Best Kids Books About Music

The Best 48 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!

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

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

Giant Dance Party book
#2
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.

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin book
#3
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
#4
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.”

Shark in the Dark book
#5
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.

Music Is for Everyone book
#6
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
#7
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.

Violet's Music book
#8
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
#9
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.

Ada's Violin book
#10
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.

Sing, Don't Cry book
#11
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.

Today Is Monday book
#12
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.

Drum City book
#13
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.

This Jazz Man book
#14
This Jazz Man
Written by Karen Ehrhardt and illustrated by R. G. Roth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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.

Ben's Trumpet book
#15
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.

Bats in the Band book
#16
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.

Rabbityness book
#17
Rabbityness
Written and illustrated by Jo Empson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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

Four Seasons in One Day book
#18
Four Seasons in One Day
Written and illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Follow a little girl called Isabelle and her dog, Pickle, as they travel through the four seasons in one day. Accompanied by pieces from Vivaldi's Four Seasons, this first title in a series of sound books that bring classical music to life for young children.

Footloose book
#19
Footloose
Written by Kenny Loggins and illustrated by Tim Bowers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

In this version of the pop rock song "Footloose," zookeeper Jack joins the zoo animals in an all-night dance party.

Rockabet book
#20
Rockabet
Written by Kelly Polark and 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!

Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf book
#21
Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf
Written by Sergei Prokofiev, Janet Schulman and illustrated by Peter Malone
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Despite Grandfather's warning about wolves in the forest, Peter and his animal friends capture one.

Mole Music book
#22
Mole Music
Written and illustrated by David McPhail
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Five Little Speckled Frogs book
#23
Five Little Speckled Frogs
Written and illustrated by Nikki Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

"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."

I Ate a Cicada Today book
#24
I Ate a Cicada Today
Written and illustrated by Jeff Crossan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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.

Can You Hear It? book
#25
Can You Hear It?
Written and illustrated by William Lach
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-10

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.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.