Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Singable Picture Books Celebrating February is African American History Month

Posted on: April 18, 2011

Prologue

Not long ago, I met a wonderful lady named Nikki who introduced me to an organization in Northern Virginia called Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, which, “was founded in 1997 to preserve the early civil rights history of Falls Church and vicinity.”

Nikki told me that Tinner Hill has a Blues Festival every year and we talked about the Singable Picture Books based specifically on The Blues, like B. B. King’s performance of Sandra Boynton’s song and Singable Picture Book,

Book List

*

One Shoe Blues
Words by Sandra Boynton
Music by Sandra Boynton and Michael Ford
Illustrated by Sandra Boynton
Starring B.B. King

I don’t know of many Singable Picture Books based on The Blues, but Nikki has inspired me to create a list of Singable Picture Books to celebrate African American History Month.  This list celebrates songs written and performed by African American artists and books about African American artists who have made important contributions to American Musical Culture and Heritage.

**********************

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • Singable Picture Books Celebrating African American History Month with Songs, Poems and Illustrations by Prominent African American Artists

  • Musical Picture Books Celebrating Important African American Musical Artists

**********************

Singable Picture Books Celebrating African American History Month with Songs and Illustrations by Prominent African American Artists

The books in this list are Illustrated Songs

*

ABC of African American Poetry 
Words and Tunes by Various Artists
Edited by Ashely Bryan
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

*

Abiyoyo (Pete Seeger’s Storysong)

Words and Music by Pete Seeger
Illustrated by Michael Hays

*** ***

All God’s Critters
Words and Music by Bill Staines
Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, New York, 2009
ISBN 987-0-689-86959-4

*

All Night All Day (A Child’s First Book of African American Spirituals)
Words and Tunes by Various Artists
Edited by Ashely Bryan
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

***

All the Pretty Little Horses (A Traditional Lullaby)

Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Linda Saport

*
All the Pretty Little Horses

www.youtube.com/watch?v=txdyd4xUpI8
Singable Picture Book Video from www.Speakaboos.com
Speakaboos Youtube Page:
http://www.youtube.com/user/speakaboos

*** ***

All Things Bright and Beautiful
Words by Cecil F. Alexander
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan
(This wonderful rendition of pictures from cut paper, includes a page of info about Mrs. Cecil Francis Alexander and printed music)
Click here for the Sing Books with Emily “All Things Bright and Beautiful” Refrain Poster Card:
all things bright and beautiful – refrain poster

***

Amazing Grace
Traditional Words and Tune
Art by Jerry Garcia

*

Angels Watching Over Me
Traditional Words and Tune
Words Adapted by Julie Durango
Illustrated by Elisa Kleven

*

A-Tisket, A-Tasket
Words and Music by Ella Fitzgerald and Van Alexander
Illustrated by Ora Eitan

***

Bein’ Green (Sing-A-Song Storybook)
Words and Music by Joe Raposo
Illustrated by Mario Macari

*** ***

Being Green

Words and Music by Joe Raposo
Illustrated by Etienne Delessert
Published by Western Publishing Company, Inc. in Conjunction with Children’s Television Workshop, 1973
A Golden Book
LOC Catalog Card No. 73-82468

*

Blues Journey
Poems by Walter Dean Myers
Music by
Illustrated by Christopher Myers
I hightly suggest the wonderful Audio Book created to go with this picture book, which musically brings the often singable text to life!

*

Calypso Song Book

(Authentic Folk Music of the Caribbean)
Traditional Words and Tune
With Arrangements, Words and Music by William Attaway
Illustrated by Bill Charmatz

*

Climbing Jacob’s Ladder (Heros of the Bible in African-American Spirituals)
Words and Music by Various Artists
Selected and Edited by John Langstaff
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan
Piano Arrangements by John Andrew Ross
(This book features printed music)

*

Creepy Crawly Calipso
Words by Tony Langham
Illustrated by Harter
(This book, published by Barefoot Books, features a sing-along CD)

