100+ songs to sing with your child (and the books to go along with them)

January 21, 2010

{I'm going to warn you in advance: This is a LONG post! But I thought it would be a good resource.}

You know that Juliet and I love to read, but did you also know that we love to sing? In fact, we have a nightly post-bath singing session that Juliet loves almost as much (maybe even more) than our daily reading time.

I say that she might love it even more because if for some reason we have to skip book time, she is fine. But if I should dare to suggest that we skip singing time, well, let's just say that things get pretty ugly. Tears, screaming, pleading, sobbing, the ever-popular collapsing into a limp heap on the floor, etc. ensues. (You have young kids. You know what I'm talking about here.)

To say that this music time is special to us both would be an understatement. We both look forward to it and enjoy it immensely. At this point, you are probably imagining me as some sort of Latina version of Maria from The Sound of Music, but let me assure you that is far from the truth.

While I very much ENJOY singing, I am by no means GOOD at it. (Change your mental image from Maria on a mountain top to Cameron Diaz singing kareoke on My Best Friend's Wedding.) And while I think I have a fairly decent memory, I find that if left to rely solely upon it for lyrics, I can usually only remember parts of a verse, just the chorus, or a few random bars of any given song.

So to help my feeble mind get through an entire song correctly, I enlisted the help of...wait for it...books! (Are you surprised?)

I discovered that the library has a really good selection of songbooks in the nonfiction section. You can find all kinds of books to sing along with from traditional songbooks (with sheet music) to picture books (books that illustrate one song with a line of lyrics on each page).

Since Juliet is a very visual learner, these books have helped her sit down and focus on the words of the song as we sing them. She enjoys the pictures as much as the music itself.

I wanted to share the songbooks that we have enjoyed together over the past year. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does cover a wide range of song styles and traditions.

I've divided the books into 5 sections: Nursery Rhymes/Traditional, Lullabies, Folk Songs, Camp Songs, Holidays, Religious/Spiritual, Patriotic (American), and Other. Feel free to skip over any categories that do not interest you.

Hopefully, it gives you a place to start in your search for books you can sing to.

Nursery Rhymes/Traditional:


The Golden Songbook: A Collection of Favorite Songs and Singing Games for Children


Some songs inside:

1. Frere Jacques
2. Sing a Song of Sixpence
3. Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley Grow
4. Hey Diddle Diddle
5. Pop Goes the Weasel
6. Did You Ever See a Lassie?
7. Oh, Dear! What Can the Matter Be?










8. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star as told and illustrated by Iza Trapani




9. I'm a Little Teapot as told and illustrated by Iza Trapani




10. Shoo Fly as told and illustrated by Iza Trapani




11. Row Row Row Your Boat as told and Illustrated by Iza Trapani




12. Mary Had a Little Lamb as told and illustrated by Iza Trapani




13. How Much Is That Doggie in the Window? as told and illustrated by Iza Trapani




14. Old MacDonald by Amy Schwartz





15. Cat Goes Fiddle-i-Fee by Paul Galdone







16. The Farmer in the Dell illustrated by Kathy Parkinson



















Lullabies:



Lullabies: An Illustrated Songbook, Music Arranged by Richard Kapp



You've heard me talk about about this one before. There was a time when we sang through this one every night before bed. Here is the list of ones we know (there are several more that I just am not familiar with.)

20. Hush, Little Baby
21. Dance to Your Daddy
22. Now the Day is Over
23. All the Pretty Little Horses
24. Sleep, Baby, Sleep
25. Brahms' Lullaby
26. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
27. All Through the Night
28. Skidamarink
29. Day Is Done
30. Rock-a-Bye Baby
31. Little Boy Blue
32. Kumbayah
33. Toora, Loora, Loora

Folk Songs:

Gonna Sing My Head Off!: American Folk Songs for Children Collected and Arranged by Kathleen Krull, Illustrated by Allen Garns

This is the songbook I have been searching for ever since Juliet was born. It has some of my very favorites that I have been unable to find anywhere else. There are also a ton more that I don't even know and I am sure are just as wonderful. Here are the ones we love:

