Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Singable Picture Books with a GREEN Theme

Posted on: January 6, 2011


From Brian Wildsmith’s Illustration of A Child’s Garden of Verses.

I was asked to create a Sing Books with Emily song set with a GREEN theme.  This got me thinking about all the wonderful songs and Singable Picture Books which could fit under that umbrella offering ideas of environmental stewardship, love and glory in the Earth, love and glory in earth’s creatures, and other ideas relating to earth’s beauty and bounty.  I will think broadly here, but my selections for each 30 minute set would come from the following list.

Many of the song titles below have illustrated versions by a number of different illustrators (each one fabulous in its way) but selfishly, I will include my favorite versions below.  Please check the Singable Bookshelves for other versions and illustrations that might become your FAVORITES.

Occasionally, I might highlight a particularly favorite compilation of poetry, but almost any edition of children’s poetry will contain singable Poems with subjects of worldly wonder, earthly beauty, environmental stewardship, and love and glory in earth’s amazing creatures.  So, the list below may seem like a long one, but the range of this subject and Singable Possibilities are vast.

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A Fairy Went A-Marketing
Poem by Rose Fyleman
Illustrated by Jachimael Henterly
Musical Setting can be found by Ginger Sands on her collection “The Gift of Make Believe

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A-Is an Alligator
Poster Card by Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus
Click here to view or print the poster card:
A-Is an Alligator lyrics poster card

Sing “A-Is an Alligator“ to the Tune of “A-You’re Adorable
Words Adapted by Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus
Sing this song along with,
Alphabeasties (and other Amazing Types),
Alphabet Flash Cards and Floor Puzzles

(Alphabet Flash Cards and Floor Puzzles)
By Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss

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Albuquerque Turkey [Hardcover]
Traditional Tune (Sing to the Tune of “Oh, My Darlin’ Clementine“)
Words Adapted by B. G. Ford
Illustrated by Lucinda McQueen

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All God’s Critters
Words and music by Bill Staines
Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

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All in the Woodland Early (And ABC Book)
Words and Music by Jane Yolen
Illustrated by Jane Breskin Zalben

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All the World
Words by Liz Garton Scanlon
Illustrated by Marla Frazee
Sing to the tune of “Twinkle Little Star

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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

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Alphabeasties (and other Amazing Types)
Words and Illustrations by Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss
Sing this to the tune of the ABC Song.

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Alphabeasties (and other Amazing Types),
Alphabet Flash Cards and Floor Puzzles

(Alphabet Flash Cards and Floor Puzzles)
By Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss
Sing this to the tune of the ABC Song.
Or, sing this with, A-Is an Alligator
Poster Card by Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus
Click here to view or print the poster card:
A-Is an Alligator lyrics poster card

Sing “A-Is an Alligator“ to the Tune of “A-You’re Adorable
Words Adapted by Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus

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America the Beautiful

Poem by Katharine Lee Bates
Music by Samuel A. Ward
Illustrated by Chris Gall
(This book features printed music and a page of information about the artwork.)

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America the Beautiful in the Words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Illustrated by Various Aritsts
Music by Various Artists

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Animals Animals
Poems and Music by Various Artists
Illustrated by Eric Carle

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Arctic Antics
Words by Judy Sierra
Music by Robert Reynolds & Scotty Huff
Illustrated by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey
(“Arctic Antics” is featured in the Scholastic Video Collection)

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At the Zoo
Word and Music by Paul Simon
Illustrated by Valerie Michaut

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Baby Beluga

Words and Music by Raffi
Illustrated by Ashley Wolff
(Raffi Songs to Read)

