Are you looking for some books that would be a great resource for singing with your kiddos? Here they are! These are fantastic books that are essentially illustrated children’s songs. Some of them are more well known songs such as the Itsy Bitsy Spider and others I had never heard of such as What’s The Weather Outside.
The best part is that each one comes with the music, either in CD form or you go to their website to download it. Wonderful right? I can totally see these being purchased in bulk for children to each have a copy to sing/follow along during a class, or a teacher purchasing one to read/sing with children during circle time, or a parent doing music story time with their child, or a preschool teacher or homeschooler using them to incorporate books into music time, and so much more! I personally like to sing them to my toddler at story time while he sits on my lap and looks at the pictures. He thinks they are fantastic and I love that he lets me sing to him and learns the songs. It is the cutest when he sings them around the house!
Every book has a super short introduction to the song and then the text in the book is the exact text in the song. The introduction is also included in the track that comes with the book so that children can follow along from cover to cover. The illustrators for the books vary making them a fun and diverse collection.
To make them even more wonderful of a resource all of the books contain a section at the end with a : glossary (words in bold in the book can be looked up in the glossary for reference), written music (As in the notes so that you can play the melody on a piano or other instrument), lyrics, a suggested extension activity section (with super simple activity/discussion prompts) and a resource list with a few other books you can check out to compliment the theme/lesson of the book.
Here are nine of the many that they offer. To see more from Cantata Learning head to their website: www.cantatalearning.com
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What’s the Weather outside? By Cody McKinney and Annie Wilkinson: This song mentions different types of weather and introduces words such as “precipitation” and “temperature”. Wonderful for the start of daily weather discussion/observation.
Who Lives in a Tree? A Song About Where Animals Live by Tom David Barna and Tim Palin. Music Arranged by Musical Youth Productions: This song very simply introduces animals that live in trees for young readers. The lyrics are very repetitive basically pointing out the animals that do and don’t live in a tree. Some kids will find it wonderfully silly.
Where is Thumbkin? Retold by Steven Anderson and Doreen Marts: I remember this song from my childhood! Basically a song that encourages children to do a few simple hand actions along with a catchy tune that mentions names for each finger on their hand.
Itsy Bitsy Spider Retold by Steven Anderson and Tim Palin: At the beginning of the song they introduce the climbing-spider hand action that can be done with the song and then the first time around in the book the illustrations are of the spider and the second time around the illustrations are of children doing hand actions with the song.
Oats and Beans and Barley Grow retold by Megan Borgert-Spaniol and Shelagh Mcnicholas with Dan Crisp: This book/song very simply takes you through the process of a farmer planting seeds to the end where he harvests them. Informational and oh-so-cute.
When You Want to Cross the Street, Look Both Ways retold by Nicholas Ian and Diego Funck, music by Musical Youth Productions: This book/song is a fun way to help remind children to look both ways before crossing streets, buckle-up in cars, and wear a helmet when riding a bike.
The Grand Duke of York retold by Nicholas Ian and Luke Flowers and music by Steven C Music: This book illustrates the age-old song The Grand Duke of York with about half of the illustrations showing the Duke marching with his men and the other half showing a teacher marching with students through a school day. Such a clever way to represent the song!
The Rude Moose by Jenna Laffin and Tina Kugler: This is a song that addresses manners and why they are important through the short story of a little moose who starts off rude then learns why manners are important and tries to do better.
Winter The Coldest Season of All by Lisa Bell and Emily Brooks: This one is my personal favorite of the bunch. Its a lovely little introduction to the season of winter with beautiful illustrations.