Hush Little Baby (Sylvia Long) - This is one of my favorite board books. I love the peaceful lullaby time of night and I have always liked the melody of Hush Little Baby. One thing bothered me about it, though, as I got older. The original text is a list of bribes to get a baby to stop crying! Not the best message to go with the beautiful tune, although I’m sure it has a lot of folk value. Sylvia Long had the same thought and created this beautiful book with alternative lyrics that highlight exploring and discovering the world with a young child. Pick this one up for a baby shower gift or the little one in your life!
If You Were My Bunny (Kate McMullan; David McPhail) – Parents, read the last page of this lullaby book to yourself first to give yourselves a jump on the tunes within. There are five common lullabies, rewritten from an animal’s point-of-view. For example, the rabbit mama sings “Hush little cottontail don't you hop. Mama's going to bring you a carrot top..." This gentle book makes a calm and unique end to the day.
The Neighborhood Sing-Along (Nina Crews) – Nina Crews, daughter of the famed children’s author/illustrator Donald Crews (his Freight Train is another huge favorite in this house), is a photographer, creating stories around children in everyday settings. In this case, she illustrates 34 children’s songs by photographing kids on and around the streets of Brooklyn. This book is a companion to Crews’ The Neighborhood Mother Goose.
I Love You! A Bushel & A Peck (Words and music by Frank Loesser; pictures by Rosemary Wells) – I love musicals, so I was delighted when I happened upon this frolicking good time on the library shelves. If the title doesn’t tip you off, Wells illustrated a song from the musical “Guys & Dolls”. If you’re only familiar with the movie version with Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando, you will have missed out on this tune. For some reason, it wasn’t included. I have to admit, it is very catchy, so be warned. This ditty just might get stuck in your head! (That’s my 3 year old’s new favorite phrase: “Is it stuck in your head, Mommy?”)On Top of Spaghetti (Author/Illustrator: Paul Brett Johnson; Lyrics: Tom Glazer) – I love this take on the classic song. Who can resist these opening lines? “Howdy, folks. Welcome to Yodeler Jones’s Spaghetti Emporium & Musicale. You’re just in time to hear about the BIG SNEEZE.” The reader is treated to a story just as silly as the song, with hysterical consequences. Sheet music, lyrics, and a recipe for spaghetti and meatballs are included at the end! (Yes, this was also on my “spaghetti” book list, but I couldn’t resist including it here as well.)
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