The Best Children’s Literature for the Music Classroom

Elementary music lessons based on books.
Elementary music lessons based on books.

A growing compilation of great books and musical connections that work with them!

Books Reviewed + music connection ideas

The Mitten

This Ukrainian folk tale has been rewritten by many authors. The most obvious music connection I found is the addition of animals to the mitten which just screams CUMULATIVE form. This resource has a single song with cumulative form OR the form could be the skeleton of an entire program where each animal is a section of the concert.

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The Secret of the Plátano

Set in the Dominican Republic, this gorgeous book is about the love between abuela and her grandson, and the magic of dancing and nature.

The Year We Learned to Fly

“Fly Away” is a companion resource to “The Year We Learned to Fly.”

Change Sings

“The Change Is You” and “Change the World With Kindness” are companion resources to “Change Sings” by Amanda Gorman.

Ohana Means Family

A great book about Hawaiian culture to use with multiple grade levels! K-2 can use movement and un-pitched percussion and grades 3-5 can use movement and barred instruments!

A song that would complement the learning in the book.

This old chant was set to music by Winona Beamer. The kahuli (tree snails) or pūpū kanioe (land shells) are the singing snails of legend.  Winona Beamer was a champion of authentic and ancient Hawaiian culture, publishing many books, musical scores, as well as audio and video recordings on the subject.

In My Heart

Sun Wishes

Just Help by Sonia Sotomayor

Next books to be added:

  • Wutaryoo
  • The Earth Gives More
  • Holi Hai

Each new book addition will be announced in the Oodles Newsletter

Success! You're on the list.

If you have a book you’d like for me to include, please comment below.

Author: lbbartolomeo

I'm a mom, wife, teacher, reader, gardener, trekkie, sci-fi fanatic, musician, dog lover, and a Christian. I hope my contributions bring some joy and happiness to your life!

3 thoughts on “The Best Children’s Literature for the Music Classroom”

  1. Good morning, I can only click on the bottom two pictures even going to the actual page in your blog. Should that be the case? I was hoping there would be more than one book to get ideas from (in the video).

    Thanks for everything, Rachel

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Rachel, sorry. This is a new directory for the blog and just in the beginning stages so there is only 1 right now. Because I recommend (by creating myself or linking others’ resources or general lesson plan ideas) it will become more than a list, but a true resource and takes me quite a while to create. I have in the draft stages the books Wutaryoo, Just Help (by Judge Sotomayor), and In My Heart. Coming up also-Ohana Means Family and The Earth Gives More. I will let everyone know through my Oodles Newsletter when those become available but the plan is to complete the first set in the next two weeks and then the rest by the middle of July. I’d like to get a good number on there before the start of the next school year and then just continue to add. Also, I’m trying to create with books that are pretty current releases if not newly released and easily complement a music curriculum. Thank you so much for asking about it!


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