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Posted October 8, 20199 comments | Uncategorized

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 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.





9 thoughts on “Children’s Books based on songs”

  • Hi Jason, great post and very informative.

    I only realised after both of my children had long since grown out of the nursery rhymes that the song Alphabet song “ABC…” was the exact same melodie as Twinkle, Twinkle little star – sang both for years to my two children and never noticed LOL

    My two still love to sing and surprisingly they will know the lyrics to a song almost immediately after hearing the song being played for the first time. When they started school they often learnt through song and they both loved it, fostering a love for music and song as they get older.

    All the best, Julie Anne

  • Wonderful! Music and books are two of my most favorite things. Children will learn
    much from these books. To have music and reading together will make both books
    and music special. One of these books would make a nice Christmas gift. Great post!
    Very informative.

    • Thank you for your comment.
      I also love music and books so much like you.
      Music and books have been our old and intimate friends.
      I believe they are beneficial in many respects.
      Have a nice day!

  • Until reading your comment, I thought that Alphabet stone and ‘Twinkle, Twinkle little star’ have totally different melodies.
    Probably, the songs we have heard since our childhood became our second-nature and we don’t even try to analyze them logically. Every single song is unique friend of us.
    Thank you for sharing your thought.

  • Hi Jason. I love your article. Songs can help child and parents learn better English. It also improve people’s English grammar. Your capture Photos is amazing. Thank you for sharing with us

    • Hi, Wenhua.
      Thank you for your comment.
      I believe we can learn a lot of things such as culture through the songs.
      It is a lot easier to remember things with songs/rhythms.
      Have a nice day!

  • Hey Jason,

    I remember my Mum and Dad signing songs to me as a child. Things like old Macdonald really helped me to learn my “barnyard” animals.

    I take a similar approach to learning with my kids, “If you’re happy & you know it” is a personal favourite of ours. The version you have shared is far better though, I like the hello’s in different languages. I think the earlier kids start learning new languages, the earlier it sticks. I’ll certainly be taking my kids though that version, thanks for sharing!

  • My little daughter loves singing and I want to give her a good start and prepare her for school by teaching her reading and create an interest in reading in her. I think this will help because she knows almost all of these songs. I appreciate your effort.


    • Hi, Strahinja.
      Thank you for sharing your thought.
      Hope your little daughter enjoys these books and songs.
      I also wish your daughter grows up to become a strong, independent and wise woman.

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