***

Cumbayah

Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper

***

Dem Bones

Traditional Tune
Traditional Words
Illustrated by Bob Barner

***

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Words and Music by Bobby McFerrin
Illustrated with art by Alexander Calder

***

Dry Bones

Traditional Spiritual Words and Tune
Illustrated by Kate Edmunds

*
every little thing marley brantley newton
Every Little Thing (Based on the Song “Three Little Birds by Bob Marley)
Words and Music by Bob Marley
Adapted by Cedella Marley
Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

*

Favorite Folk Songs
The Peter Yarrow Songbook
Illustrated by Terry Widener
Many songs in the Peter Yarrow Songbook Series are based on African American songs, stories and spirituals.

*

Follow the Drinking Gourd
Traditional Words and Tune
Story by Jeanette Winters
Illustrated by Jeanette Winters

*

Follow the Drinking Gourd (the Story of the Underground Railroad)
Traditional Words and Tune
Story by Bernardine Connelly
Illustrated by Yvonne Buchanan

*

Funga Alafia
Music Map Series: Multicultural Song 10
Published by Koomzaal
Traditional Words and Tune

*

God Bless the Child
Words and Music by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr.
Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

*

Go Tell It on the Mountain
Traditional Words and Tune
Additional Text by Debbie Trafton O’Neal
Illustrated by Fiona King

*

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
This book features historical information about the song.

*

Hold Christmas in Your Heart: African American Songs, Poems, and Stories for the Holidays
Poems, Words and Tunes by Various Artists
Illustrated by Cheryl Willis Hudson

*

Hush, Little Baby
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

*

Hush Songs (African American Lullabies
Words and Music by Various Artists
Selected by Joyce Carol Thomas
llustrated by Brenda Joysmith

*

Imagine
Words and Music by John Lennon
Illustrated by Lynn Lancaster-Poh and Tilman Reitzle

*

I’m Going to Sing (Black American Spirituals Volume Two)
Words and Tunes by Various Artists
Edited by Ashely Bryan
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

*

I Say a Little Prayer for You
Music and Words by Burt Bacharach and Hal David
Illustrated by Karin Littlewood

*

I See the Rhythm
Words and Music by Various Artists
Text by Toyomi Igus
Illustrated by Michele Wood
http://iseetherhythm.com/books/i-see-the-rhythm-book/

*

I See the Rhythm of Gospel
Words and Music by Various Artists
Text by Toyomi Igus
Illustrated by Michele Wood

*

Just the Two of Us
Words and Music by Will Smith (Adapted and Expanded from song by Bill Withers)
Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

*
 
Let Freedom Sing

Traditional Words and Tune
Text by Vanessa Newton
Illustrated by Vanessa Newton
(This special and joyously illustrated book, with text about heroes of the civil rights movement and a page of information and lyrics for songs that lifted the spirits of those facing the challenges of that time, contains the lyrics for “This Little Light of Mine.”)

*

Let it Shine (Three Favorite Spirituals)
Traditional words and tunes
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan
(This book illustrates the spirituals: “This Little Light of Mine,” “Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”)

*

Let’s Sing Together
The Peter Yarrow Songbook
Illustrated by Terry Widener
Many songs in the Peter Yarrow Songbook Series are based on African American songs, stories and spirituals.

*

Lift Every Voice and Sing

Words by James Weldon Johnson
Music by John Rosamond Johnson
Illustrated by Bryan Collier
This book features printed music. 

*

Lift Every Voice and Sing
Words and Music by James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson
Illustrated by Mozelle Thompson

*

Lift Every Voice and Sing (Pictorial Tribute to the Negro National Anthem) 
Words by James Weldon Johnson
Music by John Rosamond Johnson
Illustrated with Photographs by Various Artists
Introduction by Debbie Eton-Chin

*

Lift Every Voice and Sing
Words by James Weldon Johnson
Music by John Rosamond Johnson
Illustrated by  Elizabeth Catlett
Introduction by Debbie Eton-Chin

*

The Lord’s Prayer

Traditional Words
Music by Various Artists
Illustrated by Tim Ladwig

*
no mirrors in my nanas house
No Mirrors in My Nana’s House
Words and Music by Ysaye M. Barnwell
Illustrated by Synthia Staint James
Book includes CD with recording of Sweet Honey in the Rock singing the song.

