This picture book by Karen Deans tells the story of the Sweethearts, the school band for Mississippi’s Piney Woods Country Life School orphanage founded by Dr. Laurence Clifton Jones. The illustrated storybook follows the Sweethearts’ journey after graduating from the school and performing across the globe, and how they used swing music to break down racism and sexism throughout it all.
“Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin” is a music book that creates an illustrated introduction to musical instruments. At the same time, it is a counting book.
The music book for kids is written in rhythmic verse, which allows for easy memorizing. This is further emphasized by the playful, colorful artwork presented.
This chunky 24-page board book (part of Silver Dolphin Books’ “The Story of” series) teaches EYFS aged children all about everyone from David Bowie and the Beatles to Elvis Presley and Janis Joplin.
This musical alphabet book allows kids to learn more about music while also learning the alphabet.
“M Is For Music” presents catchy tunes, some unusual instruments, and renowned virtuosos. Endnotes are included and the book is suitable for children of all ages.
Written by Laban Carrick Hill and illustrated by Theodore Tayor III, When the Beat Was Born recounts the life story of Clive Campbell, a.k.a. DJ Kool Herc, a pioneering hip-hop artist who laid the groundwork with his dual-turntable beats. This 32-page book paints a vibrant picture of the Bronx’s breakdancing-powered music scene from 1973 to 1986, offering a look into the past and the beginnings of hip-hop culture.
“Because” is a story about persistence, discovery, chance, and magic. It is beautifully illustrated and contains a lot of information presented at an appropriate level for a child.
The story is heartfelt and is very enjoyable. It teaches children about kindness and how powerful music can be.
Before Keith Richards became a guitar god, he was a young boy who looked up to his grandfather, Theodore August Dupree, a big band musician. Featuring colorful pen-and-ink illustrations by the icon’s daughter, Theodora Richards, this 32-page autobiography shows a heartfelt side of the Rolling Stones guitarist and the musical talents that run in his blood. The book also includes family photos and bonus content on an exclusive audio CD.
“Drum Dream Girl” is all about inspiration. It was inspired by a Chinese-African-Cuban girl, Millo Castro Zaldarriga. She was not allowed to be a drummer because of traditional taboo in Cuba.
This music book takes the child on a story filled with sacrifice, secrecy, and success. As expected, the ending is a happy one, with people understanding that girls can be drummers too.
Part of the “40 Inspiring Icons” series, this 96-page book introduces elementary-aged readers (and grown-ups) to some of the most influential Black artists in music history. From the Supremes and the N.W.A., to Marvin Gaye and Donna Summer, to modern chart-toppers like Beyoncé and the Weeknd (to name just a few), this illustrated primer tells the stories of the iconic talents in blues, doo-wop, rap, pop, and other genres.
Billie Holiday loved canines, and Mister and Lady Day by Amy Novesky tells the story of one of the blues icon’s most beloved dogs. This 32-page book spotlights the empowering bond between Lady Day and Mister, a boxer who accompanied the star at her legendary Carnegie Hall performance. Alongside a rare photo of Holiday and her pup, the book includes a note about the singer’s tumultuous life.
Written for readers ages 10 to 12, Lives of the Musicians delves into the life stories of music icons including Vivaldi, Mozart, Woody Gurthrie, Scott Joplin, and others across 96 pages. Music-loving bookworms will get to know the artists’ vibrant personalities and fascinating quirks as well as what the neighbours really thought of their note-filled past-times.
In this 88-page book by Hervé Guilleminot, primary school-aged readers can get to know 40 chart-topping icons. Jérôme Masi’s bright and playful illustrations help immortalise inspiring legends of the past and present, including Blondie, Nirvana, Patti Smith, Radiohead, the Rolling Stones, U2, the Velvet Underground, The Who, and many more.