34. Buffalo Gals
35. Clementine
36. Down in the Valley
37. Git Along, Little Dogies
38. Go Tell it On the Mountain
39. Home on the Range
40. I've Been Working on the Railroad
41. Michael Row the Boat Ashore
42. Oh, Susannah!
43. On Top of Old Smokey
44. Red River Valley
45. The Riddle Song (I Gave my Love a Cherry)
46. Shall We Gather At the River?
47. She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain
48. Sweet Betsey From Pike
49. Take Me Out to the Ball Game
50. There's a Hole in the Bucket
51. This Land is Your Land
52. This Little Light of Mine







53. She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain by Suzanne Beaky


54. Old Chisholm Trail: A Cowboy Song by Rosalyn Schanzer

55. Buffalo Girls by Bobette McCarthy (no image available)







56. John Langstaff's Frog Went A-Courtin'' Illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky

I had never heard of this song, but fell in love with it immediately. The illustrations in this version (there are many out there) are incredible. We LOVE this book and have recently added it to our home library.


57. Over in the Meadow  by Ezra Jack Keats

Camp Songs:


58. Make New Friends Illustrated by Nan Brooks




59. Make New Friends
60. Rise and Shine
61. Peanut Butter and Jelly
62. Worms
63. Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee
64. Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh
65. Found a Peanut
66. Little Bunny Foo Foo
67. Taps




Holidays:






69. Away in a Manger
70. Silent Night
71.We Wish You a Merry Christmas
72. Jingle Bells
73. Good King Wenceslas
74. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
75. O Little Town of Bethlehem
76. The Holly and the Ivy
77. I Saw Three Ships
79. The First Noel
80. O Christmas Tree

81. Deck The HallsIllustrated by Michael Hague (no image available)








84. We Three Kings by Olga Zharkova



85. The Little Drummer Boy by Kristina Rodanas



86. Winter Wonderland, Illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers

Religious/Spiritual: (I realize that this section is very limited as it only contains songs from our own religious tradition.)

I Can Be Happy in Jesus: Little Songs for Little Souls for Toddlers created by Steven Elkins, Illustrated by Lynne Davis (comes with a cd)

87. I've Got Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy
88. He's Got the Whole World In His Hands
89. O How I Love Jesus
90. Rolled Away
91. Jesus In the Morning
92. Jesus Loves the Little Children
93. He Keeps Me Singing as I Go
94. I Have Decided to Follow Jesus












96. This Little Light of Mine
97. Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In
98. He's Got the Whole World in His Hands






Patriotic Songs:





100. Yankee Doodle Illustrated by Todd Ouren


101. The Star Spangled Banner The Star-Spangled Banner Illustrated by Todd Ouren
(We also love another version by Peter Spier)


102. America the Beautiful Illustrated by Todd Ouren






104. When Johnny Comes Marching Home: A Song About a Soldier's Return  by Patrick S. Gilmore, Illustrated by Todd Ouren



Other:







105. Bake You a Pie [With CD]by Ellen Olson-Brown and Brian Claflin, Illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler


I didn't know this was a songbook until after we got home from the library. It came with a cd and the song was an instant hit with Juliet. She was singing it to herself after just one reading/singing--it's that catchy. Each verse features a different style of music from gospel, to opera, to country, to robot! It's REALLY fun book and a fun song. We'll be singing this for many years to come.




106. Baby Beluga  by Raffi, Illustrated by Ashley Wolff


Believe it or not, I had NEVER heard this song before until we sang it at story time at the library a year ago. All the parents were singing along like it was as familiar as Twinkle Twinkle and I was just looking around thinking, "How did I miss this?" It's such a fun song with a catchy tune, Juliet and I have been singing it together ever since and just recently found a copy at goodwill, so now we have it in our home library.







107. Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender Illustrated by Tom Browning














If you are looking for one book with a GREAT variety of songs and amazing artwork (like the stuff that is in museums amazing), then this is the book for you. I recently checked it out at the library and fell in love. It's put together by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and it is just incredible. It's a beautiful combination of music and art.
Here's a sampling of some of the songs you can find inside:


108. Amazing Grace
109. Bringing in the Sheaves
110. Dixie
111. Greensleeves
112. Lavender's Blue
113. My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean
114. On Top of Old Smokey
115. Scarborough Fair
116. Shenandoah
117. Skip to My Lou
118. We Gather Together


So, that's the longest post I have ever written! Congrats, if you are still reading! You survived! I'd love to hear what your favorite songbook suggestions are. We are always looking for more good ones to check out!