*

One Love (based on the song by Bob Marley) 
Words and Music by Bob Marley
Adapted by Cedella Marley
Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

*

One Shoe Blues
Words by Sandra Boynton
Music by Sandra Boynton and Michael Ford
Illustrated by Sandra Boynton
Starring B.B. King

*

One More River
Traditional Words and Music
Adapted by Karen L. Blumen
Illustrated by John J. Blumen

*

One More River (A Noah’s Ark Counting Song)
Traditional Words and Music
Words Adapted by Joan Paley
Illustrated by Joan Paley

*

One Wide River to Cross

Traditional Words and Tune
Adapted by Barbara Emberley
Illustrated by Ed Emberley

 *

Our Abe Lincoln
Traditional Tune, Sing to the tune of “The Old Gray Mare
Words Adapted by Jim Aylesworth
Illustrated by Barbara McClintock

*

Psalm Twenty-Three
Illustrated by Tim Ladwig
This psalm can be sung with Martin Kalmanoff’s beautiful musical setting:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002YZA9PA/ref=dm_ty_trk?ie=UTF8&qid=1290644345&sr=1-1

*

Shake it to the One that You Love the Best (Play Songs and Lullabies from Black Musical Traditions)
Music and Lyrics by Various Artists
Collected and Adapted by Cheryl Warren Mattox
Illustrations from the Works of Varnette P. Honeywood and Brenda Joysmith

*
Skeleton Dance
(AKA “Dem Bones”)

Singable Picture Book Video from SuperSimpleSongs.com
Super Simple Songs YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/supersimplesongs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e54m6XOpRgU

*

Sleepytime Songs
The Peter Yarrow Songbook
Illustrated by Terry Widener
Many songs in the Peter Yarrow Songbook Series are based on African American songs, stories and spirituals.

*

Songs For Little Folks
The Peter Yarrow Songbook
Illustrated by Terry Widener
Many songs in the Peter Yarrow Songbook Series are based on African American songs, stories and spirituals.

*

Summertime (from Porgy and Bess)
Words by DuBose Heyward
Music by George Gershwin
Illustrated by Mike Wimmer

*

Them Bones
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Ian Dicks
(This books folds out to become a 4.5 foot tall skeleton.  Sing to the tune of the spiritual “Dem Bones”)

*

This Jazz Man

Traditional Tune (Sing to the Tune of  “This Old Man”)
Words Adapted by Karen Ehrhardt
Illustrated by R. G. Roth

*

This Land is Your Land

Words and Music by Woody Guthrie
Illustrated by Kathy Jakobsen
(This book, rich in detail, features printed music and a tribute to Woody Guthrie written by Pete Seeger.)

*

This Little Light of Mine (Raffi Songs to Read)

Traditional Tune
Additional Words by Raffi
Illustrated by Stacey Schuett

*

Three Little Birds
Book by Cedella Marley and Gerald Hausman
Adapted from the Song by Bob Marley
Illustrated by Mariah Fox

*

Walk Together Children (Black American Spirituals Volume One)
Words and Tunes by Various Artists
Edited by Ashely Bryan
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

*

We are One

Words and Music by Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell
Illustrated by Brian Pinkney
(This book comes with a wonderful CD of the song sung by Dr. Barnwell along with the other members of “Sweet Honey in the Rock,” a rich and fabulous a capella quintet, as well as a spoken reading of the book and a short introduction.)