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Being Green

Words and Music by Joe Raposo
Illustrated by Etienne Delessert

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A Children’s Treasury of Poems
Words and Music by Various Artists
Illustrated by Linda Bleck
This compilation includes:
“How Doth the Little Crocodile”  (Words by Lewis Carroll)
Sing “How Doth…” along with Emily: http://soundcloud.com/singbookswithemily/how-doth-the-little-crocodile-eleg-2010
“Little Turtle” (Poem by Vachel Lindsay, Traditional Tune)
Sing “Little Turtle” along with Emily: http://soundcloud.com/singbookswithemily/there-was-a-little-turtle-eleg-2010
The Owl and the Pussycat (Poem by Edward Lear, Musical Composition by Janene Ping and Lorraine Nelson Wolf)
Sing “O&P” along with Emily: http://soundcloud.com/singbookswithemily/o-p-eleg-061909
“The Swing”  (Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, Traditional Tune)

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Any illustrated version of “A Child’s Garden of Verses” will have a wonderful selection of songs which glorify the beauty of nature…

A Child’s Garden of Verses
Poems by Robert Louis Stevenson
Musical Settings by Various Artists
Illustrated by Brian Wildsmith

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creepy crawly songbook
A Creepy Crawly Song Book
Words by Hiawyn Oram
Music by Carl Davis
Illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura
ISBN 0-374-31639-2

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Crocodile Smile (10 Songs of the Earth as Animals See It)
Words and Music by Sarah Weeks
Illustrated by Lois Ehlert
The 2003 HarperCollins publication of this book, ISBN # 9780060557454,  includes a CD with Sarah Weeks singing her songs
The songs published in this book are also found on a CD titled “I am an Animal, Songs of Earth as Animals See It

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Down in the Jungle

Traditional Words and Tune
Words Adapted by Mandy Ross
Illustrated by Elisa Squillance

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To learn and remember the places on Earth, I think it helps first to care about what happens to it, and each person’s role in its care.
Earth Pledge ELEG SBWE chords

Earth Pledge
Words by Artist Janina Lamb
Tune and Chords by ELEG for SBWE

Sing the Earth Pledge with Emily

soundcloud.com/singbookswithemily/earthpledge
To view or print this page, click here:
Earth Pledge ELEG SBWE chords

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To learn and remember the places on Earth, I think it helps first to care about what happens to it, and each person’s role in its care.
EARTH PLEDGE poster Janina Lamb2
Earth Pledge
Words by Artist Janina Lamb
Tune and Chords by ELEG for SBWE

Sing the Earth Pledge with Emily

soundcloud.com/singbookswithemily/earthpledge

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A Family of Poems (My Favorite Poetry for Children)

Selected by Caroline Kennedy
Illustrated by Jon Muth
This book includes the Singable Poems:
“The Swing” by RLS is printed and illustrated on pps. 105-106
Who Has Seen the Wind by Christina Rossetti is printed and illustrated on p. 75

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FLOWER CAROL
“Tempus adest floridum”
Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated with Art by Giuseppe Arcimboldo
Book Assembled by Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus
To view or print a copy of the BOOKLET, click here:
flower carol arcimboldo
To view or print a copy of the ONE PAGER, click here:
flower carol arcimboldo one pager
This item is for classroom, home, or library use only.

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Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night (An Old Song)

Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Peter Spier
Published by Dell Dragonfly Books, New York, 1961
ISBN 0-440-40829-6

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Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night
Traditional Words and Music
Illustrated by Wendy Watson

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Frog Went A-Courtin’

Traditional Words and Tune
Re-Told by John Langstaff
Illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky

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Getting to Know You
Words by Oscar Hammerstein II
Music by Richard Rodgers
Illustrated by Rosemary Wells
(This fantastic book contains illustrations and lyrics for 16 Rogers and Hammerstein songs!  The songs range from “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” to “Some Enchanted Evening.”  Also included are paragraph introductions from the children of Rogers and Hammerstein, Mary Rogers and William Hammerstein, and from the illustrator Rosemary Wells, articulating the importance and Joy of Singable Picture Books which help preserve and convey the Amazing American Musical Heritage.)

