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Musical Instruments: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about musical instruments?

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!

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Top 10 Books About Musical Instruments

#1
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Ada's Violin
Written by Susan Hood & illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
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.
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.
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.
#2
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Music Is . . .
Written by Brandon Stosuy & illustrated by Amy Martin
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!
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.
#3
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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.
#4
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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.
#5
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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.
#6
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I Love Music: My First Sound Book
Written & 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.
#7
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Little Pig Joins the Band
Written & 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.
#8
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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"--
#9
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Sing, Don't Cry
Written & 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.
#10
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Drum City
Written by Thea Guidone & 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.
Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Musical Instruments and...

Books About Musical Instruments and Performing Arts

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Ada's Violin
Written by Susan Hood & illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
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.
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.
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.
Add to list
Music Is . . .
Written by Brandon Stosuy & illustrated by Amy Martin
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!
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.
Add to list
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.
Honorable Mentions
Bats in the Band book
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Music book
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Mr. Putter & Tabby Toot the Horn book
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Plinka Plinka Ting Ting book
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  1. Bats in the Band - When the weather warms up, bats take advantage of an empty theater to stage a concert.

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

  3. Mr. Putter & Tabby Toot the Horn - Mr. Putter’s neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry, decides that they should join a band, but finding the right one isn’t as easy as it sounds—for them or their pets.

  4. 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 Musical Instruments and Animals

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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.
Add to list
I Love Music: My First Sound Book
Written & 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.
Add to list
Little Pig Joins the Band
Written & 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.
Honorable Mentions
Lost and Found, What's that Sound? book
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A is for Alliguitar: Musical Alphabeasts book
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  1. Lost and Found, What's that Sound? - “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.

  2. 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.

Want to see books about animals?

Books About Musical Instruments and African Americans

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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"--
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This Jazz Man
Written by Karen Ehrhardt & 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.
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Ben's Trumpet
Written & 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.
Honorable Mentions
Charlie Parker Played Be Bop book
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Double Bass Blues book
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  1. Charlie Parker Played Be Bop - Introduces the famous saxophonist and his style of jazz known as bebop.

  2. Double Bass Blues - A joyous celebration of family, community, and the unifying power of music, perfect for fans of Last Stop on Market Street. Nic is an aspiring musician whose life spans two different worlds—his suburban school where he wows his friends in orchestra, and the busy city streets of his home where he’s jostled by the crowd. Nic makes his way home from a busy day at school with a double bass on his back, the symphony of his surroundings in his heart, and a sweet surprise for the reader at the end of his journey. This is a sweet, melodious picture book about how dedication, music, and family can overcome any obstacle.

Books About Musical Instruments and Friendship

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Listen to My Trumpet!
Written & illustrated by Mo Willems
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
When Piggie plays her new trumpet for Gerald, the elephant decides he must be honest in his response.
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Mr. Mergler, Beethoven, and Me
Written by David Gutnick & illustrated by Mathilde Cinq-Mars
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
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
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The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E.B. White
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This story is a delightful read with a swan who believes he can do anything, and he does. I loved following along in his adventures and seeing how he dedicates himself. His friend, Sam, was also one of my favorite parts of the book. Louis never quits--which is what allows him to find his best friend, Sam, his true love, Serena, and his many talents, including his trumpeting. Louis learns to make his weakness (being mute) a strength (learning how to play the trumpet) and never thinks he can't do anything just because he's a swan--he even learns to read and write!
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?
Honorable Mentions
Pokko and the Drum book
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Music for Mister Moon book
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Lloyd Finds His Whalesong book
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The Piano book
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  1. Pokko and the Drum - 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.

  2. Music for Mister Moon - 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.

  3. Lloyd Finds His Whalesong - Lloyd can’t sing. The rhythm of the whalesong guides the whales through danger and connects them to each other. But Lloyd is too quiet to join in. If he can’t sing, how can he be a part of the pod? Then one day he finds a magical, mysterious object with supersonic seaweed strings! This could be his chance to be part of the song. He practices and practices, nervously preparing to show the other whales. But before he can perform for them, a disruptive, noisy boat approaches and scatters the pod. Lloyd’s powerful new instrument may be the only thing that can reunite them―if he can find the courage to share his unique song. This inspiring and whimsical tale about celebrating your differences and finding your voice is complemented by bright and endearing illustrations that sparkle with quiet magic.

  4. The Piano - What do you do when a piano shows up in your yard? Take a cat-nap? Use it as a coffee table? What’s a band to do when one of its instruments goes missing? And what does a yellow sock have to do with anything? 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.

Want to see books about friendship?