*

We Shall Overcome (A Song That Changed the World)

By Stuart Stotts
Forward by Pete Seeger
With Illustrations by Terrance Cummings
(This is not a book that you can just sit down and sing, but it is ABOUT the SONGS that helped galvanize the civil rights movement, some of which have been illustrated into Singable Books)

*

What a Morning! (The Christmas Story in Black Spirituals)
Music and Lyrics by Various Artists
Selected and Edited by John Langstaff
Arrangements for Siging and Piano by John Andrew Ross
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

*

What a Wonderful World

Words and Music by Goerge David Weiss and Bob Thiele
Illustrated by Ashely Bryan
(Watch a short/sweet video of Ashley Bryan talking about where he’d most like to be in the world:
http://books.simonandschuster.ca/What-a-Wonderful-World/Bob-Thiele/9780689800870
Find the video window and just press Play)

*

Who Built the Ark (Based on an African-American Spiritual)
Traditional Words and Music
Illustrated by Pam Paparone

*

Whole World

Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Christopher Corr
(This book, published by Barefoot Books, includes a CD of the song sung by Fred Penner, pages of information for children about regions of the earth, and printed music)

**********************

Musical Picture Books Celebrating Important African American Musical Artists

*

Becoming Billie Holiday
Words and Music by Various Artists
Story by Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper

*

Elizabeth’s Song
Words and Music to the Song “Freight Train” by Elizabeth Cotten
Story by Michael Wenberg
Illustrated by Cornelius Von Wright

*

Ella Fitzgerald: Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa
Book by Andrea David Pinkney
Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

*

Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat Ella Fitzgerald
Words and Music by Various Artists
Book by Roxane Orgill
Illustrated by Sean Qualls

*

When Marian Sang
Words and Music by Various Artists
Text by Pam Munoz Ryan
Illustrated by Brian Selznick
This book is peppered throughout with songs that Marian Anderson sang throughout her wonderful life.

*

Words to My Life’s Song
Written by Ashley Bryan
Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

**********************

For more information about the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, click here:
www.tinnerhill.org

For more information about African American History Month, click here:
http://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/

Many thanks to Nikki for her contributions to this list!

**********************
Related Articles

*
Singable Picture Books Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/singable-picture-books-honoring-the-legacy-of-dr-martin-luther-king-jr/

*
ASHLEY BRYAN
The Singable Picture Books of Ashley Bryan
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/the-singable-picture-books-of-ashley-bryan/

*
PICTURE BOOKS (NOT NECESSARILY SINGABLE) WHICH EMBRACE MUSIC AS AN IMPORTANT AND ENRICHING PART OF OUR LIVES

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/picture-books-not-necessarily-singable-which-embrase-music-as-an-important-and-enriching-component-of-our-lives/

*
Fok Singer Josh White on History Detecitves (“Believe” and “If not now, when?”)

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/09/18/folksinger-josh-white-on-history-detectives/

*
For the Love of Ella – from MM’s Video Master Class of Classic Performances on YouTube (and the SPBs of Ella Fitzgerald)

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/for-the-love-of-ella-from-mms-video-master-class-of-classic-performances-on-youtube/

*
Video Master Class in Live Performance Assembled by Michael Miyazaki

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/video-master-class-in-live-performance-assembled-by-michael-miyazaki/

*
Singable Picture Books Celebrating February is African American History Month

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/singable-picture-books-celebrating-african-american-history-month/

*
Singable Picture Book Lists for Special Occasions & Interests

http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/song-book-lists-for-all-occasions/

*
BLUES, THE BLUES
The Blues in Illustrated and Otherwise Musically Related Picture Books (yet another list inspired by Nikki)

*
TOLERANCE AND COMPASSION
Singable Picture Books Celebrating Tolerance and Compassion (another list inspired by Nikki)
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/singable-picture-books-celebrating-tolerance-and-compassion-another-list-inspired-by-nikki/

*
AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH

A list of Singable Picture Books that celebrate February is African American History Month
http://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/singable-picture-books-celebrating-african-american-history-month/

*
MUSIC INSPIRED SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS COLLECTED BY SING BOOKS WITH EMILY ON PINTEREST

*
BROWN BABY READS
Brown Baby Reads, a Website and Database Committed to Literacy for African American Children

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Calendar of SBWE Posts

Archives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 206 other followers

%d bloggers like this: