Guest Post: www.readbrightly.com
7 Delightful Picture Books Inspired by Children’s Songs
by Jennifer Garry
Jennifer Garry is a freelance writer and girl mom who loves reading the newest children’s books as much as she loves a good psychological thriller. She believes fiercely in the power of kindness, empathy, and really good quality chocolate. One day she hopes to publish a book of her own. In the meantime, you can follow her on Instagram.
Little kids love to listen to rhyming, rhythmic, repetitive stories. When they can get into the rhythm (sometimes with their whole bodies!) or predict what the next line might be, they’re filled with absolute delight. They truly feel as if they’re one with the story.
A great way to make this happen is by reading stories that are inspired by familiar children’s songs. These beautiful picture books practically beg for little readers to sing or chant along.
by Loren Long
In this fun take on the traditional folk song “There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea,” readers are introduced to a frog who lives in a log on the bottom of the lake. Through cumulative, rhythmic lines we learn about the frog, his log, a fly that perches on his corkscrew curl, and a gnat that lands on top of the fly. But there’s a second narrative to this tale that’s just as engaging as the first: a turtle and his tiny snail friend provide hilarious additional commentary to the more structured verse.
by Iza Trapani
Iza Trapani also gives a classic song a new spin. We’re used to hearing about the itsy bitsy spider and the water spout, but this intrepid spider comes head to head with a fan, a mouse, a cat, a maple tree and more before spinning herself a beautiful web and relaxing in the sun. As rhythmic and lyrical as the original, this version is destined to become a favorite.
by Rachel Isadora
Instead of the Midwestern locale you might think of when hearing the classic “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” this version takes place in the African plains. Readers will be introduced to a menagerie of African wildlife and their various sounds. Some, like elephants, giraffes, and baboons, will be familiar. Others, like dassies and springboks, will be less familiar. Either way, kids won’t be able to help but sing along.
by Simms Taback
Kids get a real kick out of this folk poem and its outrageous (and somewhat morbid!) storyline featuring an old lady who consumes larger and larger animals to track down a fly she swallowed. This Caldecott Honor-winning picture book rendition has bright, dynamic illustrations with funny cut-outs that give a view into the old lady’s increasingly crowded tummy.
by Jane Cabrera
Jane Cabrera has many books that are inspired by children’s nursery rhymes and songs. This one follows a puppy and a kitten as they row down a twisty-turny stream in the middle of a jungle. The first page contains the well-known rhyme, while the following pages follow the same rhythm and structure but introduce the friends to new creatures. They encounter mice, monkeys, tigers, and more before wearily rowing back to mommy dog and falling asleep.
by Golden Books, illustrated by Mike Jackson
The underwater song that charmed kids the world over (and forever lodged itself in parents’ brains) is now available as a Little Golden Book! There’s no escape from the world’s catchiest (and charming) tune. Doo doo doo doo doo doo…
by Danna Smith, illustrated by Ziyue Chen
Perfectly timed for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in 2019, this sweet story puts a STEM twist on the “Rock-a-bye Baby” bedtime lullaby. A mom and child board a little rocket and set off on a journey through space, observing the natural beauty of the sky, moon, planets, and constellations as they zoom by.
Hope you had a good time visiting my reviews this week. Yep, another week has come and gone and I am so grateful that you stopped by and checked out the books I had chosen for the week. Have a wonderful weekend every one and please stay safe in this incredibly unfamiliar world we are living in right now. Join me again on Monday as I unwrap more great books for you to share with your kids. Enjoy!
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