can Do It, Noisy Nora_! provides the perfect way to show young children the value of persevering when trying to master a new skill. Rosemary Wells's strong-willed heroine is as feisty and unstoppable as ever in this humorous, heartwarming story.
Honorable Mentions
This Jazz Man book
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The Twelve Days of Christmas in Tennessee book
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The Twelve Days of Christmas book
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Silent Night book
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  1. This Jazz Man - In this toe-tapping jazz tribute, the traditional “This Old Man” gets a swinging makeover, and some of the era’s best musicians take center stage. The tuneful text and vibrant illustrations bop, slide, and shimmy across the page as Satchmo plays one, Bojangles plays two . . . right on down the line to Charles Mingus, who plays nine, plucking strings that sound “divine.” Easy on the ear and the eye, this playful introduction to nine jazz giants will teach children to count—and will give them every reason to get up and dance! Includes a brief biography of each musician.

  2. 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.

  3. The Twelve Days of Christmas - The astounding talent of Laurel Long brings this beloved song to life with breathtaking style. Set against a lush countryside, each day brings a new gift elegantly rendered. And like in the verses of the song, the previous gifts are repeated in every illustration, giving this striking artwork a hidden aspect, culminating in a staggering spread featuring them all. Readers will pore over every page, searching for golden rings, turtledoves, and all the rest, secretly tucked into each stunning painting. Laurel Long’s unparalleled style makes this exquisite volume a treasure that will be cherished for years to come.

  4. Silent Night - Silent night, holy night All is calm, all is bright Celebrate the magic of Christmas with this beautifully illustrated book, based on the world’s best-loved carol. Rediscover the Nativity Story in all its glory—from quaking shepherds to heaven-sent angels—as the song lyrics are brought to life on every spread. The world’s diversity is reflected in a cast of characters with a range of skin tones. A gorgeous book for all the family to share during the festive season.

Want to see books about holidays?

Epilogue

32 books that are just too good to leave off of our music list.
The Phlunk's Worldwide Symphony book
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Poppy and Mozart book
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In the Hall of the Mountain King book
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The Sound Orchestra: The Nutcracker book
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  1. The Phlunk's Worldwide Symphony - From South America to Asia to Africa, the sound of Earth’s children playing musical instruments rises to create a symphony like no other. With their singing, dancing, playing and stamping the Phlunk doesn’t stand a chance, he simply has to dance! ‘The Phlunk’s Worldwide Symphony’ features a reassuring, gently rhythmic poem by singer-songwriter Lou Rhodes and is fully illustrated in a unique, organic style by Tori Elliott.

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

  3. 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.

  4. The Sound Orchestra: The Nutcracker - 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’.

Shark in the Dark book
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Mockingbird Song book
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Chicka Chicka ABC book
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart book
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  1. 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.

  2. Mockingbird Song - 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!

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

  4. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - 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.

Music Is for Everyone book
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Down by the Bay book
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The Piano book
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Kat Keeps The Beat book
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  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. 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.

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

  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.

Can You Hear It? book
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Violet's Music book
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Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf book
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The Music in George's Head book
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  1. Can You Hear It? - Presents an introduction to music and musical instruments, through the matching of excerpts of classical music with art works selected from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  2. 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.

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

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

The Mozart Girl book
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Five Little Speckled Frogs book
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I Ate a Cicada Today book
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Mr. Mergler, Beethoven, and Me book
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  1. The Mozart Girl - 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?

  2. 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.”

  3. 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.

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

A is for Alliguitar: Musical Alphabeasts book
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Katie's Noisy Music book
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Row, Row, Row Your Boat book
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The Way to Stay in Destiny book
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  1. A is for Alliguitar: Musical Alphabeasts - 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.

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

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

  4. 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.

Pat-a-cake! book
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Humpty Dumpty book
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After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) book
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Great Joy book
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  1. Pat-a-cake! - Presents an illustrated version of the classic nursery rhyme. On board pages.

  2. Humpty Dumpty - Presents an illustrated version of the classic nursery rhyme, with music printed on the back cover. On board pages.

  3. After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) - From the New York Times–bestselling creator of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend comes the inspiring epilogue to the beloved classic nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after? Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most. Will he summon the courage to face his fear? After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) is a masterful picture book that will remind readers of all ages that Life begins when you get back up.

  4. 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.

What a Wonderful World book
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Go, Pea, Go! book
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My Very First Mother Goose book
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The Croc Who Rocked book
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  1. What a Wonderful World - First recorded in 1967 by Louis Armstrong, and with sales of over one million copies, “What a Wonderful World” has become a poignant message of hope for people everywhere. Sweet and positive in its message, with bright, beautiful art, this book is sure to be a hit. Perfect for sharing!

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

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

  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.

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