The Best 81 Books to Read With Your Kids About Music

Updated Mar. 8, 2019

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!

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

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

Les & Ronnie Step Out book
#2
Les & Ronnie Step Out
Written and illustrated by Andrew Kolb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Meet a left and right foot who are a pair of complete opposites! Full of clever, giggle-inducing details, this lively odd-couple tale celebrates what makes us all unique, as well as the power of friendship to bring us together despite our differences. Feet come in twos, so they need to step out together. But Les and Ronnie often find it hard to cooperate. Les likes having a clean sock and being responsible. Ronnie is fine with a dirty sock and loves letting loose. Les is straight-laced while Ronnie doesn’t even care about laces. What’s a duo to do?

Music Is . . . book
#3
Music Is . . .
Written by Brandon Stosuy and illustrated by Amy Martin
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

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

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

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

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

What's That Noise? Toot! Toot! book
#5
What's That Noise? Toot! Toot!
Written and illustrated by Cocoretto
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin book
#6
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin
Written by Lloyd Moss and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

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

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

Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender book
#7
Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender
Written by Elvis Presley and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The king of rock-and-roll’s #1 hit song “Love Me Tender” is now an endearing picture book Adapted from the unforgettable classic song, Elvis Presley’s Love MeTender is a heartwarming ode to the special bond between children and the adults who love and care for them–be they parents, grandparents, adoptive parents, aunts, uncles, or guardians. With its simple, timeless message, Elvis Presley’s Love Me Tender is destined to join Guess How Much I Love You as a baby shower staple. And the sweet, inclusive illustrations make it a book every family will treasure “all through the years, ’till the end of time.”

Baby Loves to Boogie! book
#8
Baby Loves to Boogie!
Written and illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

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

Shark in the Dark book
#9
Shark in the Dark
Written by Peter Bently and illustrated by Ben Cort
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

Mockingbird Song book
#10
Mockingbird Song
Written and illustrated by Carol Thompson
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

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

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

Music Is for Everyone book
#11
Music Is for Everyone
Written by Jill Barber and illustrated by Sydney Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

I Got the Rhythm book
#12
I Got the Rhythm
Written by Connie Scholfield-Morrison and illustrated by Frank Morrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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

The Piano book
#13
The Piano
Written by Juha Virta and illustrated by Marika Maijala
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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?

Violet's Music book
#14
Violet's Music
Written by Angela Johnson and illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Charlie Parker Played Be Bop book
#15
Charlie Parker Played Be Bop
Written and illustrated by Chris Raschka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Introduces the famous saxophonist and his style of jazz known as bebop.

Music book
#16
Music
Written and illustrated by Carol Thompson
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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

Music book
#17
Music
Written and illustrated by Carol Thompson
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from 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.

We are amazing! We can sing, dance, dress up, and make music. There’s nobody 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. ¡Somos sorprendentes! Cantamos, bailamos, nos disfrazamos y tocamos música. ¡Somos únicos y especiales! Disfruta de las travesuras de este diverso y simpático grupo de amigos mientras celebran la infinita y espontánea creatividad que hay en cada niño.

Old Manhattan Has Some Farms book
#18
Old Manhattan Has Some Farms
Written by Susan Lendroth and 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.

Ada's Violin book
#19
Ada's Violin
Written by Susan Hood and 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.

The President Sang Amazing Grace book
#20
The President Sang Amazing Grace
Written by Zoe Mulford and 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.

Sing, Don't Cry book
#21
Sing, Don't Cry
Written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Bats in the Band book
#22
Bats in the Band
Written and 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.

Today Is Monday book
#23
Today Is Monday
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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

Ben's Trumpet book
#24
Ben's Trumpet
Written and illustrated by Rachel Isadora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The story of Ben is fiction, but it could be the story of more than one jazz musician who grew up in the twenties. Using the art-deco style of the period, Rachel Isadora not only captures the poignancy and yearning of a youthful talent, but in page after page of striking art seems to convey the very sound of music.

Drum City book
#25
Drum City
Written by Thea Guidone and illustrated by Vanessa Newton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A young boy begins banging on pots and pans in his front yard, enticing other children to join him, and before long the entire city is feeling the beat.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!