Music is a wonderful way to help little ones learn reading and other life skills, and these are some of our favourite picture books that celebrate the joy of music!
Head here to learn more about why music and reading can together so well, and click on the titles or covers below for more information on each book.
Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton and The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith and Katz Crowley are great stories to read aloud, and even more fun to sing. Your Personal Penguin is about a very loyal penguin and his soon-to-be best friend, a slightly confused hippo. Davy Jones from The Monkees sings the song that you can download and enjoy!
The Wonky Donkey is a modern classic with over 300,000 copies in print! The donkey gets wackier and wackier as the story progresses, and parents and children alike will laugh at the hilarious illustrations and creative rhymes. It was also recorded as a song by author Craig Smith, and it won the APRA Children’s Song of the Year in 2008 – but be warned, it’s incredibly catchy!
Sing Along with Classic Songs:
The 80’s classic song Footloose by Kenny Loggins has been reimagined as a children’s book! A zoo is turned into an all-night dance party with all the animals joining in. The lyrics have been adapted by Kenny himself to suit, and are accompanied by bright and cheery illustrations by Tim Bowers. The book comes with a cd that includes Footloose and a Monkey Medley too!
Peter, Paul and Mary’s soothing song Puff the Magic Dragon is a natural fit for a musical nighttime read. You’ll certainly have the lilting tune in your head as you read through the pages, and it comes with the original recording on CD too.
Teaching kids about instruments is another great way to encourage a love of music. In Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin! by Marjorie Priceman, a whole orchestra comes on stage one by one, introduced by their sounds. Not only will children learn about musical instruments and musical groups, they can even get some counting practice.
Ada’s Violin by Susan Hood is the true story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay. Music teacher Favio Chavez creates instruments out of rubbish for children in the town of Cateura, and now they travel the world to spread their music and powerful message of hope. It’s a wonderful testament to the power of music.
Artist Mulga has released his first picture book, Mulga’s Magical Musical Creatures. It shows the vivid dreams of a musician as he searches for musical inspiration, with quirky, vividly bright animals playing a variety of instruments. The musician wakes from his rainbow dreams inspired to write a song, and we think plenty of kids will be too.
The Flying Orchestra by Clare McFadden is a beautiful story about how music is all around us. Whether they’re palying a ‘violin solo when someone misses their train,’ a ‘symphony at the airport for a traveler coming home,’ or a ‘sonata for a sad moment at a birthday party,’ the Flying Orchestra are bringing music to each and every day.
Head here to learn more about how music can help improve kids’ literacy, and if you have another musical favourite, let us know in the comments!