Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Our Favorite Sing-along, Read-aloud Books

One of our favorite things to do is read books! The very first thing we do each and every morning before breakfast is snuggle and read a stack of books together. I'm so excited that Charlotte has become a little bookworm like her mommy. I thought it might be fun and maybe helpful to start sharing some of our favorite books based on certain themes. The first theme I wanted to share is our favorite sing-along, read-aloud books. Charlotte has always loved to sing and has always responded very well to books that we sing to her. Now that she is three, it's cute to watch her recognize a familiar tune and quickly learn the new words. We often find her singing it throughout the day. The books we share will all be ones that we have read together and will be listed in no particular order. You can click on the title of each book if you are looking for more info!

Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Lara Ede:
I found this simple board book almost a year ago and it is still one of our very favorites. It is only 12 pages long, but full of colorful illustrations and fun new lyrics to the tune Row, Row, Row Your Boat. On this boat ride, you will meet a crocodile, a shark, a grizzly bear and a group of penguins. Charlotte quickly memorized this one and we often sing it while folding laundry, lol. It's the perfect sized book to keep in the car or in a diaper bag for quick entertainment.

Shoo Fly! and  The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Iza Trapani:
We love, love, love books by Iza Trapani. She takes classic nursery rhymes and adds so many extra, creative and fun verses to them. Both of these books have been our favorites for at least two years now. I stumbled upon them at the library and quickly realized that we needed our own copies when they made Charlotte crack up laughing. Both books are full of beautiful, watercolor illustrations and page after page of rhyming text.

The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort:
I know there are a ton of various version of the song Wheels on the Bus, but this one is quite unique because it is all about animals. Each stop the bus makes, a different group of animals climbs aboard and makes all kinds of noise and chaos as it drives around town. Seals are errping, geese are honking, vipers are hissing and all will have your child giggling with excitement.

Baby Beluga and Tingalayo by Raffi: 
Do you know who Raffi is? He is a children's entertainer that has quickly become one of our absolute favorites. I was completely unaware of his popular music until I stumbled across these two books in our local library. I immediately looked him up online after we read through them the first time and realized both books are sung to a catchy tune. Needless to say, we now own both books and downloaded both songs . I dare you to sing Baby Beluga and not have it stuck in everyone's head for days. It's such a sweet story and gentle song. Charlotte sings it constantly! Tingalayo is based on a popular Carribean folk song about a donkey. This is the song she request as soon as we get in the car (each and every time) and it's quite cute hearing her say Tingalayo too. 

Down by the Station by Will Hillenbrand:
This book is about a train that picks up baby animals and takes them down to the local zoo. It's full of playful, detailed illustrations that also foreshadow what the next stop will be. The verses are repetitive and full of action. I also love that it introduces kids to the baby names of each animal! Charlotte loves to point out what animal will be next and she loves looking for the little red balloon throughout the book.

Mary Had a Little Lamb and Yankee Doodle by Mary Ann Hoberman:
We have read several of Hoberman's books and she has quite a few sing-along selections, but these two are still our favorites. In Mary Had a Little Lamb, you follow them to school, but then you also get to see all of the chaos the lamb creates while there. Yankee Doodle is just fun and silly. It starts and ends with the familiar tune, but he also meets a girl, some animals and ends up opening up a restaurant properly named Yankee Doodles Noodles.The illustrations are whimsical and the text is quite hilarious. Charlotte giggles every time we read both! 

Over in the Grasslands by Anna Wilson:
We recently found this book (as in a week ago) and Charlotte already has it memorized! We have caught her singing it to herself many times. It's sung to the tune Over in the Meadow and I have to admit, I love singing the gentle lyrics too. The illustrations are very vibrant. The book slowly counts up to ten as you meet a variety of animal moms and their babies. This would be a great book to sing/read before bedtime because it goes throughout the day and ends with a group of monkeys going to sleep. 

The Croaky Pokey! by Ethan Long: 
This book is just plain fun and silly! It takes you through the Hokey Pokey with a group of frogs, an alligator, a crane and a fish. At the end of each page, they try and catch a fly that is zooming around. Trust me when I say that this will bring lots and lots of giggles!!!! Charlotte loves dancing along and acting out each page.

Every Little Thing: by Bob and Cedella Marley :
One of my very favorite songs is Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. I started singing it to Charlotte when she was a tiny little baby and she always asks me to sing it to her when she is frustrated or upset now. The lyrics quickly calm her down and she often joins in on the chorus. When I spotted this book one day at a school book fair, I most definitely was excited! It includes the chorus from the popular song, but Bob's daughter Cedella also came up with some great lyrics just for kids. It follows a young boy throughout his day as he makes mistakes, encourages others and remembers to not worry so much about everything. You have to love a great book that includes such a wonderful, positive message. Looking forward to checking out the other versions by this author! 

Have you read any of our favorite sing-along, read-aloud books? Do you have a favorite that we did not include on our list? Please leave us a comment with any recommendations so we can check them out. Happy reading bookworms!! 

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