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Best Musical Picture Books for Kids

If you're like me, and you want to encourage your young children to love music, you likely want to pull from as many resources as possible. One of the ways we do this in our home is by reading books that are music-themed. Here is a list of some of our favourites:

Ada's Violin

By Susan Hood, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport

This book tells the true tale of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay, an orchestra of children that play on instruments made of recycled trash. You can read more about the orchestra in this article from NPR.

Beethoven Lives Upstairs

By Barbara Nichol, illustrated by Cameron Scott

Ludwig van Beethoven was a complicated man, and no one knows this better than Christoph. When the composer moves into the top floor of his home, he has a close-up view of the temper, despair, and genius behind a wealth of music. Also available in audio and film versions.

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin

By Lloyd Moss, Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

If you're looking for a book to introduce your child to different instruments, look no further. Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin is written in charming rhyme with delightfully accurate illustrations.

The Dog Who Sang at the Opera

By Marshall Izen and Jim West, illustrated by Erika Oller

For the dog lovers who enjoy a tale about a pup with a lot of personality comes this truth-inspired story about a dog who simply cannot resist joining in with the soloist at NYC's Met Opera.

The Man With the Violin

By Kathy Stinson, illustrated by Dusan Petricic

This book is based on the true story of world-famous violinist Joshua Bell who famously took his violin into the DC subway for a free concert (you can read the full article in the Washington Post here). Bell's most appreciative audience members were children, as depicted through the eyes of the fictional main character.

I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello

By Barbara S. Garriel, illustrated by Jon O'Brien

A musical twist on "I know an old lady who swallowed a fly," this silly and wacky book will make your child giggle... that is, if you can stop laughing long enough to read it aloud!

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

By Chieri Uegaki, illustrated by Qin Len

Inspired by her grandfather, Hana practices her violin every day in preparation for the school talent show. This story perfectly depicts the childhood challenges of stage fright and self-doubt.

For the Parents: Don't forget a little something for yourself!

Beyond the Music Lesson: Habits of Highly Successful Suzuki Families

By Christine Goodner

There is no better way to inspire the love of music in your home than by inspiring yourself! This book gives practical, helpful information to make happy practicing an everyday habit in your family. Order your copy here from Amazon.

I hope you enjoy reading these musical books with your kids! You can

find these books and others at Ella Minnow Children's Bookstore (991 Kingston Road) and Mable's Fables (662 Mt Pleasant Road). Happy reading!

Rebecca Lane is the director, founder, and owner of Upper Beaches Music School. She teaches at the school on Saturdays, but most days you can find her chasing after her three young children, one of whom is in the Suzuki violin program at UBMS.

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