Children’s Books based on songs
Songs have been with the human race as long as we can remember. Think about ourselves. Since we were born, we have been exposed to a lot of songs. Songs are entertaining and have been our old friends. Almost all of us remember quite a few songs which we learned when we were children. Amazingly, these songs can be remembered throughout our lives.
Songs are also an effective tool for learning new things. The advantage of songs can be fully amplified when it is combined with reading books. Once a child get familiar with a song, a book based on that song will be extra-special for him / her.
Please note that there are variations or more than one titles for some songs. For example, “If you’re happy and you know it” & “If you’re monster and you know it” are based on the same melody and their lyrics are very similar. Both “There was a tree” and “Green Grass Grows all Around” are the same songs. 10 children’s books based on songs are selected and introduced herein.
1. There was a tree / Green Grass Grows All Around
The lyrics introduce a sequence of objects such as a tree, a limb, a branch, a nest, an egg, and a bird. The rhythm is fun to read aloud. The video shows carefully built animation. All the objects in the song appear at the right moment with a highlighted subtitle.
2. Let’s play in the forest while wolf is not around
Several animals in the forest keep asking a wolf if he is there, and the wolf keeps answering that he is doing something. At the end of the story, there is a funny and cute twist. All the pages of the book are read and sung in the above video.
3. Over in the ocean
10 family members and 10 animals such as turtles, whales, eels and crabs are introduced. On the video, the lyrics are displayed by default. The humming voice in the song is captivating to hear and easy to follow.
4. Pete the Cat
This song is quite an entertainment for children. The color of Peter’s shoes keeps changing when he steps on several objects such as strawberries, blueberries, and mud. On the video, the whole book is read and sung page by page.
5. There was an old lady who swallowed a fly / I know an old lady who swallowed a fly
It is a story of an old lady who swallowed many insects and animals including a spider, a cow and a horse. The story of the book is unrealistic but the song’s main goal is showing a sequence. The song on the YouTube video is sung slowly and its graphics illustrate the contents appropriately. At the end of the video, there is more detailed explanation on the song.
6. This Jazz Man
This book is a great introduction of Jazz to children. Nine Jazz men in a band are playing different instruments. At the end of the book, 9 legendary Jazz musicians are introduced including Louie Armstrong and Bill Robinson. A lot of humming in the book might be a bit difficult to follow. Then, the introduced video will be worthwhile to watch and listen. The narrator of the video is a professional singer and song writer. Her voice has full of energy. I smiled a lot while watching this video. I believe this book will be a great introduction of Jazz to children.
7. Singing in the rain
It is a song from the film, “singin’ in the rain”, American musical-romantic comedy film released in 1952. The book follows the lyrics of the song. The introduced YouTube video shows all the pages of the book with the song.
8. If you’re happy and you know it
The book is published by www.barefootbooks.com based on a popular children’s song. For children, it will be fun to follow the instruction of the song. At the end of the video, a lot of ‘hello’s’ in different languages are introduced.
9. Coat of Many Colors
It is based on a song written by American country music singer, Dolly Parton. The story makes children to think about being rich, being poor and the love of mother. The story is very emotional and educational. The video explains the contents of the book with beautiful illustrations. The true message of the song might be a bit difficult to understand for my almost 4-year old daughter, but she will slowly understand it. “One is only poor, only if they chose to be” is my favorite lyrics of this song.
10. Octopus’s Garden
The video shows a narration with the background music of ‘Octopus’s Garden’ by Beatles. It is a story of several children who are traveling under the sea. They meet and play with an octopus. The narrative voice sounds very comfortable to hear.