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The only thing my babies love more than being talked to is being sung to! My little Z has been a music lover from the start and just lights up when he hears a song he recognizes, so recently we’ve been all about song books! They always get a smile and at five months old my twins even sometimes “sing” along! It’s such a great way for us to bond and the best part is, babies will never judge you for being out of tune!
- Over in the Meadow by Olive A. Wadsworth and Ezra Jack Keats; this one is definitely our favorite. I sing it all the time and it never fails to get big smiles, and sometimes real belly laughs, out of my little boys! The pictures are lovely and soothing. I will warn you; this book was written in a different time, so the animal for seven is described as a “gay mother cricket”. With older kids you could use it to start a conversation about how word use changes over time or about homosexuality in the animal world, but since my guys are five months old I just replace it with the word “happy” and move on. Over there at Amazon you can find this book…
- Over in the Ocean by Marianne Berkes; Okay, if you like “Over in the Meadow” you’re going to LOVE this one! Same tune but this version has new lyrics about a variety of sea creatures and the pictures are amazing! The illustrator made all of the animals out of clay and they’re bright and colorful and incredibly detailed. And if you like this one, I have even better news; the same author did “Over in the Jungle” with clay illustrations, and several other versions with collaged paper illustrations as well. We have the arctic, the river and the forest, but there are a few more versions as well. It would be fun to collect them all, especially if you’re a teacher and you’re going to be studying animal habitats. Get it Here
- What a Wonderful World by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele; This is such a beautiful, mellow song, and in this version it’s been paired with super bright and colorful illustrations. Seriously, every page is just filled with amazing colors and fun details. I especially love the pages for “the bright blessed day” and “the dark sacred night”. In this book it most definitely is a wonderful world! Check it out
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Collins and E.Y. Harburg; you know how, when you have your innocent perfect little baby, you just want to fill their brain up with the most beautiful images you possibly can? Then you’ll want to read them this book. I want to cut the pages out and hang them on my wall. Seriously. As a bonus, if you don’t really like to sing, it comes with a little CD and you can just play the song for your baby instead. Here it is
- You Are My Sunshine by Jimmie Davis; Another great, classic song. These illustrations are cartoony and sweet, and this one is a board book so you can keep reading it throughout the grabby toddler years. As a bonus, the cover is shiny (because… why not?). It only takes about thirty seconds to read but we just go back to the beginning and start over a couple times. Definitely worth owning. Here on Amazon
- Every Little Thing (Based on the song “Three Little Birds”) By Bob Marley and Cedella Marley; This one was a recent find and it’s awesome! Parents will appreciate that it’s a little cooler than most kids’ songs, and babies will love the bright colors and soothing message… “Every little thing is gonna be all right!” indeed. Don’t miss this one.
- Down By the Bay by Raffi; A lot of parents will probably remember singing this during their own childhoods- it’s an oldie but goodie! This book is available as a paperback or board book so you can choose based on the age of your kids. The tune is just so catchy and the best part is the little rhyming couplet at the end of each verse- I like to make up my own using the boys’ names or what’s going on. We were singing it on the porch with some older kids the other day and challenging them to come up with some new rhymes- the favorite was “did you ever see butter flowing out of a gutter?” Down by the bay!
Song books are just the best! Do you know any good ones that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments!
Need just one more awesome song book in your life? You can see how I turned the amazing book “Pantone: Colors” into a song book here! For more ideas about ways to read with your baby check out This page!
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