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FUN Kids Books about Music


Fun Kids Books about Music

This post contains affiliate links. You know that we like music. Here are a few of our favorite kids books about music and also some picture books that are basically just illustrated songs. We have more of the latter and fewer of the former, but would love some recommendations…

These are FUN books, which is why we keep returning to them over and over again!

Fun Kids Books About Music

FUN Kids Books About Music - Hand Hand Fingers Thumb

Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins and Illustated by Eric Gurneyis about monkeys making music (mostly drumming) and is lots of fun.

FUN Kids Books About Music - My Family Plays Music

My Family Plays Music by Judy Cox and Illustrated by Elbrite Brown is about a little girl who plays music with various family members. We don’t own this one but always seem to have it checked out from the library! Here’s what it says opposite the page pictured:

This is my aunt Saffron. She plays vibes in a jazz combo. She plays soft, cool sounds at the Blue Note Club. Her hands dance the mallets up and down the bars–pung, pong, ping. When I play with her, I play the woodblock.

And this one, The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats, is my favorite–it’s both an illustrated song and about making music! And Keats’ illustrations are absolutely wonderful, as they are in all of his books.

Our copy is packed away with our Christmas stuff, so no interior picture on this one. Sorry.

FUN Kids Books About Music by Paul O Zelinsky

The rest are illustrated song books, one of our favorite kinds of books.

Here’s The Wheels on the Bus adapted and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky, a first birthday gift for Maia from our next door neighbor who is a children’s librarian. It was easily her best b-day gift that year and was loved to pieces, literally. We’re on our second copy now.

We also have and enjoy Zelinsky’s Knick-Knack Paddywhack.

FUN Kids Books About Music - Over in the Ocean in a Coral Reef

This is Over in the Ocean, In a Coral Reef by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Jeanette Canyon, an oceanic version of Over in the Meadow. The illustrations are great and were all made by using Fimo clay.

FUN Kids Books About Music - Fiddle I Fee

Fiddle-I-Fee, adapted and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, is one of Maia’s favorites. Lots of fun animal sounds and repetition.

UN Kids Books About Music by Nadine Bernard Westcott

And, last but not least, we enjoy the song books illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott, including Skip to My Lou  and The Lady with the Alligator Purse (both pictured above) as well as Miss Mary Mack,

FUN Kids Books About Music - More Great Ones Update: Here are a few more kids books about music that we’ve read and loved since first writing this post!

Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin by Lloyd Moss and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt and illustrated by R.G. Roth

Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Meet the Orchestra by Ann Hayes and illustrated by Karmen Thompson

What are your favorite kids books about music? I’d love to find some more good ones… And, what are your favorite illustrated song books?


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FUN Kids Books About Music


  • Reply
    April 14, 2008 at 6:34 am

    thx for the recommendations!
    here are a couple more:
    “Eensy Weensy Spider” with new verses to add to the classic one…
    “if you’re happy and you know it”
    fun pics to accompany the classic song.
    “the jazz man”
    to the tune of “this old man, he played one…etc.” adds new words and highlights the talents of real jazz muscians. very fun modern pictures and very fun to sing.
    “Songs that Go” Take Along Songs
    board bk w/cd of popular/classic children’s songs. j likes to follow long w/the bk.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2008 at 6:48 am

    We brought home Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson from the library. It’s about a little girl who loves music from the time she’s born, and eventually find other music-lovers to create music with. The girls have really been enjoying it!
    We’ve also been having some fun checking out the San Francisco Symphony’s kids webpage. My girls love listening to all the instruments and trying to learn all their names:
    Thanks for sharing all these great books! :)

  • Reply
    April 14, 2008 at 8:45 am

    We enjoy Zin Zin Zin A Violin, by Llloyd Moss, which is not only a counting book, but also introduces instuments that play in an orchestra.
    Loosely related is Noisy by Shirley Hughes, one of our all time favorite authors. Her illustrated stories are sweet and charming. Noisy can be found as a single book, but also part of the Nursery Collection by the same author. This collection also contains Bathwater’s Hot, Colors, Hiding and Giving which are short, lovely books for children Maia’s age.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2008 at 8:58 am

