Playing by the book

Reviews of kids' books and the crazy, fun stuff they inspire us to do

Fantastic Fiction for Kids – Picture books with songs

Posted on | March 17, 2010 | 7 Comments

fantastic_fiction_button Today’s Fantastic Fiction for Kids is brought to us by Crystal from Easy Stay-at-Home Fun. Crystal is a kindred spirit – she writes, “Not only do I love to play and get messy, but I LOVE children’s books! I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 9 month old, and when we’re not getting messy, we’re reading books.” Sounds good to me!

Crystal’s chosen topic for today is books which are also songs – Crystal currently host a music and story playgroup at her house every few weeks for mums and kids between the ages of 0-5 and recently she used a few books by Sandra Boynton, one of her favourite author/illustrators. Boynton writes and illustrates board books for young children, and has also written a number of albums that are accompanied by books with lyrics and illustrations – and indeed, all of today’s books are by Sandra Boynton

Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton


This is a sweet story about a penguin who has an excessive desire to be the closest of friends with a Hippopotamus. This song has a bit of a dramatic feel to it, which is one of the reasons I love it. You can really work the facial and body expressions while singing this one. The added bonus of this book is that you can download the song, which is sung by Davy Jones of The Monkees at http://www.workman.com/boynton/. If you’re a terrible singer, just turn the music up really loud to drown out your voice!
Fifteen Animals by Sandra Boynton


This is a humorous book about a boy who has fifteen pets, and has named 14 of them . . . Bob (“There’s my cat named Bob, and my dog named Bob . . . “), with the exception only of his turtle! I’ll let you find out on your own what his name is. When just exploring the illustrations, you can incorporate counting as each animal is numbered. The words of this song are easy to remember, since you’re saying the word ‘Bob’ a lot! It’s really hilarious listening to my daughter walk around the house singing this one. This song is also available at http://www.workman.com/boynton/.
Snuggle Puppy (A Love Story) by Sandra Boynton


This songbook is my favourite. This modern lullaby is sung by me almost everyday while I change a diaper, stop for a cuddle, or just feel like breaking out into song with my kids. It’s a song a Mommy dog sings to her puppy while they’re cooking together in the kitchen. The Mommy Puppy begins her song with a doggy howl (I said Oooooooo . . . !) and ends with a big wet kiss! You sing the last verse really quiet then end with a bang when you sing really loud and declare “I love yooooouuuu”! When I first discovered this book, I just made up my own tune. Eventually, I heard Boyton’s version on her album book, “Philadelphia Chickens.” Whether you sing Boynton’s version or make up your own, this song can’t help but become a classic in your home!

Seeing as these books already come with songs I [Zoe] won’t add any further musical suggestions, but here’s a round up of other lists of books with songs – I do hope you find time to explore these as there are some great sites (and and books and songs!) just waiting to be discovered…

  • Vanessa at Silly Eagle Books recently did a tremendous series of posts on singing with your children, using song books and picture books. Her posts are inspirational and a complete treasure trove – thoroughly recommended!

  • A tantalising list of 25 picture books inspired by songs from Favorite Children’s BooksAmazon page.

  • Picture-Song Storybooks Part One and Part Two by Songs for Teaching

  • This paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Reading Association has a long list of picture-song books at the end, including some that are available as audio books (to view the paper you’ll need to click on “ERIC Full Text”, which will then pull up a pdf file.)

  • An amazing list of picture books based on the song There was an Old Lady who… from LaurenLanita via her Amazon page (but do also check out her blog, Storytelling, Cooking and Kids – lots of great stories and activities to go along with them). She also has a more general (but still brilliant) list of Sing-along Picture Books based on Songs.

  • A discussion with lots of picture-song book suggestions from Library Thing


  • Thanks Crystal for filling our home with songs today! I do hope all of you find time to check out Crystal’s lovely blog, which has so many great play ideas – why not pop over and say hi to her! And then come back and tell me what songs you’re singing at the moment with your kids :-)

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    Comments

    7 Responses to “Fantastic Fiction for Kids – Picture books with songs”

    1. Sarah N.
      March 17th, 2010 @ 11:04 am

      Great suggestions! Snuggle Puppy has been a favorite here for years. An new favorite picture book here is Sing, Sophie! I love singing Sophie’s song in a crazy cowboy accent!

    2. Choxbox
      March 17th, 2010 @ 7:48 pm

      Wow great post!

      Sandra Boyton is a favourite here too :)

    3. Joan Holub
      March 17th, 2010 @ 9:50 pm

      Thanks for drawing my attention to these books, which I hadn’t seen, with the exception of Snuggle Puppy. Sandra Boynton is amazing! I admire her work and the fact that she blazed new trails with her quirky, funny humor.

    4. Janelle
      March 17th, 2010 @ 9:52 pm

      We have our own version of Snuggle Puppy that we sing. It’s such a fun book to sing aloud. Boynton really does write some cute books for toddlers.
      Some of our current favorite books with songs include:
      Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow
      Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin
      Five Little Ducks by Ivan Bates

    5. Zoe
      March 18th, 2010 @ 6:56 am

      Thanks for the recommendations Sarah and Janelle!

    6. Carrie, Reading My Library
      March 20th, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

      OH YES! We’ve read through these and LOVE them! 15 Animals is one of our favorites!

      LOVE Boynton. Thanks for the reminder…now I want to pull ours off the shelf again!

    7. Becky
      April 3rd, 2010 @ 5:18 am

      Looks like a darling books. I love the fact that the illustrations are so cute…. I am all about illustrations- I am thrilled about the new Disney Tinker Bell comic book, “Disney Fairies (Graphic Novel #1)” to come out on April 13th! I am excited to check out “Snuggle Puppy” as well… my kids are going to love it!

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