For Early Readers
This recommended reading list provides a broad list of books related to this summer’s theme of music. This list includes audio, braille, and large print titles and is recommended for those reading at a preschool through 2nd grade reading level up to a kindergarten through 3rd grade reading level.
To order any of these titles, contact the library by email, mail or phone. You may also request these titles online through WolfPAC. Identification numbers for braille books begin with BR, large print books begin with LP, and audiobooks begin with DB or DBC. All audiobooks are linked to the Braille and Audio Reading Download site (BARD) for downloading.
Preschool to Grade 2
Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
A mother dog is concerned when her puppy George cannot bark. He can quack and meow and moo, but no "arf" comes out. So his mother takes George to the vet to find a solution. Building Block Picture Book Award nominee, 2000.
A Day at the Seashore by Kathryn Jackson
Nancy and Timmy spend a day at the beach with their family. A Little Golden Book. 2010.
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
A counting book in which one by one the little monkeys jump on the bed only to fall off and bump their heads. 1989.
God Bless America by Irving Berlin
A family of bears experiences America in an illustrated version of the classic song "God Bless America." 2003.
If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca Emberley
Read by Mary Grace Newman. Reading time: 5 minutes.
Monsters sing their own version of this popular song that encourages everyone to express their happiness through voice and movement. Building Block Picture Book Award nominee, 2011. 2010.
Interrupting Chicken by David Erza Stein
Read by Daniel Diedriech. Reading time: 5 minutes.
Little Red Chicken wants Papa to read her a bedtime story, but interrupts him almost as soon as he begins each tale. Building Block Picture Book Award nominee, 2011. 2010.
Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas
Read by Mary Grace Newman. Reading time: 3 minutes.
Chicken's cow visitors try to jump, dance, and wiggle on his couch, which is much too tiny for such exuberant activities. Building Block Picture Book Award nominee, 2012. 2011.
The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Izy Trapani
BR051665 (Uncontracted Print/Braille)
The itsy bitsy spider encounters a fan, a mouse, a cat, and a rocking chair as she makes her way to the top of a tree to spin her web. Includes music on the last page. 1998.
Mole Music by David McPhail
Read by Wendy Devilbiss. Reading time: 3 minutes.
Feeling that something is missing in his simple life, Mole acquires a violin and learns to make beautiful, joyful music. 1999.
My Family Plays Music by Judy Cox
An African American girl joins her musical family playing on a variety of instruments in various settings. She participates in a marching band and a string quartet and performs at church, in a café, in a ballroom, and in a concert. 2003.
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin
BR060122 (UEB Print/Braille)
Read by Eric Schmitt. Reading time: 3 minutes
Zoo animals from polar bear to walrus make their distinctive sounds for one another. Then the zookeeper hears children imitating the animals. Includes related activities and a note to parents and teachers. 2004.
Punk Farm by Jarrett Krosoczka
At the end of the day, while Farmer Joe gets ready for bed, his animals tune their instruments to perform in a big concert as a rock band called Punk Farm. 2005.
Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera
Read by Mary Grace Newman. Reading time: 7 minutes.
In this expansion of a familiar song, the occupants of a rowboat enjoy seeing and making the sounds of different jungle animals. Building Block Picture Book Award nominee, 2015. 2013.
The Surprise Party by Pat Hutchins
Read by Pam Ward. Reading time: 3 minutes .
Rabbit whispers to Owl, "I'm having a party tomorrow.... It’s a surprise." But as the message is passed from friend to friend, it is changed again and again.
Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle
Read by Ginger Dody. Reading time: 2 minutes.
Tap tap boom boom got a storm in bloom. It’s a mad dash for shelter as rain sweeps into an urban neighborhood. Where to go? The subway? It's the perfect place to wait out wind and weather. Strangers share smiles and umbrellas and take delight in the experience of a city thunderstorm. Boom, Boom! Award winner. 2014.
This Little Piggy by Tim Harrington
Expands on the traditional counting rhyme, revealing exciting things the second set of toes does which inspire the first set to try more "fun stuff" too. Building Block Picture Book Award nominee, 2014. 2013.
Kindergarten to Grade 3
Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood
Read by Peter Holdway. Reading time: 19 minutes.
