By Kathryn Brunner, Founder of Musik at Home, LLC
Good books make for a good summer!
Here are five wonderful books to introduce your child to the world of music.
The first two are story books.
The third is a rhythmic book.
The final two are books that come with CDs to introduce your child to wonders of classical music through stories.
All of these books are "findable" at your local library, or you can find them on Amazon by clicking on the cover of the book below.
1. Becoming Bach by Tom Leonard (Ages 3+)
In this charming book, you'll follow the life of young Johann Sebastian Bach and find out how his journey in music began! The illustrations are intriguing. Notes and rhythms neatly adorn each page as young Bach begins to experience the beauty of music in his early years. He hopes to be a musician like the rest of his family. Suddenly, he begins seeing patterns everywhere and in everything. He turns the patterns into melodies and puts the patterns on paper. As the story continues, your child will find out why J.S. Bach is one of the most brilliant and celebrated composers of all time.
2. 88 Instruments by Chris Barton (Ages 3+)
Does your child aspire to learn an instrument? In this quirky little book, a young boy goes to a music store with his parents to explore all the instruments the store has to offer. His parents encourage him to pick one that he would like to learn how to play. The little boy touches and plays all the different instruments that appeal to him. They all sound and feel different! Which one will he choose? You'll find out as you read this fun book with your little. The illustrations are adorable!
3. This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt (Ages 3+)
What kinds of sounds do you hear in Jazz Music? Instruments have their own jazzy sounds, and so does the voice! You can explore all the skit-skat-skoodle-doot, bippity-bop-bop sounds your voice can create as you read this poetic book. You'll recognize the rhyme scheme as "This Old Man, He played one. He played knick-knack on my thumb..." This introduction to Jazz teaches children to count all while getting them to feel the rhythm of the beat. There's also a bonus page with stories of five great Jazz musicians: Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, Luciano "Chano" Pozo y Gonzalez, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, and Charlie "Bird" Parker.
4. The Carnival of Animals by Jack Prelutsky (Ages 3+)
Has your child ever pretended to be a lion or an elephant? Camille Saint-Saëns’s The Carnival of the Animals puts musical feet on our children's most beloved animals! In this book, Jack Prelutsky, America’s first Children's Poet Laureate, has written all-new verses to Saint-Saëns’s music! The rhythms and rhymes will pull you right into the imaginative forest, the jungle and magical waters. The music on the CD is meant to be used to act out the movements of the animals such as the swan, the kangaroo, and the elephant. You could also have fun drawing the animals as you listen to the delightful music. This book provides a fun way to introduce your child to classical music.
5. Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf by Janet Schulman (Ages 3-5)
As a child, I loved the musical story of Peter and the Wolf. This book and CD combination bring the story to LIFE! The music on the CD is performed by the Cincinnati Pops. Prokofiev's musical fairy tale about a little boy is played by a stringed orchestra. It also includes an enchanting flute melody which follows the bird's part in the story. The wolf is depicted musically by the french horns. This new retelling of the story follows the basic framework, but has a softer, gentler ending that will please children much more than the story I grew up with which had a very bad ending for the big bad wolf and the argumentative duck. The paintings by Peter Malone harken back to Russian masterpieces of old.
Enjoy your summer reading! Please comment below with your favorite musical book! If you read the books above, please share your child's reactions. I'd love to hear how these books become a part of your child's musical adventure.