Picture Books about Music: How to Bring Learning to a Crescendo

Don’t be fooled because there is a pretty picture on the cover and others inside the book. PICTURE BOOKS ARE POWERFUL TOOLS THAT CAN MOTIVATE KIDS TO READ, LEARN, and BE USED TO TEACH VOCABULARY, SCHOOL SUBJECTS, AND READING SKILLS. Please do not just hand them over to kids who might be able to read the words but the true meaning will be lost.

Musical Picture Books

For P-3 Lexile Level 820
Picture Books about Music can both delight kids with great stories and bring their learning to a crescendo. Like I always say, there is power in picture books.  And, if your child likes music, a “Musical Learning Style” might be a strength you can build upon. Researcher, Howard Gardner, reported that children learn in different ways.  For example, I am a “Visual Learner,” so I learn best when I see pictures, videos, or charts about what I am studying. I understand and remember more information that way instead of hearing a lecture.

Teachers often assign homework using various forms of learning styles so students can explore their best ways of studying. Here is an article on the musical learning style.


For a general overview of learning styles, I found a short video for you to watch.


Read-Aloud Story as a Starting Point in Learning

Let’s use Ada’s Violin as an example.  It brings the love of music into the forefront of the story and that will motivate kids who like music to participate. This is a real story. Kids always love stories that really happened! Teachers often read picture books as mentor texts before teaching kids new subjects or skills.  For more about the power in using picture books, here is a recent Blog post. Why Picture Books?

Reading Specialist, like myself, use three parts of reading in our lessons:


  • Look at the cover illustration. What do you notice?
  • Read the title.  What do you think it means?
  • Predict what the story will be about.
  • Talk about what new words might mean:  landfill, bodega, stench


  • Stop occasionally to talk.  What would it be like to live near a landfill?
  • Why don’t these families move?
  • Help your child “Draw a Conclusion.” What conclusion can you draw about the safety of the neighborhood given that a violin was worth more than a house?
  • Stop to make predictions along the way.


  • What is the lesson of the story?
  • How did Ada change in the story? Why?
  • Take a “Virtual Tour” of a landfill or dump.
  • Collect bottles and bring them to a recycling machine in a store.
  • Summarize the story using the tune of a song you like.

These are just a few ideas.  A complete Read-Aloud Guide is downloadable here or on the top Menu. Ada’s Violin Guide

More Picture Books

Nurture your child’s interest in music by reading other books in a similar way.  Here are a few:

  • Dancing Hands (P-3, Lexile 1260)
  • Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo (P-1, No Lexile available)
  • My Family Plays Music (P-3, Lexile 580)
  • Drum Dream Girl (P-3, Lexile 650)
  • Because (P-K, Lexile 820)
  • 88 Instruments (P-2, Lexile 410)

I read Ada’s Violin and Drum Dream Girl on my You Tube Channel, Creating Smart Readers. There is a link in the above Menu or this link will bring you right to my channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl8RzfMioWaox_dSKH3BPhg?view_as=subscriber

A Word About Lexiles

Please refer to the above Lexile Levels chart.  A Lexile level matches a book’s readability to children who are good readers in a grade level. Children can understand stories read aloud to them that are 2 years above their own reading level.

Pay particular notice to Dancing Hands, listed for grades Pre-School to Grade 3.  The Lexile level or reading level for a child to read than book alone is 1260. That Lexile is way up into the high school.  Ada’s Violin is marketed to kids in Pre-School to grade 3 but the readability of this story is 820 which is the beginning of grade 6. Please know your child’s reading level.  Read-aloud picture books are a bridge to all learning.

The Power of the Picture Book

Don’t be fooled because there is a pretty picture on the cover and others inside the book.  PICTURE BOOKS ARE POWERFUL TOOLS THAT CAN MOTIVATE KIDS TO READ, LEARN, and BE USED TO TEACH  VOCABULARY, SCHOOL SUBJECTS, AND READING SKILLS.  Please do not just hand them over to kids who might be able to read the words but the true meaning will be lost.

A Final Word

I hope you enjoy these stories and I hope you can boost the learning for your children using Learning Style tips. Please let me know what is working for you and feel free to ask any questions about Reading.

Please subscribe to this Blog and I will send you a notice for each new post.

“Happy Reading!”

The Secret to Reading Success!



Author: Susan

Retired NYS certified Reading Specialist, Picture Book Aficionado, Crocheter, Author, Blogger, and Westie Dog lover!

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