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The Gift of Make-Believe (Read and Sing Along Lyric Book)
Words by Various Artists
Tunes by Ginger Sands and Various Artists
Illustrations derived from published works of Various Artists

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Gobble It Up (A Fun Song About Eating)

Words and Music by Jim Arnosky
Illustrated by Jim Arnosky

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Going to the Zoo

Words and Music by Tom Paxton
Illustrated by Karen Lee Schmidt
(This book features printed music)

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Hey, Little Ant
Sing to the Tune of “Five Little Ducks”
Words by Phillip and Hannah Hoose
Illustrated by Debbie Tilley

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Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
Traditional Tune
New Lyrics by Christine Lavin
Illustrated by Betsy Franco Feeney

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Home on the Range

Words by Dr. Brewster Higley
Music by Dan Kelley
Illustrations by Brian Ajhar

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A House is a House for Me
Words by Mary Ann Hoberman
Music by Fred Penner
Illustrated by Betty Fraser

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Hush, Little Baby
Traditional Words and Tune (Sing to the tune of “Hush Little Baby”)
Words Adapted by Sylvia Long
Illustrated by Sylvia Long
(This adaptation has a wonderful “non-material” theme where the mother offers the gift of viewing  lovely things in nature)

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If You’re Happy and You Know It, Jungle Edition

Traditional Words and Tune
Words Adapted by James Warhola
Illustrations by James Warhola

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I Had a Rooster
Traditional Words and Tune
Forward by Pete Seeger
Illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
(You can hear Pete Seeger singing “I Had a Rooster” here: http://www.amazon.com/I-Had-a-Rooster/dp/B000S3AOQY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1275250296&sr=8-1)

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I Love the Mountains
Traditional Words and Music
Words Adapted by John Archembault and David R. Plummer
Illustrated by Susan Swan

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I’m a Manatee
Words by John Lithgow
Music by Bill Elliott
Illustrated by Ard Hoyt
(This book includes a vocal and instrumental track on a sing-along CD as well as a printed music…TERRIFIC!!)

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I’m A Turkey!
Spoken Word Song
Written by Jim Arnosky
Illustrations by Jim Arnosky
This book comes with permission to download the Spoken Word Song from a website

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Inch by Inch (The Garden Song)
Words and Music by David Mallett
Illustrated by Ora Eitan

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Last Song (A Lullaby)
Words by James Guthrie
Music by Emily Everson Gleichenhaus and Paul Raiman
Illustrated by Eric Rohmann
Sing-Along with Emily:
http://soundcloud.com/singbookswithemily/last-song

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Any one of the books in “The Peter Yarrow Songbook” series has songs that will fit nicely into a theme of GREEN…

Let’s Sing Together
The Peter Yarrow Songbook
Compiled by Peter Yarrow
Illustrated by Terry Widener
(A collection of folk songs, Illustrated)

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Let There Be Peace on Earth (And Let It Begin with Me)
Music and words by Jill Jackson and Sy Miller
Illustrations by David Diaz

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Marsupial Sue
Words by John Lithgow
Music by Bill Elliott
Illustrated by Jack E. Davis
(This book includes a vocal and instrumental track on a sing-along CD as well as a printed music…GREAT!!)

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The Moon
Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson
Illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson
(This poem by RLS is from “A Child’s Garden of Verses.” Robert Louis Stevenson’s poems are wonderfully musical and singable which is why so many have been set to music.  My favorite version of “The Moon” is by Ted Jacobs, on his album “A Child’s Garden of Songs,” Track 14, you can preview the song by clicking here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002EIS9HW/ref=dm_dp_trk14?ie=UTF8&qid=1266672852&sr=8-1)

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Morning Has Broken

Traditional Hymn
Poem by Eleanor Farjeon
Illustrated by Tim Ladwig
Sing-along with Emily:
http://soundcloud.com/singbookswithemily/morning-has-broken-eleg-2010

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northwest passage
Northwest Passage
Song Words and Music by Stan Rogers
Text by Matt James
Illustrated by Matt James

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Ogden Nash’s Musical Zoo
Poems by Ogden Nash
Music by Vernon Duke
Illustrated by Frank Owen

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Ogden Nash’s Zoo

Poems by Ogden Nash
Illustrated by Etienne Delessert
(See “Ogden Nash’s Musical Zoo” for tunes by Vernon Duke)

