Great Picture Books of Great Songs to Sing

Moon RiverMoon River, wider than a mile
I'm crossing you in style some day
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you're goin', I'm goin' your way  

Two drifters, off to see the world
There's such a lot of world to see
We're after the same rainbow's end, waitin' 'round the bend
My Huckleberry friend, Moon River, and me

SCCLD has a rich collection of songs-as-picture-books.  Our picture book collection  includes many traditional children's songs in picture book format, like Wheels on the Bus or The Itsy-Bitsy Spider or Row, Row, Row Your Boat or Old MacDonald Had a FarmYou and your child may be familiar with these story time favorites, but we also have a wonderful selection of other kinds of popular songs to sing from a picture book.  A few new picture books from popular songs are - 

Singing in the Rain What a Wonderful World Imagine Moon River

All of these titles are iconic songs from American musical and cultural history -- Broadway or movie musicals, jazz, rock and roll and more. They are now amazing picture books to share with your child.   Talking, singing, reading, playing are essential pre-literacy activities for young children that are enhanced by sharing songs in picture book form. You can sing the songs in the books - or just read the words - share the colorful pictures and talk about what you see together. Try play-acting the songs out - dancing with an umbrella in the (pretend) rain or float along a river or fly like a pigeon high in the sky.  You can also find the original songs (or other close renditions) these books are based on (in Freegal) and play them for your child and for you to enjoy. What a wonderful way to learn about reading and to build a child's foundation in cultural knowledge!

Here's a list of a few fun titles to consider - and where to find the songs on Freegal (downloadable & streaming music service available to SCCLD members) :

Singing in the Rain by Arthur Freed
A picture book adaptation of the song Singing in the Rain, is from the Broadway Play, Guys & Dolls. Singing in the Rain celebrates the glory of clouds and rain.
Freegal - All Star Cast 

What A Wonderful World by Bob Thiele
Illustrations and lyrics introduce a song, first recorded in 1967 by Louis Armstrong, which celebrates the wonders of nature, loving friends, and the promise of the future in a baby's cry.
Freegal - Tony Bennett & k.d. lang

What A Wonderful World by George Weiss
Same song by Louis Armstrong as above, but an older edition with illustrations by George Weiss. In this editon, Children put on a puppet show, using the words to the song, "What a Wonderful World."
Freegal - Tony Bennett & k.d. lang

Imagine by John Lennon
Illustrates, through the eyes of a little pigeon, John Lennon's song about imagining a world at peace, in which people of all sorts live as one.
Freegal - The Ten Tenors

Moon River by Johnny Mercer
Follow a girl, accompanied by her teddy bear, as she dreams about the wide and wonderful world. Cozy scenes of pajamas and bedtime make this a perfect story to share at the end of the day.
Freegal - Breakfast at Tiffany's

Walking in A Winter Wonderland by F. Bernard and R. B. Smith
This picture book celebrates winter, using the lyrics of the song Winter Wonderland.
This song is available on Freegal by a great variety of perfomers.  The rendition by Rosemary Clooney on the album Christmas 16 Most Requested Songs is very nice.

I Love You! A Bushel & A Peck by Frank Loesser
A picture book based on a song from the Broadway musical "Guys and Dolls."
Find this on Freegal under "Guys and Dolls" album.

Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley
"Elvis Presley's hit song 'Love Me Tender' is re-imagined as an ode to families of all shapes and sizes."
Freegal has many renditions, here's one by Freddy Fender on his album titled Love Me Tender.

If Not for You by Bob Dylan
"An interpretation of the lyrics to Bob Dylan's 1970 song, 'If Not For You, ' re-imagined to portray the love between parent and child."
Find this song on Freegal on the New Morning album by Bob Dylan.

If Dogs Run Free by Bob Dylan
An illustrated version of the Bob Dylan song that asks the question "If dogs run free, why not we?
Find this song on Freegal on the New Morning album by Bob Dylan.

Every Little Thing by Cedella Marley
In this illustrated version of Bob Marley's song, a young boy, with the encouragement of three little birds, enjoys life and will not let anything get him down.
Find this song on Freegal by Aaron Neville (Bob Marley's version is not available, although many of his other songs are on Freegal).  

Puff, the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow
The adventures of a boy and his dragon friend are recounted in this classic song from the 1960s.
Find the song on More Big Folk Hits on Freegal

There's A Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake  by Loren Long
An adaptation of the traditional folk song, "There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea," with additional repetition and tongue twisters. Includes sheet music.
You can find a copy of the song on Freegal.

Read them or sing them or
sing and read them,
are all glorious fun for everyone!  

What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

I see skies of blue, and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces, of people going by
I see friends shaking hands, sayin', "How do you do?"
They're really sayin', "I love you"

I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
They'll learn much more, than I'll ever know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world
Oh yeah