Culture Street

Children's Books

Five picture books filled with music and rhythm

On September 28, 2012

By Jackie Small

Have you ever noticed the natural reaction of children when they hear music? They simply canít stop themselves from dancing.

The following books celebrate the role of music in our daily lives. While some introduce children to the beauty of music, others on this list encourage children to take part and bring the sounds alive.

 
Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!: A Sonic Adventure by Wynton Marsalis and Paul Rogers (Candlewick Press), 2012

Squeak-squeak,

eeeeek-eeeek,

rumble grumble brum.

Described as a sonic adventure, Wynton Marasalis finds the rhythms in daily actions around us, from squeaking doors and grumbling tummies to buzzing flies. Together with the sounds created from a range of instruments, Wynton brings the noises together to create a rhythmical musical piece on the final double-page spread.

Herman and Rosie by Gus Gordon (Penguin Books Australia), 2012

Musical notes, instruments and the daily hums of life fill each page of Herman and Rosie.†Disguised as an LP record, Herman and Rosie is a story with music at its heart. It is also a story about living life, feeling lonely and finding a friend in the big, wide world. Herman and Rosie is about two uber-cool musicians living in New York City who both find happiness in music, especially when they can share their love of music with each other.

Read full review here.

BOM! went the Bear by Nicki Greenberg (Allen & Unwin), 2011

Ting ting-a ting ting-a

Strum, strum, strum.

This is a joyous book full of rhyme and lively sounds. Bear begins playing on his big bass drum and is joined by a chorus of other animals who sing notes and play clarinets, saxophones, zithers and cymbals.

Despite the energy and joy of the other animals, Bear is happy to play alone on his big bass drum.

The Flying Orchestra by Clare McFadden (University of Queensland Press), 2010

a violin solo when someone misses their train,

a symphony at the airport for a traveller coming home.

This is a glorious book that reminds readers that music is the medicine for life.

On windy days when angels fall from the top of City Hall, the flying orchestra blows into town. As long as someone is listening they will always be playing their music: symphonies and songs for happy occasions and concertos and sonatas for difficult times.

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy by Sue Whiting (New Frontier Publishing), 2008

Bubble, bubble, hissss

slap, slap, thump

swish, swoosh

bang

Composed by Tchaikovsky, The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy is a famous dance from The Nutcracker ballet. Sue Whiting has cleverly used the music and the character from Tchaikovskyís work to create a story suitable for children; The Sugar Plum Fairy magically helps two candy makers create enough sugar plums for the greedy king.

The book comes with a talking CD, and the original music is integrated perfectly into the story. It is a brilliant way to introduce young children to the beauty of classical music.

You might also like:

Arthurís Dream Boat by Polly Dunbar (Walker Books)

The Sourcererís Apprentice by Tom Skinner (New Frontier Publishing)

Flight of the Bumblebee by Hazel Edwards (New Frontier Publishing)

Donald Loves Drumming by Nick Bland (Scholastic Australia)

Boom Bah! By Phil Cummings (Working Title Press)

Whatís that Noise? by Sally Rippin (Allen and Unwin)

Jackie Small manages My Little Bookcase†, an online resource that aims to model and provide parents with fun, warm, friendly and positive ways to engage their children in reading.

 

 

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