Recounts the story of Ada's dream to play music in Cateura, a small town built on a landfill in Paraguay. Favio Chávez, an engineer and musician, recycled garbage into musical instruments and taught the kids to play, eventually earning global recognition. 2016.
Ben's Trumpet by Rachel Isadora
Read by Chuck Young. Reading time: 4 minutes.
Ben enjoys listening to the music from his neighborhood jazz club and plays along on his imaginary trumpet. One day the club's trumpeter notices Ben and sees his dream. 1979.
The Deaf Musicians by Pete Seeger
Read by Michael Russotto. Reading time: 10 minutes.
Jazz pianist Lee is asked to leave his band when he loses his hearing. At sign language class, Lee meets Max who plays the sax. Riding the subway together, they form a new band with a big audience. Schneider Family Book Award. 2006.
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle
BR021077 (UEB Print/Braille)
Read by Deanna Sarkar. Reading time: 9 minutes.
Poetic biography of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga. Recounts how as a girl she followed her dreams to become a drummer, despite being continually reminded that only boys play the drums and that there has never been a female drummer in Cuba. 2015.
Firebird: Ballerina Misty Copeland Shows a Young Girl How to Dance Like the Firebird by Misty Copeland
American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland encourages a young ballet student, with brown skin like her own. She teaches her that, with practice and dedication, the little girl could become a firebird too. 2014.
Giggle E. Goose by Al Newman
Giggle E. Goose is a noisy little goose who learns when to be quiet and when it is okay to talk. 1995.
Good Night, Owl! by Pat Hutchins
Poor Owl tries to sleep but it is impossible because his noisy neighbors keep him awake all day long. After the day animals fall asleep in the evening, Owl takes his screeching revenge. 1974.
The Great Monster Hunt by Norbert Landa
Read by Mary Grace Newman. Reading time: 7 minutes.
When Duck hears a noise under her bed and runs to fetch help, each animal that hears about it imagines a more dangerous beast in Duck's room. Building Block Picture Book Award nominee, 2011. 2010.
Hi, Koo!! A Year of Seasons by Jon J. Muth
Little panda bear Koo describes the four seasons in twenty-six haikus. 2014.
Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato: An Irish Folktale by Tomie DePaola
Read by Larua Giannarelli. Reading time: 9 minutes.
Jamie O'Rourke, the laziest man in Ireland, would do anything to avoid work--especially if it involved growing potatoes. So each year Eileen, his wife, would plant, care for, and harvest the praties to keep from starving. But one year Eileen wrenched her back. Certain that starvation was near, Jamie set out for confession and, on the way, caught a leprechaun who offered to grant him a wish. 1992.
Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Relates the story of jazz innovator Louis Armstong's rise from street waif to international superstar. 2016.
Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens by Nina Nolan
A picture-book introduction to the gospel singer's life and career. 2015.
Max Found Two Sticks by J. Brian Pinkney
Although he doesn't feel like talking, a young boy responds to questions by drumming on various objects, including a bucket, hat boxes, and garbage cans, echoing the city sounds around him. 1994.
Putter and Tabby Toot the Horn by Cynthia Rylant
Mr. Putter's neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry, decides that they should join a band, but finding the right one isn't as easy as it sounds--for them or their pets. A Mr. Putter & Tabby book. 1998.
Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone? by Iza Trapani
An expanded version of the traditional rhyme, in which the little dog runs away and explores the desert, mountains, and oceans before deciding that home is best. Includes music on the last page. 1996.
Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum by Robert Andrew Parker
Read by Brian Hotaling. Reading time: 16 minutes.
Bad eyesight doesn't stop Art Tatum from learning to play his family piano. Art's musical career grows from playing professional shows in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio, to appearing with jazz bands across the country. Includes biographical information. 2008.
Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia
A parade of colorful construction vehicles doing their work means plenty of joyful noise! 2007.
Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews
BR021098 (UEB Print/Braille)
Read by Ken Jackson. Reading time: 18 minutes.
Autobiography of music prodigy Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, who was leading his own band by age six. Today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest. Coretta Scott King Award. 2015.
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss
Musical instruments take their place, one by one, on the stage until there is a chamber group of ten. 1995.