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Old MacNoah Had an Ark
Traditional Tune (Sing to the tune of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”)
Words adapted by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Illustrated by Jill Newton

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One Wide River to Cross

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

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Over in the Meadow (Barefoot Books)
Words by Olive A. Wadsworth
Words Adapted by Jill McDonald
Music by Mabel Wood Hill
Illustrated by Jill McDonald
Published by Barefoot Books 

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Over in the Meadow
Based on the Original Version by Olive A. Wadsworth
Words by Olive A. Wadsworth
Music by Mabel Wood Hill
Illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats

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Over in the Meadow (Classic Books with Holes)

Words by Olive A. Wadsworth
Music by Mabel Wood Hill
Illustrated by Michael Evans

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The Owl and the Pussycat

Words by Edward Lear
Illustrated by Jan Brett
(The poem has been set to music a few times. But, for a tune to sing along, I suggest the “Owl and the Pussycat,” vocal track by Lorraine Nelson Wolf on her album “Come Follow Me,” Track 16)
Sing “O&P” along with Emily: http://soundcloud.com/singbookswithemily/o-p-eleg-061909

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Poetry for Young People: Animal Poems

Edited byJohn Hollander
Illustrated by Simona Mulazzani
(Singable Poems include: “The Frog and the Mouse” by Anonymous [think “Froggie Went A-Courtin'”], “How Doth the Little Crocodile” by Lewis Carroll, “The Owl and the Pussycat” by Edward Lear)

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Poetry for Young People: Emily Dickinson

Edited by Frances Schoonmaker Bolin
Illustrated by Chi Chung

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Poetry for Young People: The Seasons

Edited by John N. Serio
Illustrated by Robert Crockett
Singable poems include:
Sumer is icumen in” an ancient round,
maggie and milly and molly and may,” by ee cummings
The Wild Swans at Coole” by W.B. Yeats)

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The Rainforest Grew All Around
Traditional Tune (“Green Grass Grew All Around)
Text and Word Adaptations by Susan K. Mitchell
Illustrated by Connie McLennan
(This book includes, besides lyrics, panels of information about each plant or animal mentioned in the song.  It has won many a parent and educator’s choice awards.)

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School House Rock, The Box Set
Produced by Kid Rhino Records
(This set has 4 CD’s with all the classic songs.  The Box is set up like the denim cloth 3 ring binders you remember from school days, filled with loose leaf college ruled pages and “hand written” notes about the songs, composers, creators and animators.)

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Science Verse

Poems, Traditional Words and Tunes
Words Adapted by Jon Scieszka
Illustrated by Lane Smith

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The Sesame Street Songbook (64 Favorite Songs Featuring Jim Henson’s Sesame Street Puppets)
Words, music, and arrangements by various artists
Illustrations by David Prebenna
This Songbook includes the following songs featured in this blog:
Being Green
Sesame Street Theme

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Sing a Whale Song
Story and Songs by Tom Chapin and John Forster
Illustrated by Jerry Smath

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Song of the Swallows
Book Text by Leo Politi
Traditional Words and Tunes
Illustrated by Leo Politi

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The Songs of Sesame Street in Poems and Pictures

Words (and Music) by Various Artists
Illustrated by Normand Chartier
This book includes the following songs featured in this blog:
Sesame Street Theme (endpapers)
I Love Trash
Rubber Duckie

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The Sparrow
Words and Music by Jill Leger
Illustrated by Jill Leger
Sing-Along on Youtube with a karaoke video of “The Sparrow”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hlxqa-eXTVw
Hear Emily’s recording of “The Sparrow” on: http://soundcloud.com/singbookswithemily/the-sparrow-eleg-by-jill-leger

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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Poem by Robert Frost
Illustrated by Susan Jeffers
(Can be sung to the tune of “Greensleeves)
Sing “Stopping by Woods” along with Emily:
http://soundcloud.com/singbookswithemily/stopping-by-woods-eleg-2010

