Music is one of the many ways that children learn about themselves and the world around them. Not only is music fun for your child to clap along to, it also helps them develop essential skills as part of early childhood education. Here is a selection of inspiring children’s books about music that every young child should own.
Early Learning Areas: Why Children Love All Things Music
Whether it is singing along to nursery rhymes or grooving together each time you play your favorite tunes in the kitchen, young children naturally notice sound everywhere. They, like all of us, recognize how powerful music can be as both a natural mood booster and a creative avenue to express their emotions.
While it is undeniable that it is a fun activity for all, the benefits of music for children go much deeper. As part of early learning, music acts as a way for toddlers and young kids to hone developmental skills such as communication skills, fine motor skills, literacy skills, imagination, and more. It is for this reason that parents are encouraged to ignite a love of music in their children from an early age.
10 Inspiring Musical Books For Toddlers and Young Kids You Won’t Want to Miss
Looking for ways to encourage your child’s interest in music? One of the best ways to do that is by combining their love of sound with their love of picture books. Musical books or sound books for toddlers and children will help open your child’s eyes to the world of music in a fun and engaging way.
Our team is a big fan of all things music and reading. Both activities play a large role in the day-to-day life at Vivvi. For that reason, we’ve put together our list of favorite children’s books about music.
1. Animal Orchestra by Ilo Orleans
Full of rhymes, melodies, and pure silliness, Animal Orchestra by Ilo Orleans is a perfect read-aloud children’s music book. Featuring characters such as a hippo conductor and a symbol playing bear, your young child is given a front-row seat to one of the most exciting and exotic musical orchestras around. Thanks to its rhyming text and colorful pictures, this book is suitable for many ages. (Available at Barnes & Noble).
2. Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Christopher Raschka
Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Christopher Raschka is the perfect introduction for children to the genre of jazz music. Packed full of clever rhymes and whimsical illustrations, it follows the story of a saxophone player and jazz legend called Charlie Parker and his pet cat. The author expertly uses alliteration throughout the story to mimic the pulsating beats and melodies of bebop.
3. Allegro: A Musical Journey Through 11 Musical Masterpieces by David Miles
This beautifully illustrated push-button musical book takes both child and parent on a magical journey through 11 timeless classic masterpieces. Following Allegro, an ordinary boy that gets very frustrated practicing piano, until one day the little black musical notes on the page transport him on an exciting and breathtaking journey.
This book by David Miles features classics such as Debussy’s “Claire de Lune” and Greig’s “Morning Mood”. While the story may be hard to follow for toddlers, the lavish illustrations and high-quality music are enough to grab their attention. (Available at McNally Jackson Independent Booksellers and Barnes & Noble).
4. The Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine
The Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine is an exciting introduction to each of the instruments found in an orchestra. Full of eye-catching illustrations, this engaging musical book for toddlers is broken into three sections: an introduction to each instrument, the story of a famous composer, and an introduction to different musical styles.
Accompanied by a 70-minute CD, this is the perfect children’s book about music. Listen to the sound of cellos, flutes, and timpanis as you follow along on this fun, musical journey for young children. (Available at McNally Jackson Independent Booksellers).
5. Wheels on the Bus by Raffi
Raffi’s Songs to Read book series is full of the rhymes, repetitions, and rhythm that are a key part of laying the foundation for essential early learning skills such as speech, reading, and listening. This sing-aloud picture book is a delightful rendition of the classic, popular song. With bright, colorful illustrations it is a beautiful way for parents and children to bond while learning a new song. (Available at Barnes & Noble).
6. Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle and Rafael Lopez
Based on an inspiring true story, Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle and Rafael Lopez tells the story of a young girl who breaks the rules of the music-filled island she lives on and fulfills her dreams of pounding on tall congas and creating drum beats on bongos. Not only does the vivid artwork perfectly capture the energy of the music but the poetic nature of the text makes it a captivating and beautiful tale. (Available at Barnes & Noble).
7. Jazz Baby by Carole Boston Weatherford
Introduce your children to the genre of jazz with this beautifully illustrated musical book for toddlers. Packed to the brim with rhythmic text and vibrant images of children dancing and singing, this children’s book perfectly portrays the happiness that music can bring. (Available at ThriftBooks).
8. Music Is… by Brandon Stosuy
This gorgeous children’s book about music celebrates the artform in various concepts and styles. Bright, vivid images of people wearing headphones and playing all kinds of musical instruments reinforce basic musical concepts. This book also focuses on how music interacts with our senses and uses simplistic, yet clever language to teach opposites (e.g. quiet vs loud, slow vs fast etc.). Suitable for all ages, this book is an ideal resource for teaching your child the basics of music. (Available at ThriftBooks).
9. I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello by Barbara S. Garriel
A must-have for the young reader that loves music, I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello by Barbara S.Garriel is a hilarious picture book that introduces musical instruments through whimsical illustrations and a laugh out loud storyline. Telling the story of a shy man who suddenly has the urge to eat a cello, this musical book for toddlers is the perfect mixture of melodious fun and musical education. We dare every reader to try not to smile after finishing this book. (Available at Barnes & Noble).
10. The Story Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day by Katie Cotton
Lastly, The Story Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day by Katie Cotton is another beautiful push-button music book that effortlessly brings children on a journey of classical music. The story follows a little girl called Isabelle and her adorable dog, Pickle, as they discover each of the seasons in one day. Playing 10 enchanting excerpts from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, this delightful book perfectly captures the beauty of nature while bringing classical music to life. (Available at Barnes & Noble).