The Center for Children's Books


Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Music, Motion, and Rhythm - April 2006

Selected and annotated by Yael Taylor


Barasch, Lynne. Knockin' on Wood Starring Peg Leg Bates; written and illus. by Lynne Barasch. Lee & Low, 2004. Gr. 2-4
Simply told, with enough explanation of historical terms, the story of Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates makes you want to dance and not let anything stop you.

Chambers, Veronica. Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa; illus. by Julie Maren. Dial, 2005. 6-8 yrs.
The story starts with Celia's childhood and takes the reader thorough her life. Lyrical prose paints an engaging picture of the rising star. Illustrations enhance the story with colors reminiscent of salsa.

Frank, Lucy. Lucky Stars. Jackson/Atheneum, 2005. Gr. 5-7
Told in alternating voices, this is the story of a singer, a stutterer, a deadbeat dad, and middle school kids who stand up for themselves in spite of the odds.

Guthrie, Woody. Howdi Do; illus. by Vladimir Radunsky. Candlewick, 2000. 2-4 yrs.
Easy lyrics and simple illustrations encourage audience participation. The chorus of nonsense words is fun to sing along to.

Hest, Amy. Mr. George Baker; illus. by Jon J. Muth. Candlewick, 2004. 4-7 yrs.
The wonderful drumming rhythm of words carries the story of an elderly drummer and his young friend who are just learning to read.

High, Linda Oatman. Sister Slam and the Poetic Motormouth Road Trip. Bloomsbury, 2004. Gr. 7-12
A poetic, go-get-it story, with a fat girl in her glory and a lesson in each chapter, with love and tears and sweat and laughter.

Marsalis, Wynton. Jazz A·B·Z; illus. by Paul Rogers. Candlewick, 2005. Gr. 8-12
Written by Jazz artist and lyricist Wynton Marsalis, this is no ordinary ABC book. Instead it illustrates 26 Jazz Artists and uses alliteration to speak about each of them.

Myers, Walter Dean. Blues Journey; illus. by Christopher Myers. Holiday House, 2003. Gr. 3-7
This story of people, music and truth is told in stanzas.

Rappaport, Doreen. John's Secret Dreams: the Life of John Lennon; illus. by Bryan Collier. Hyperion, 2004. Gr. 4-8
Seemingly simple illustrations and various quotes form John's lyrics help the story flow smoothly as it reveals where much of his inspiration came from.

Reich, Susanna. José! Born to Dance; illus. by Raúl Colón. Wiseman/Simon, 2005. 7-10 yrs.
José Limon's story tells of war and bullfights through music, art, and dreams.

Say, Allen. Music for Alice; written and illus. by Allen Say. Lorraine/ Houghton, 2004. Gr. 3-6
This is the story of a young Japanese American woman who loves to dance. It tells of her life with her husband and the hard times in which they live and work. Throughout, she finds rhythm and realizes that she doesn't have to give up the dance.

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