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Sunshine on My Shoulders
Words and Music by John Denver
Illustrated by Christopher Canyon
Related posts:
*John Denver “Sunshine” on Johnny Carson: https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/john-denver-on-singing-the-tonight-show-with-johnny-carson-1974/
*ArtsEdge Poetry Class Suggests “Sunshine”: https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/kennedy-center-artsedge-set-a-poem-to-music-creating-singable-songs-from-poetry-in-print/

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The Surrey with the Fringe on the Top

Words by Oscar Hammerstein II
Music by Richard Rodgers
Illustrated by James Warhola

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Sweet Suffolk Owl
Poem Attributed to an Anonymous Author
Music by Thomas Vautor (1619) (Thomas Vautor’s musical setting: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbkTP7NJXME )
Music by Richard Hundley (1981) (Richard Hundley’s musical setting: www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCOijXQEeqk)
Illustrations Assembled by Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus
You can sing-along with this book I assembled, to view or print, click here:
sweet suffolk owl book for singing

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swing RLS julie morstad
The Swing
Poem by Robert Lewis Stevenson
Traditional Tune
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Originally Published in A Child’s Garden of Verses
ISBN 978-1897476482
Sing “The Swing” with Emily:

https://soundcloud.com/singbookswithemily/the-swing-rls-eleg-sbwe

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There Was an Old Man Who Painted the Sky by Teri Sloat: Book Cover
There Was an Old Man Who Painted the Sky
Traditional tune
Words by Teri Sloat
Illustrated by Stefano Vitale
(Sing to the tune of “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”)

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This Land Is Your Land (Book and CD) by Woody Guthrie: Book Cover

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.)

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The Tree in the Wood
(An Old Nursery Song)
Adapted and Illustrated by Christopher Manson

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turn turn turn seeger halperin
Turn! Turn! Turn!
Words From Ecclesiastes (c. 250 BCE, Translated into English in 1607)
Arranged and adapted with Music by Pete Seeger (in 1961)
Illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin (in 2003)
Sung by US, Today

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Tweedle Dee Dee
Traditional Words and Tune (Text based on the traditional song “The Tree in the Wood,” AKA “The Green Grass Grew All Around”)
Illustrated by Charlotte Voake

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Twelve Days of Summer

Traditional Tune (“Twelve Days of Christmas”)
Word Adaptations by Jan Andrews
Illustrated by Susan Rennick Jolliffe

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Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree
Music Map Series: Multicultural Song 5
Published by Koomzaal
Traditional Words and Tune

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Walking Through the Jungle

Traditional Words and Tune
Illustrated by Debbie Harter
(This book, published by Barefoot Books comes packaged with a 2 track sing-along CD with Fred Penner’s vocals on one track and an instrumental on the other)

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Way Up in the Arctic
Traditional Tune (Sing to the tune of “Over in the Meadow”)
Words Adapted by Jennifer Ward
Illustrated by Kenneth J. Spengler

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Wee Sing Animals, Animals, Animals

Traditional Songs by Various Artists
Compiled and Arranged by Pamela Conn Beal and Susan Hagen Nipp
Illustrated by Nancy Spence Klein

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We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Words and Music by Michael Rosen
Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
Watch and listen to Michael Rosen sing the song in his book: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytc0U2WAz4s

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We’re Sailing to Galapagos (A Week in the Pacific)

Traditional Tune
Words by Laurie Krebs
Illustrated by Grazia Restelli
(Published by Barefoot books, this beautifully illustrated book features pages of information about the creatures that inhabit the Galapagos Islands, about the islands themselves and about Charles Darwin)

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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)

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Related Articles

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MISS RUMPHIUS AND MAKING SOMETHING LASTINGLY BEAUTIFUL

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/miss-rumphius-and-making-something-lastingly-beautiful/

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EDUCATIONAL CONTENT

A list of SPBs with fun and sneakily educational content.  The kids won’t even know they’re learning!
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/singable-picture-books-with-sneaky-educational-content/

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GEOGRAPHY SONGS

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