Guest Author: www.readbrightly.com
9 Toe-Tapping Picture Books Inspired by Popular Song Lyrics
by Devon A. Corneal
Devon Corneal is a writer, recovering lawyer, and bibliophile. She’s also a devoted wife and mother, except for the occasional page-turning affair with Jamie Fraser and Jason Bourne. Devon has always been captivated by quirky authors like Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein and sees no reason to stop reading children’s books just because she’s a grown-up. Devon’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, and on her blog, Cattywampus.
Song lyrics aren’t just for the radio anymore. These poems set to music also happen to inspire wonderful children’s books — books that bring messages of hope and enthusiasm and love to kids of all ages. And if you happen to hum along as you read, even better! We’ve gathered some of our favorite song-based books for your family to enjoy together. Whether you’re a fan of country, reggae, ’80s rock, or Christmas carols, we’ve got a book you’ll love.
by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown, illustrated by Tim Hopgood
There’s nothing like a Broadway show tune to get you humming, especially when it’s the iconic “Singing in the Rain.” Share this swinging read, then break out your galoshes and umbrellas and head outside for a song and dance, no matter the weather!
by Elvis Presley, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
Love songs aren’t just for grown-ups, especially when they’re transformed into picture books! Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” has inspired a new book that celebrates the love between children and the adults who take care of them. Get ready to read and sing this lullaby to the children in your life.
by John Lennon, illustrated by Jean Jullien
This book couples the haunting lyrics of John Lennon’s “Imagine” with gorgeous illustrations by Jean Jullien to encourage kids and adults to envision a more peaceful, harmonious world. It’s a timeless message that we can all hear more often.
by Dolly Parton, illustrated by Brooke Boynton Hughes
Dolly Parton adds some country melodies to children’s literature with this story of a young girl whose mother sews her a homemade coat for winter. Based on events in Parton’s own life, this book reminds us that what truly matters isn’t what we wear on the outside, but who we are on the inside.
by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss, illustrated by Tim Hopgood
If you need the perfect lullaby for your littlest ones, pick up this sturdy board book and share the lyrics of “What a Wonderful World” just before bedtime. It will fill your head with the melodious sound of Louis Armstrong’s voice and their heads with sweet dreams.
by Pharrell Williams
In 2014, you couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing Pharrell Williams’s “Happy!” Besides reaching the top of the charts, it was also included in the soundtrack to “Despicable Me 2.” Your kids definitely know this catchy song, and now they can read the lyrics and appreciate the electrically vibrant pictures of happy children from around the world.
by Constance Allen, illustrated by Tom Brannon
Head to the baseball stadium with some of your favorite friends from Sesame Street! When a game is delayed due to rain, Elmo, Grover, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, and other beloved characters improvise new verses to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” to entertain the crowd.
by Bob Marley, adapted by Cedella Marley, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Based on the lyrics to “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley, this colorful and inspiring picture book follows the story of one optimistic and determined little boy who learns that everything will be okay, no matter what challenges we face.
by Kenny Loggins, illustrated by Tim Bowers
“Footloose” is one of those songs that never seems to go out of style, even though the 1980s, mullets, and maroon tuxedos are, thankfully, far behind us. Get your kids up and dancing just like Kevin Bacon with Kenny Loggins’s story inspired by his #1 hit from 1984.
by Mariah Carey, illustrated by Colleen Madden
In our family, it’s never too early to start singing Christmas songs. So we’ll be reading All I Want for Christmas Is You all year round. If you prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving, we understand — just make sure not to miss Mariah Carey’s quintessential holiday song, now in book form.
Do you have a favorite book inspired by song lyrics? Share it with us in the comments section below!
Saturday is here and I hope yours is splendid! Thank you for your patronage each and every day. I have had an explosion of visitors since that dreadful and dangerous virus came after us. I hope you and your family are healthy and safe during this very scary, chaotic and uncertain time. Books & Music are on tap today. Enjoy the fun selection from our guest author. Please come back on Monday as we start a brand new week and I unwrap more fabulous books for you to share with your kids.
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