17 comments:

Chels said...

Whew....you must have been up all night putting this post together! ☺
I will be coming back to it a few times so I can search out my library catalog before we go to the library tomorrow. Looks like an awesome list! We love 'singing' books as well as just good kid songs! We like 4 of Jennifer Ward's books that you can sing! And we also like the book On Top of Spaghetti by Paul Johnson.
Are you on Goodreads??

Raising a Happy Child said...

I am totally blown away by this post. I bookmarked it for the future reference. It's hard for me to sing songs, since I didn't grow with them. I know now a bunch of nursery rhymes, but I don't particularly like them. So far Raffi was our savior - we enjoyed many songs and song books with his songs.

Terry Doherty said...

Thank you so much for this incredible collection. Wow! I would love to add a link to our Literacy Wiki, because one of the things we want to show is that reading is more than just books ... and music is just wonderful for that!

artsy_momma said...

Great list! I didn't know there was a book for How Much is that Doggie in the Window. I have to get it, it was one of my favorite songs as a child and I know my little guy will love it! Thanks for all the info!!!

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

Oh my heavens, this is an incredible resource! I am saving this and we will definitely be referring to it all the time! Thank you for going to all this work, I'm sure it took you forever to put this together. It's perfect for us as we've been very purposefully trying to add more music to our days. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

The Life of Blights said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I also love to sing to Lil Man before bed each night and well...my reperatoire consists of 3 songs that I actually know all the words to. So bad! This is a perfect resource. Thank you!

Jackie said...

This is such a great list!! I am definitely going to have to find some of these books. My youngest two boys love to sing. I haven't seen many of these books before. Thanks for taking the time to write this list.

Zoe @ Playing by the book said...

Well Vanessa, everyone else has already said it but I'll say it again - this is such a brilliant post. It's really inspirational - I want to get to the library as soon as possible to see what song books they have now :-) As you know we have a lot of music in our house, although not as much singing as I'd like. I play the piano and every year since the kids were born it's been an new year's resolution to play the piano and sing more with them (in addition to all the dancing around the kitchen we do - which is exactly what J is begging me to go and do now....)

vanessa said...

Wow! Thanks for such a positive response to this post! I have been compiling this list for a few months now. Every week, we check out two or three song books to sing together at night and then turn them back in for new ones the next week.

Last week, I finally reached the 100 song mark (which was my goal) and then I had second thoughts about posting it. It seemed like way too much information for one post--I wasn't sure anyone would want to read it. But I did because I hoped it could be a resource for you all--I am so glad to hear that it will be.

Sarah--I am like you! I cannot remember the lyrics to any more than 3 songs myself, so these books really help!

Zoe--Most of these books include the sheet music either on each page or in the back, so you could easily use them for your piano sing-along times. I play the piano too, but don't have a piano! One day, I hope we have one in our home.

Infant Bibliophile said...

What a great post!! I'm so glad I saved it to savor when I was back from vacation. I am going to buy at least one of these books (you need to set up an amazon affiliate account ;)). I love books to sing. I can't play the piano, so I occasionally have to cheat and play a song on youtube to get the tune so I'll be able to sing it!

Anonymous said...

Oh, these bring back memories! I love it when little ones wake up 'singing' in their crib, and when they get a little older and fill in with their own words. What fun!

Jenny said...

WOW! What an amazing list! I love all of the ideas on your blog!

Jedda said...

you are amazing! Just typing that list must have taken all day. We love to sing together. Thanks for the many ideas to relate to books!

Sheila said...

Wow! Incredible! I wish I had read this a few years ago when my boys were smaller. I think they will still like a few of these books, however.

carly@LearningParade said...

My Goodness! This is a great post, it must have taken you ages, but what a great resource, thank you so much!

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

You're my hero!

Suzanne G. and Tyrone G. said...

I just put a link to this post on my site. I'm a music teacher and I specialize in the little ones. Thanks for the post!

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