March is National Music in Our Schools Month! This is a great time to share picture books about music. You’ll be able to entice the music lovers to read and your readers to love music. I love when two subjects can come together like that.
I’m sharing all of these books on video as well! Check out the Books about Music video on my Youtube channel.
This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.
Books about Music for Kids
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
In Giraffes Can’t Dance, Gerald wants to dance but his legs are too skinny and his neck is too long. At the annual Jungle Dance, everyone laughs at how awkward he dances. Then, Gerald gets some sound advice from a cricket. He teaches him to sway to his own tune. That “we can all dance when we find the music we love.” A great book about how it is okay to be different and to do things in our own way.
Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews
Trombone Shorty is a sweet and inspiring autobiography. Troy got his nickname, Trombone Shorty, when he fell in love with an instrument that was twice his size. Troy starts his own band at age 6 and goes on to headline the New Orleans Jazz Festival. He overcame many odds to follow his dream to become a musician.
Trombone Shorty is a celebration of rich cultural history of New Orleans and the power of music. It is a story of perseverance, ingenuity, dedication and hope. And the collage illustrations just add to this wonderful book.
Acoustic Rooster & His Barnyard Band by Kwame Alexander
In Acoustic Rooster, a jazz-loving rooster wants to win the barnyard talent show. He tries to join other bands, but after facing many obstacles, he decides to start his own. I love how each animal is named after famous musicians, such as Mules Davis and Ella Finchgerald.
This story is told through rhythmic text and the illustrations capture the look and feel of the time period. The glossary at the end of the book explains who each animal is named after and gives a timeline of jazz.
Playing at the Border by Joanna Ho
Playing at the Border is a picture book biography of Yo-Yo Ma. It tells the story of immigration and how music can help build bridges. Playing at the Border shares how Ma honed his amazing talent and how his music is a reflection of his own life. The lyrical text and illustrations create a sense of movement within this read aloud.
Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle
Drum Dream Girl is a powerful biography of a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who came over many odds. She broke Cuba’s traditional taboo against female drummers. She dreamed of being a drummer and practiced in secret. Eventually her father has a teacher listen to her music and she books her first musical gig. Drum Dream Girl is a great book for teaching a lesson on perseverance!
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin is an engaging book about music. It is all about musical instruments and the sounds that they make. The poetic text is full of onomatopoeia. And the bright, lively illustrations make this book come alive. Even though Zin! is a counting book, it will appeal to kids of all ages.
Marley and the Family Band by Cedella Marley
I shared Marley and the Family Band in my February New Books post. It celebrates music, love and family. This poetic story is about a young girl who moves to a new country and must learn how to make new friends. So, she comes up with a plan to to hold an outdoor concert in her neighborhood. When the weather ruins her plans, she learns just how kind her new neighbors are!
When the Beat was Born by Laban Carrick Hill
When the Beat was Born is a fascinating description of hip hop’s origins. It shares how Kool Herc came to be a DJ. How kids in gangs stopped fighting to breakdance. The music that Kool Herc invented went on to define a culture and change the world. This is a longer and wordier book, so it would be better for older students.
What are your favorites books about music for kids?