Book Recommendations To Get Your Children Singing
Music and literacy go hand in hand. Rhythm, rhyme, meter, melody and wordplay are easily melded together in songs that are tons of fun, while almost secretly encouraging reading skills such as phonemic awareness, pronunciation, vocalization and listening. Throw in a little jazz or polka, flip your flapjacks and sing your way across all 50 States with ease.
In "Scat Like That: A Musical Word Odyssey," the latest family album from veteran duo Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, wordplay becomes big fun. “Scat” is defined as “Jazz singing in which improvised, meaningless syllables are sung to a melody.” And as a verb it is defined, “To sing Scat.” This big band call-and-response encourages skills in listening, repetition and articulation as children emulate the scat sounds. Using scat and other wordplay techniques including tongue twisters, limericks, yodeling, and Pig Latin, listeners sing along while learning about vowels and consonants, homonyms and synonyms, and a host of other language skills.
Listen to the music. Sing along. Then follow up with a book. Maria Salvadore, M. Ed., M.L.S., former head of Children’s Services, Washington D.C. Public Libraries, chose these titles to build on some of the ideas presented in the music, to encourage further learning, spark additional interests but mostly to continue the fun.
So, sit back, turn on the music and open a book. A world of listening, sharing, reading, talking, learning and fun is close at hand!
1. Scat Like That
Charlie Parker Plays Bebop
By Chris Raschka (Orchard, 1992)
Charlie Parker’s saxophone comes alive with the syncopation of words and music in this rhythmic, jazzy and irresistible book.
Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa
By Andrea Davis Pinkney Illustrated by Brian Pinkney (Jump at the Sun/Hyperion, 2002)
The Queen of Scat is introduced here in lively language and swirling, color-filled images to create a memorable picture of the woman and the music with which she is identified.
By Jonathan London Illustrated by Woodleigh Hubbard (Chronicle, 1993)
A cool cat follows his dream to become a saxophone-playing jazz musician. Vivid illustrations take the musical text to new heights.
I See the Rhythm
By Toyomi Igus Illustrated by Michele Wood (Children’s Book Press, 1998)
African American music from spirituals to bebop, R&B to hip hop and more are introduced in energetic words (including select lyrics) and vibrant paintings.
2. Flip Flapjacks
It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles
By Jack Prelutsky Illustrated by James Stevenson. (Greenwillow, 2000)
Master of wordplay, puckish poet Prelutsky tries to tangle tongues and create pictures with words in these sometimes irreverent and very funny rhymes.
Six Sick Sheep: 101 Tongue Twisters
By Johanna Cole & Stephanie Calmenson Illustrated by Alan Tiegreen. (HarperCollins, 1993)
The challenge is in the words (and the line illustrations are fun; too): try to say these lines aloud more than once! The tongue twisters are sure to tangle, tie and tickle tongues.
By Jill Bennett Illustrated by Nick Sharratt (Oxford University Press, 1998, c1992)
Poems about food using lots of alliteration may tangle tongues while whetting appetites for more. Silly poems are humorously (and colorfully) illustrated.
A Twister of Twists, A Tangler of Tongues: Tongue
Collected by Alvin Schwartz Illustrated by Glen Rounds (Lippincott, 1972)
Tongue twisters are traditional – and here, tongue twisters old and new have been playfully collected, presented and illustrated.
Reprinted with the permission of the Parents' Choice Foundation. © Copyright 2012 Parents' Choice Foundation. All rights reserved.
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