Books About Musical Instruments and Social Themes

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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.
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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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The Leprechaun's Gold
Written by Pamela Duncan Edwards & illustrated by Henry Cole
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
In this classic Irish legend, two harpists -- merry-hearted Old Pat and ill-spirited Young Tom -- set off for a contest to name the finest harpist in all of Ireland. When Young Tom realizes that Old Pat is truly the better musician, he schemes to be the winner -- but he doesn′t reckon with the clever trickery of a mischievous little leprechaun. Noted picture book creators Pamela Duncan Edwards and Henry Cole have imagined a joyful and fanciful tale with a priceless lesson.
Honorable Mentions
Musical Mac book
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Forever Young book
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Play with Me! book
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A Crooked Kind of Perfect book
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Play with Me! - Playtime means very different things to these two spirited friends Pip is full of ideas for what to play: Dress up! Magicians! Dolls! Only, Nico doesn’t want to play any of them, and Pip gets mad. REALLY mad. But don’t worry—Nico finds the perfect way for them to play together. Michelle Lee’s irresistible characters show that finding a way to play together will always hit the right note.

  4. A Crooked Kind of Perfect - Ten-year-old Zoe Elias, who longs to play the piano but must resign herself to learning the organ, instead, finds that her musicianship has a positive impact on her workaholic mother, her jittery father, and her school social life.

Books About Musical Instruments and Drums

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Drum City
Written by Thea Guidone & 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.
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Rum Pum Pum
Written by David L. Harrison and Jane Yolen & illustrated by Anjan Sarkar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
"Rrrrh!" means "Let's be friends" in tiger talk, but the other animals don't understand him and run away! Maybe the gentle "rum-pum-pum" of the drum can help him. Fun animal sounds in a story about friendship, communication, and music. A perfect story time read-aloud! The lonely tiger finds a drum. He strikes it with his tail--and friends start to follow: a monkey who says "chee-chee-chee" which means "I will come too" in monkey talk, a rhino who says "ouggh" which means "I will come too" in rhino talk, a parrot that says "scree-awk," a chameleon, an elephant, and eventually a child--who is now reunited with the drum he lost. Because of the drum, the tiger is no longer lonely and friendless. Information about tiger conservation is included in the back. The authors are the two most beloved contemporary children's books author-poets.
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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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Ten Oni Drummers 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. Ten Oni Drummers - One by one, ten tiny oni, Japanese goblin-like creatures, grow larger and larger as they beat their drums on the sand, chasing away bad dreams. Includes the Japanese characters for the numbers from one to ten.

Want to see books about drums?

Books About Musical Instruments and Pianos

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The Bear and the Piano
Written by David Litchfield & illustrated by Frances Lincoln Ltd
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
One day, a bear cub finds something strange and wonderful in the forest. When he touches the keys, they make a horrible noise. Yet he is drawn back again and again. Eventually, he learns to play beautiful sounds, delighting his woodland friends. Then the bear is invited to share his sounds with new friends in the city. He longs to explore the world beyond his home, and to play bigger and better than before. But he knows that if he leaves, the other bears will be very sad . . . This gorgeously illustrated tale of following one’s dreams reminds us of the value of friendship, wherever we go.
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Beginners Welcome
Written & illustrated by Cindy Baldwin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
**The acclaimed author of *Where the Watermelons Grow* is back with a story perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Ali Benjamin, about finding friendship after a tragic loss.** It’s been eighty-three days since Annie Lee’s daddy died, but she still sees reminders of him everywhere. His record player mysteriously plays his favorite songs, there’s shaving cream in the sink every morning, and the TV keeps flipping to the Duke basketball games he loved. She knows Mama notices it too, but Mama’s been working around the clock to make ends meet. To make matters worse, Annie Lee’s friends ditched her over the summer. She feels completely alone—until she meets Mitch. Though Mitch is tough and confident on the outside, she may need a friend just as badly as Annie Lee. But after losing so much, Annie Lee is afraid to let anyone get too close. And Mitch isn’t the only friend trying to break through Annie Lee’s defenses. Ray, an elderly pianist who plays at a local mall, has been giving her piano lessons. His music is pure magic, and Annie Lee hopes it might be the key to healing her broken heart. But when Ray goes missing, searching for him means breaking a promise to Mitch. Faced with once again losing those who mean the most to her, Annie Lee must make a choice: retreat back into her shell, or risk admitting how much she needs Mitch and Ray—even if it means getting hurt all over again. Just like in her debut, Where the Watermelons Grow, Cindy Baldwin brings her signature twist of magic to this authentically heartfelt story.
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Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln
Written by Margarita Engle & illustrated by Rafael López
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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?
Honorable Mentions
The Piano Recital book
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The Way to Stay in Destiny 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. 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.

Want to see books about pianos?

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