Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by the book lovers over at The Broke and the Bookish.
This week’s theme is Top Ten ALL TIME Favourite Books of X Genre, and seeing as I’m a children’s librarian I’m going to share a few of my favourite singable picture books! These books are always on my story time shelf, and they’re some of my go-to books for pretty much any story time.
Singing has been shown to support the development of early literacy skills in young children:
Singing breaks up words into syllables, slowing down the sounds that words make and allowing your child to understand how to pronounce words they might not even know the meaning of. For instance, “Lon-don bridge is fall-ing down, fall-ing down, fall-ing down,” splits up the words into smaller, slower pieces, allowing your child to really understand how to mimic those sounds. Before children can learn to read, they need to be able to identify the different sounds that words make, and singing is a great way to introduce this, even if you’re off-key! 🙂 Herrick District Library
My story times are very high energy – I love getting kids moving, interacting, participating and having fun in my programs, and singable picture books are great way to get kids engaged in a story. They’re also a lot of fun!
So, in no particular order,
TOP TEN ALL-TIME FAVOURITE SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
You cannot go wrong with this jazzy story about a positive cat who doesn’t seem to pay much attention to where he’s going… I absolutely love jamming with Pete as he introduces children to basic colours.
The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort
Kids loving singing The Wheels on the Bus (over and over and over…) and kids love making animal noises. Put them both together and you’ve got a fun new take on a beloved children’s song.
I love this book SO MUCH. The tune is ridiculously catchy, the protagonist is a cheeky little performance artist, and there’s a funny little line that will have adults in the audience cracking up. I LOVE singing this one with a bit of a country drawl for added effect (and extra ridiculousness).
I love being able to shake up a classic and give it a fresh spin, and this African retelling of Old MacDonald Had a Farm does just that! Old Mikamba has quite the exciting farm, filled with new and wonderful animals to explore and imitate.
Besides having a really fun tune, Five Green and Speckled Frogs can be shared as a finger play, a felt story and a picture book – learn it once, share it in multiple ways to engage different learners in different ways.
Rachel Isadora is back with another beautiful take on a classic children’s song. This time in the prettiest little tree that you ever did see is actually beautiful acacia tree growing in a beautiful African setting.
If You’re Happy and You Know It
Jane Cabrera is a master of the illustrated nursery rhyme, and pretty much any of her books is guaranteed story time gold, but this animal-themed take on If You’re Happy and You Know It is one of my favourites. Kids can roar like a lion, squeak like a little mouse, and have lots of fun expressing their happiness in all sorts of active ways.
If You’re a Monster and You Know It
This spin on the traditional children’s song is so much fun! Kids roar, stomp, wiggle and more. If you’ve got a particularly wiggly group of kidlits, this delightfully silly story is the perfect way to harness that energy in a fun and interactuve way.Rebecca Emberley is the daughter of Ed Emberley, the creator of the beloved children’s classic, Go Away Big Green Monster.
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
Like I Love My White Shoes, Four Groovy Buttons is perfect for people who don’t necessarily feel comfortable singing in front of others, including nervous or reluctant caregivers. Most of the text can simply be read aloud, with only the insanely catchy refrain sung or chanted. It’s a great gateway book that can ease storytellers into singing with their audiences, as well as a fun introduction to the concept of subtraction.
Sing, sing, sing!