Keeping with the theme of fun and frivolity I started last week, I hereby present 4 colourful new kids’ books that reinvent some musical ‘old favourites’ for young readers. Music is a fantastic device for assisting with learning to read. Repetition, rhyme and rhythm help littlies to remember new words and make comparisons between sound groups. Reciting songs, poems or favourite lines from a story book enhances memory development and aids comprehensions skills. But apart from all of that, adding music to stories is great fun!
Hokey Pokey (Aussie Edition) by Sarah Hardy & Ed Allen
Scholastic Australia RRP: $16.99
We are all familiar with the standard ‘put your left hand in’ version of the Hokey Pokey. This creative revision adds humour and Australian animals to the mix – two of most Aussie kids’ favourite things! With a bonus CD included, you can get the kids up and dancing like a kookaburra, lizard or bilby. ‘You put your left wing in, you put your left wing out…’ Just like the original, the song encourages learning about left and right, and the parts of the body; while the book provides opportunities for reading education as kids can follow the words while they listen to the CD.
10 Clumsy Emus by Ed Allen & Wendy Binks
Scholastic Australia RRP: $9.99
Another book filled with bright, humorous animal pics, the words to this story can be sung to the tune of ’10 Green Bottles’. My kids hadn’t heard that song before, but they picked it up straight away and can now ‘sing’ the story themselves. These cute and quirky emus get up to all sorts of accidental mischief in situations young kids can easily relate to. ‘Six clumsy emus making paper shapes…And if one clumsy emu gets tangled in the tape, there’ll be five clumsy emus making paper shapes.’ The colourful illustrations also include hidden numbers that add to the learning potential of this light hearted counting lesson.
Juicy Juicy Green Grass by Peter Combe and Danielle McDonald
Scholastic Australia RRP: $16.99
Peter Combe has been entertaining kids for over 20 years and is an award winning children’s songwriter. This book combines 4 of Combe’s popular songs with bright illustrations that focus on wordplay, colour identification and learning the days of the week. The bonus CD, again, allows kids to listen to the music while they read along with the story, making this a great addition to classrooms. Pre-readers can also enjoy the vivid colours and the chance to sing along with mum or dad!
There’s a Hole In My Bucket Sung by the Topp Twins, illustrated by Jenny Cooper
Scholastic Australia RRP: $12.99
This was an interesting one to test on my children. They hadn’t heard the song before and thought it was a little bit out there, to be honest. But, once I’d explained the cruel irony of the bucket situation, they were able to see the fun in it – helped considerably by the whacky illustrations in this edition. This is a board book, making it sturdy for little hands (and mouths) and comes with a bonus CD of comedy duo the Topp Twins’ hilarious, country music rendition. Mr 3 has been bugging his big sisters with repeated attacks of ‘Dear Liza, Dear Liza’ ever since.
These books are all available in stores now – or keep an eye on your ‘book club’ brochures if you have kids at school or kindy in Australia. For more information, visit the Scholastic store online.
With thanks to Scholastic Australia for my review copies.