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Musical-instruments: Books For Kids

Music is many things to many different people: singing in the shower, humming as you work, classical music played by an orchestra, "cymbals that splash and ba-da-ba bass and rat-a-tat-tat drums on a rumbling stage" (Music Is...), etc. The musical instruments that create it are as varied as the music itself. Whether your child already loves music or you're trying to help grow their love, these books are sure to help. From true stories about creating instruments from trash to board books that talk about the sounds each instrument makes, there's something for everyone!

Top 10 Musical-instruments Books

Ada's Violin book
#1
Ada's Violin
Written by Susan Hood and illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Fun Uncle

I love this book! It has something for everyone- invention, music, and more. It is a deep book that talks about poverty and the struggles of growing up in a lower-income area. However, Ada is an amazing example of someone who doesn't let life happen to her, but does what she needs to create the life she wants. I would read this story even without my little one, as it is just a story that reaches the heart and helps us all take a deeper look into our lives.

Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is a beautifully told true story about a creative music teacher, a little girl with a dream, and the potential that exists beneath the surface in the most unlikely places... even a heap of trash. While it's perhaps a little long and a little deep for a very young audience, it is very accessible for children with an ~10 minute attention span and is told in a way that gives them a glimpse into the poverty Ada and her town were experiencing at a very appropriate level.

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.

Music Is . . . book
#2
Music Is . . .
Written by Brandon Stosuy and illustrated by Amy Martin
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

So fun that this book introduces music vocabulary and even has a list of music terms defined at the end of the book. This book shows the diversity in music, but also a lot of diversity in the people illustrated! The illustrations are really fun and I love the bold pops of color!

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

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

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

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

I Love Music: My First Sound Book book
#5
I Love Music: My First Sound Book
Written and illustrated by Marion Billet
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

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

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone book
#6
Little Melba and Her Big Trombone
Written by Katheryn Russell-Brown and 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"--

Little Pig Joins the Band book
#7
Little Pig Joins the Band
Written and illustrated by David Hyde Costello
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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

Sing, Don't Cry book
#8
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.

Ben's Trumpet book
#9
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.

This Jazz Man book
#10
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.

Books About Music & Musical-instruments

Ada's Violin book
#1
Ada's Violin
Written by Susan Hood and illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Fun Uncle

I love this book! It has something for everyone- invention, music, and more. It is a deep book that talks about poverty and the struggles of growing up in a lower-income area. However, Ada is an amazing example of someone who doesn't let life happen to her, but does what she needs to create the life she wants. I would read this story even without my little one, as it is just a story that reaches the heart and helps us all take a deeper look into our lives.

Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is a beautifully told true story about a creative music teacher, a little girl with a dream, and the potential that exists beneath the surface in the most unlikely places... even a heap of trash. While it's perhaps a little long and a little deep for a very young audience, it is very accessible for children with an ~10 minute attention span and is told in a way that gives them a glimpse into the poverty Ada and her town were experiencing at a very appropriate level.

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.

Music Is . . . book
#2
Music Is . . .
Written by Brandon Stosuy and illustrated by Amy Martin
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

So fun that this book introduces music vocabulary and even has a list of music terms defined at the end of the book. This book shows the diversity in music, but also a lot of diversity in the people illustrated! The illustrations are really fun and I love the bold pops of color!

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

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

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

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

  2. 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.

  3. Ben's Trumpet - 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.

  4. 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.

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