Best Books about Music
When we really got into our Sound of Music Project, I started hunting down books about music. We must have borrowed at least 50 from the library. Books that are sung, books you can sing and dance to, books with CDs, books about instruments, books about musicians, and everything in between. The ones listed below were our absolute favorites and almost all of them have since been added to our home library. They made a great addition to our project and expanded their knowledge about instruments, making sound, and musicians.
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Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney
We love books that celebrate making music with everyday items - just like we do! This little boy finds two sticks and start practicing how to drum on anything and everything he can find. Love the sweet surprise at the end when the marching band comes down his street. 2+
Boom Bah! By Phil Cummings
This is a celebration of making music with objects found around your home. "A box, a bowl, A spoon, a stick. Tap! Tap! Clickety-click!" The farm animals march on parade that grows from a soft "ting. Tong" to an animated "Hey HO! BOOM BAH!" Your youngsters will likewise be excited to make some noise. 1+
Mole Music by David McPhail
Mole Music is a magical story. A mole with a simple life of digging holes decides to learn to play the violin. After hours of practice, the mole becomes a talented musician. Music brings joy to the little mole's life, but McPhail's intricate illustrations silently display the amazing impact music can have on the lives of others. Stunning and beautiful message about music. David McPhail was one of our author study authors because we loved this one so much. 3+
Tuba Lessons by T. C. Bartlett
A wordless celebration of imagination and music. A young boy on his way to tuba lessons gets lost in his head on his walk through the woods. He starts by swinging on a tree, but is soon joined by animals who form an animated audience. Things change when a bear suddenly appears. Creative illustrations that bound off the page will capture the curiosity of readers big and small. 3+
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss
This playful book combines counting and music education into a bright, informative tale. The author begins with one trombone playing a solo and crescendos to an entire orchestra. A joyful celebration of music and vocabulary that led to our toddlers bounding around the house calling out "Zin! Zin! A Violin!" 2+
Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger
Our toddlers LOVED this book. It is a tale about a magician and his son who are ostracized by their town until they calm and vanish a giant named Abiyoyo. I was tentative about introducing them to this story. It seemed a little dark and scary for toddlers, but I am glad that I did. They were fascinated by the tale and loved singing the song Abiyoyo. We own a very well loved copy of this book. 2+
Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler
This upbeat, rhythmic book will make you feel like dancing. Lisa Wheeler perfectly captures the excitement and energy of jazz music in a simple and relatable way for the youngest audience. The book starts with "Brother's hands tap. Sister's hands snap. Itty-bitty baby's hands CLAP-CLAP-CLAP!" and follows the whole family as they sing and dance around the house. The illustrations help the joy jump off the page with color and movement. This book is sure to delight your infant or toddler. 1+
This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt
"This Jazz Man" is a spirited tribute to the traditional song "This Old Man". With "bop-bop! Beee-aaaaw"s and "doodly-doodly-doot-doot"s Karen Ehrhardt energetically captures the essence of jazz music in this delightful story. She covers nine great jazz greats from Charlie "Bird" Parker to Art "Bu" Blakey in an accessible, sing-along, counting style perfect for young readers. As a bonus, the book comes with a CD read and sung by James "D Train" Williams full of jazz tones and a bonus informative track about the members of the band. 3+
Music for Everyone by Vera B. Williams
This book is included because it is a favorite from my childhood. Generally, I would recommend it for an older preschool audience, but our toddlers found something in it they loved because they insisted we read it again and again. It is a story about 4 young girls that come together to form a band and play for a family party, an idea inspired by the main character's desire to help out her mom who is caring for their ailing grandmother. I love the realism and homey warmth in Williams' books and this is no exception. 3+
A Violin for Elva by Mary Lyn Ray
Elva wants a violin. Her parents say no, so she imagines she has a violin. She imagines and dreams until she gets much bigger. One day, when she is all grown up, she decides to give her dream a try and buys a violin. Mary Lyn Ray has packed her story full of frustrations and dreams and fear and perseverance. It speaks to the difficulty of following your dream when no one else believes in you. It is equal parts sad and hopeful, while graced with fluid illustrations that move like music. 3+
Books Reviewed Below
What even more books? We had a lot of fun with our Wheels on the Bus Story Study. I had no idea how many versions of this story existed.
After you read these you are sure to feel like singing and dancing. Here are some more projects to help you make music:
*Paint your own Coffee Can Drums and when they dry, start a marching band.
*Make an easy DIY Song Cube and then shake, roll, and sing! Perfect for toddlers!
Follow us on Instagram and tag your pictures of exploring and creating music to #BambiniTravel!
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