Books by Theme
Sharing music with children has delighted parents and caregivers throughout the ages. Music is one of the first ways we communicate with babies, and its rhythm and rhyme help develop early language skills. This collection of books for children ages 0-9 combines two wonderful ways to spend time with children: sharing music and sharing stories. Teach children about jazz greats, folk song legends and international rhyming games with these lyrical tales.
A Tisket, a Tasket
The song made famous by jazz great Ella Fitzgerald in the 1930s has been re-created, re-energized and newly presented in a picture book version. Sprightly cut paper collage illustrations show two children losing and ultimately finding both a lost basket and a friendship.
Charlie Parker Played Be Bop
Inspired by jazz great Charlie Parker, rhythm and repetition are woven together to create a musical effect. Animated watercolors and lively text combine in a story that begs to be read aloud.
Dark Was the Night: Blind Willie Johnson's Journey to the Stars
The 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. There, along with the many sounds and sights of planet Earth, is the stirring song of a blind man, telling us not to be afraid of the dark, and reminding us that we are never really alone.
Diez Deditos: 10 Little Fingers and Other Play Rhymes and Action Songs from Latin America
This attractively animated collection of lively songs and rhyming games is a great opportunity to have fun with language! Written in both English and Spanish, this playful book expands your word game repertoire.
Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa
From her early days in Harlem to becoming the First Lady of Jazz, the story of Ella Fitzgerald is presented by a cool feline named Scat Cat Monroe. As Scat Cat steals through the pages of this book, Ella Fitzgerald’s life and work are revealed in jazz-inspired language accompanied by dramatic scratchboard illustrations. The result is a lively and loving picture book biography.
A cool cat named Oobie-Do moves to San Francisco, plays his saxophone and works as a short order cook, until his jazzy talents are recognized by nightclub owner Minnie, who books him for a gig. The bold, stylized illustrations are a cool complement to the rhythmic language of this off beat(nik!) tale.
If You're Happy and You Know It
Monkey's friends prepare a surprise party and then share the birthday fun! A familiar song is extended by singer/songwriter Raffi and presented here with engaging, child-like illustrations sure to get readers singing and clapping along with monkey and friends.
Los Pollitos Dicen / The Baby Chicks Sing
This collection of children's rhymes is drawn from Spanish-speaking countries and is presented in both Spanish and English. The music that accompanies each song appears on delicately illustrated pages that children will want to hear again and again.
Music, Music for Everyone
When Rosa’s grandmother becomes sick, Rosa comes up with an idea that not only makes Grandma feel better, it helps add coins to the family’s near empty money jar. Translucent watercolors illustrate this timeless, affectionate tale of family, community and the power of music.
A familiar traditional Shaker hymn has been interpreted in bold, semi-abstract, jewel-toned illustrations reminiscent of artist Paul Klee. A cat, squirrel, bird and turtle characters create the feel of the music.
The whisper of snow and the jingle of dog tags set a wintery tone in this story of a boy and his friend in search of his lost dog on a snowy day. Music is everywhere in the rhythm of the language and patterns of the illustration in this unusual and memorable book.
The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music
This autobiographical picture book by the Grammy Award-winning singer Roberta Flack recounts her childhood in a home surrounded by music and love: it all started with a beat-up piano that her father found in a junkyard, repaired, and painted green. Growing up in a Blue Ridge mountain town, little Roberta didn't have fancy clothes or expensive toys ... but she did have music.
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