    We’re on our second copy of that version of Wheels On The Bus too. It is great!
    Thanks for all the recommendations. I definitely want to check out My Family Plays Music since that is OUR family! Surprisingly, we don’t have a lot of books about music…

  • Reply
    April 14, 2008 at 9:42 am

    We love music (and Music Together) around here too! One book that we got from the library and my daughter really loved was “Jazz Baby” by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Laura Freeman. Also, “Barnyard Dance” by Sandra Boynton.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    If you like Sandra Boynton, you should definitely check out Philadelphia Chickens, which is a book and CD with a bunch of silly kid songs. The book has the lyrics of each song written out with illustrations, so you can read it aloud as silly poetry, or you can sing, or you can sing along with the CD. Plus, there’s the sheet music included in the back, if you’re into that sort of thing. =) It’s a great book, and the songs are hilarious (especially “Please, Can I Keep It?” about a kid bringing home an animal that she wants to have as a pet, except she’s not quite sure what kind of animal it is).
    Over in the Ocean looks very neat; thanks for all the recommendations!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    We own and love most of these great music books too! We also love The Philharmonic Gets Dressed – a behind-the-scenes look at a concert, and Manuelo the Playing Mantis and The Little Boy With the Big Horn, both good stories about unusual musicians. What about The Bremen Town Musicians? We like the Jack Kent version. Or Berlioz the Bear by Jan Brett. The Iza Trapini books like Itsy Bitsy Spider and Baa Baa Black Sheep that extend the songs into stories with more verses. And the BABY LOVES JAZZ series of board books with cds – Ella the Elephant Scats Like That, Philly Joe Giraffe’s Jungle Jazz, and the rest of the great series. My 17 month old daughter loves those, both to read the books and to listen to the cds. She also enjoys the Sandra Boynton book and cd sets – Blue Moo, Philadelphia Chickens, etc. I guess we own a LOT of books about music!

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    April 14, 2008 at 9:55 am

    We have Barnyard Dance too and really enjoy it! Forgot about that one. Thanks for all the other recommendations! And I look forward to checking out the SF symphony kids web page with Maia sometime… -Jean

  • Reply
    April 14, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Charlottle Diamond creates a lot of books to go along with her songs and I always loved her songs as kindergarten teacher. We all loved “There Was An Old Woman Who Swallowed A Fly” an it had a tape, but most people know the tune. There are many different versions out now that we would sing the story to. We made up our own words often. I suggest Scholastic to look for books. I had two magazine boxes of books that were about music or included music in some way, but when I retired I passed them on to other teachers. I will try to remember more. Go to the library or bookstores or the Scholastic web site. I also recommend Red Grammar’s tapes and CDs.

  • Reply
    April 14, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Oh, I just found your blog and I have a book I think you’ll love! It’s not technically what you requested, but it’s called I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More. The author is Karen Beaumaont and it’s put out by scholastic – fairly new, maybe even this year. It’s about a kid who paints all over his body and every time his mama finds him, he starts singing “I aint’ gonna paint no more, no more, aint gonna paint no more” – and on and on. Lots of rhymes. We just got it today because the librarian at my school (I’m a preschool teacher) read it to my class and they all came back singing it. My four year old daughter has been singing it for a week. I thought between your post about books and music and your previous post about the body as a canvas, you might like this one!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Hand, Hand, Fingers Thumb…is our absolute favorite book here.

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    April 14, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Wow!! I just wrote all those down. Too bad I can only put a hold on five books at a time at our library…

  • Reply
    Anna Yamaura
    April 14, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Most of our favourites are on your list. As, I am an Aussie, I have never seen a version of Fiddle-I-Fee book but have heard it many times (on classical FM stations). Thank you. Hmm I think Amazon will be getting a fair bit of business from me today.

  • Reply
    Megan H
    April 16, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Thanks for the book suggestions. I always love getting new ideas and I am certain to always find them here! I’ve linked to this post and your Pretend Soup post today on my blog. Thanks again!

  • Reply
    April 16, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Raffi’s “Baby Beluga” was put into book format a few years back. My children enjoy the paintings inside.
    We also love Zin, Zin, Zin.

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