Children’s Books About Musical Instruments
Lost and Found What’s That Sound? by Jonathan Ying, illustrations by Victoria Ying
Play This Book by Jessica Young, illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
Learn about instruments in a band — guitar, cymbals, drums, maracas. Use your imagination and the illustrations to strum the guitar with your thumb, drum a beat, and tap the piano keys.
Look and Learn: Let’s Make Music
Learn about different instruments and their sounds with photos and simple text. A fun introduction to different instruments and how they’re played!
Potty Music by Guido van Genechten
Take a whimsical musical adventure with animals using the potty… with some very interesting song effects that are potty-like but actual musical instruments. Each page has a music note to press and music plays.
My Mozart Music Book by Natacha Godeau, illustrated by Anne-Kathrin Behl
Read this oversized board to introduce children to Mozart and his music. Each page has a beautiful illustration, a few sentences about Mozart, and a button to press to hear his music.
Family Dynamics: Embrace Your Sound by Courtney Vowell Woodward
Violin searches the music store to find the sounds that she hears. She meets families of woodwinds, percussion, brass, and strings.
A is for Oboe The Orchestra’s Alphabet by Lera Auerbach and Marilyn Nelson, illustrated by Paul Hoppe
Learn about the orchestra with poetic entries from A to Z. Vocabulary words for each letter are bolded however, there is no glossary in the back to elaborate on what the letters mean. Lovely illustrations.
Clairnet & Trumpet by Melanie Ellsworth, illustrated by John Herzog
This is a darling, punny story about friendship and…musical instruments! Trumpet and Clarinet are good friends who make harmonious music together. Until Obo arrives. Soon, the brass and woodwind sides each collect more instruments. When Saxophone arrives, the two sides see that they’ll all sound better together.
Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
Ada dreams of playing the violin. When a music teacher helps her students make musical instruments from materials found in the trash, the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay was born and Ada realized her dream.
Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge by Gary Golio, illustrated by James Ransome
Lyrical and poetic, the writing in this gorgeous picture shows Sonny Rollins’s passion for his saxophone. With his saxophone in hand, he spends his days on the Williamsburg Bridge where he plays anything and everything just as loud as he wants. He’s accompanied by the noises of the city; clanking clanging subway cars, bass notes from tugboats, and squeaking, squawking seagulls.
Birth of Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound by Kathleen Cornell Berman, illustrated by Keith Henry Brown
Rhythmic free verse captures the big moments in Miles Davis’ life growing up in New Orleans, getting his first trumpet at age 13, embracing the energy of bebop, attending music school at Julliard, performing with failure and successes, following in Dizzy’s footsteps, then finding his own style, and leading his own group.
Itzhak: A Boy Who Loved the Violin: The Story of Young Itzhak Perlman by Tracy Newman, illustrated by Abigail Halpin
In early childhood, Itzhak was paralyzed by polio. He spent his time learning and playing his violin, showing that he was a musical prodigy. His beautiful playing led to worldwide success.
The Story Orchestra: The Magic Flute illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
To rescue the princess of the Queen of the Night, Prince Tamino breaks into the Sun King’s palace. He plays the magic flute to charm the court and rescues the princess. While you read the opera’s retelling, press the button to hear the Mozart score.
Welcome to Jazz: A Swing-Along Celebration of America’s Music by Carolyn Sloan, illustrated by Jessica Gibson
Three kitty friends are excited to listen to a jazz band in New Orleans. Each page introduces jazz vocabulary words and their meanings like groove, beat, melody, scatting, melody, and improv. The cats discuss the music and there are more facts that correspond to the numbers 1 – 12. You’ll hear the banjo, tuba, trumpet, and double bass as well as improvisation, clarinet solo, and call-and-response.
James Rhodes’ Playlist: The Rebels and Revolutionaries of Sound illustrated by Martin O’Neill (ages 9 – 12)
Made by Hand: Guitars by Patricia Lakin
With an eye-catching design and interesting information, this book about guitars includes the history of the instrument, the background of making an electric guitar, full-color photographs, diagrams, a timeline, and more.