Books You Can Hum Along To
L.A. Parent’s Calendar Editor, Michael Berick, has compiled this collection of wonderful new books.
Stories and songs have been part of children’s lives since … there have been stories and songs. Combining books and music has been a growing trend, with a number of notable new additions.
Man Gave Names To All The Animals (Sterling, $17.95, ages 3 and up) turns Bob Dylan’s tune from his 1979 Slow Train Coming into a colorful picture book, illustrated by Jim Arnosky. Some might argue that the words work better as a picture book than on a grown-up CD. The book contains a CD with Dylan’s original rendition so you can compare.
Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary fame, has put together his latest songbook, The Peter Yarrow Songbook: Songs for Little Folks, (Sterling, $16.95, ages 4-7) filling it with more folk song favorites (like “Mary Has A Little Lamb” and “Pop, Goes The Weasel”). One of the nice things about this charming picture book, again illustrated by Terry Widener, is that it has pages with the songs’ chords and lyrics as well as a CD with Yarrow doing the tunes.
The Secret Mountain also is continuing its wonderfully innovative storybook-music CD series with two new titles. Swing Café (The Secret Mountain, $16.95), written by Carl Norac and illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer, follows the adventures of a cricket named Zaz to the soundtrack of vintage jazz tunes (Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, etc.), while The Little Blue Dog turns Lionel Daunais’ song about the title character into a picture book (illustrated by Marie LaFrance). Michelle Campagne & Family performs that song as well as another dozen Daunais tunes. One of the great things about these books is that the CD contains the story as well as the music tracks.
Coming out in January is I See The Rhythm Of Gospel (Zondervan, $16.99, ages 9-12) text by Toyomi Igus and paintings by Michele Wooda, an impressive picture book that tells the story of African-Americans in the U.S. through a poetic tale complimented by a historical timeline and a gospel-focused CD.