I'm back to add a few more of our favorite picture books based on folk and patriotic songs. (You can read my first round of picks here.) Summer seems like the perfect time to get these out and enjoy some singing-along...and of course, July 4th is coming up as well.
We really enjoy Will Hillenbrand's illustrative take on the simple Fiddle-i-Fee--I won't spoil the surprise, but it involves a charming animal band preparing for a special performance. I remember reading this one over and over when my two oldest were tiny.
Peter Spier's The Star-Spangled Banner is a favorite here for a couple reasons: his historically-detailed and vivid illustrations delight us all, and we're so happy that he includes all four verses of our anthem. (And I just noticed that they are re-releasing his Caldecott-winning version of Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night this September--that'll make a perfect Christmas gift for my 4yo!)
I have to admit that I cringe slightly at the overtly political lyrics in This Land is Your Land...is that just me? But those first few stanzas are truly lovely and the tune is so fun--and Kathy Jakobsen's detailed paintings make this book irresistible.
I didn't mention it last time, but one of the most fun things about this genre is that even my preschoolers can "read" these books aloud for their younger siblings. You can imagine how proud that makes them. :)
Now I'm on to a new project: I have a big stack of folk song compilation books out from the library with an eye toward adding a few new ones to our personal collection for my big kids to play piano from. I'll be sure to share which ones make the cut. If you have a favorite or two (especially if they're suitable for beginning-intermediate piano players), let me know!