12 Top-Notch Music Books for Kids

Music is the universal language. It evokes feelings, tells stories, and inspires us, and it makes us feel good! Think of your favorite song to listen to when you need to pump yourself up or the playlist you put on to relax in the evening. Music is a powerful tool. Even music with lyrics in a different language can speak to us through rhythm, instrumentation, and style.

Kids love music, so to enhance your little one’s love of music, teach them about the art of making music and famous musicians by reading books about music! There are so many great music books to choose from! There are books about musicians and styles of music. Additionally, there are books on the history of musical styles and music books that teach instruments and musical terms.

Free Ethnic boy playing ukulele while sitting with mother and sister Stock Photo

Read on to learn about our recommended list of top-notch music books for kids, then head to the library to check a few out for you and your kid!

Books About Musicians

A is for Audra: Broadway’s Leading Ladies from A to Z  by John Robert Allman

“Step into the spotlight and celebrate a cavalcade of Broadway’s legendary ladies. Start with “A” for six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, then sing and dance your way through the alphabet with beloved entertainers like Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Chita Rivera, Lea Salonga, Kristin Chenoweth, Kelli O’Hara, and Liza Minnelli!”

As a theater person, I, of course, love this book! I received it as a gift a few years ago and, ever since, have recommended it several times! Not only does it teach kids about one of my favorite music and performance styles, but it’s also an excellent way to learn about some of the greatest performers of all time! Specifically, the book title includes one of my all-time favorites, Audra MacDonald. Furthermore, it has a few other note-worthy names like Idina Menzel (Elsa for Frozen fans and the mother-and-daughter duo Judy Garland and Liza Minelli!

To learn more and to purchase on Amazon, click here.

Becoming Bach by Tom Leonard

“As he grew, he saw patterns in everything. He would turn patterns into melodies and songs, eventually becoming one of the most important and celebrated composers ever. This is the story of Johann Sebastian Bach.”

Bach is undeniably one of the greatest composers of all time. He was a rock star in his day. Although kids may think classical music and history are boring, Bach’s life was anything but boring! This beautifully illustrated tale is a must-have music book for kids!

To learn more and to purchase on Amazon, click here.

Dancing Hands by Margarita Engle

“In soaring words and stunning illustrations, Margarita Engle and Rafael López tell the story of Teresa Carreño, a child prodigy who played piano for Abraham Lincoln.”

Most of us know that Mozart was a kid genius, but few people have heard the story of Teresa Carreno! Dancing Hands is an excellent music book for a kid who loves piano music! Teach your child the inspiring story of Teresa Carreño and her musical genius!

To learn more and to purchase on Amazon, click here.

Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle

“Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba’s traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.”

This is one of my favorite music books to read to young children. Not only does it have mega girl-power, but it also introduces kids to a style of music and a musician they likely are not familiar with yet! Moreover, it’s a great story of overcoming challenges and teaches the importance of perseverance and passion! Even though this book takes place decades ago, female drummers are still less common than male. So, it’s a great book to read to break down harmful stereotypes.

To learn more and to purchase on Amazon, click here.

Books About Instruments & Musical Terms

I Spy Music Instruments by Alex Malkovich

“This Super Cool “I Spy Music Instruments Book for Kids Ages 2-5” will keep kids entertained for hours. It features lots of fun, colorful images of over 100 musical instruments. This is a cute kid book that teaches the ABCs of musical instruments.”

If your kid loves I Spy books, this music book is an excellent way to introduce musical instruments. With over 100 different instruments included, they’ll be able to name everything from an accordion to a xylophone!

To learn more and to purchase on Amazon, click here.

Let’s Play an Instrument by Rachelle Burk

Let’s Play an Instrument is the perfect addition to your toddler’s bookcase. It explores musical instruments through the sounds and rhythms they create, which engage toddlers and young learners. Encourage your little one to create the sounds and rhythms with you as you read!

To learn more and to purchase on Amazon, click here.

M is for Melody by Kathy-jo Wargin

“From the oom pah pah of the brass section to the tickle and tease of the keyboard ivories, “M is for Melody” gives a music lesson in alphabet form. Instruments, composers, terms, and even musical styles are examined from A to Z in easy, read-aloud rhymes and expository, accompanied by colorful and engaging artwork.”

Alphabet books are always a great source for teaching your tot literacy skills alongside whatever theme the book teaches! Interacting with ABC books helps your child associate letters with their sounds and that each letter and word has meaning.

To learn more and to purchase on Amazon, click here.

Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin! by Llyod Moss

“When this book begins, the trombone is playing all by itself. But soon, a trumpet makes a duet, a French horn, a trio, and so on until the entire orchestra is assembled on stage. Written in elegant and rhythmic verse and illustrated with playful and flowing artwork, this unique counting book is the perfect introduction to musical groups.”

Another favorite of mine is this award-winning rhythmic rhyming book, which is an excellent way to introduce music and instruments to kids! Moreover, it has colorful and entertaining illustrations and introduces the concepts of counting and rhythm. The fun pictures and involvement of numbers make it simultaneously a music book and a counting book!

To learn more and to purchase on Amazon, click here.

Books About Types of Music

A Child’s Introduction to Jazz by Jabari Asim

“Welcome to jazz! Feel the music and rhythms of all the different styles of jazz, from swing and Dixieland to the blues and bebop, with this interactive introduction to the world’s coolest music.”

This upbeat book introduces kids to famous jazz musicians like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Additionally, it tells the history of Jazz, beginning with its roots in African music. The book has a pull-out instrument poster and links to download and listen to Jazz examples.

To learn more and to purchase on Amazon, click here.

The Story of Rap from Caterpillar Books

“From Grandmaster Flash to Kendrick Lamar, rap has shaped generations and brought a voice to the voiceless. Bop along with the greats in this adorable baby book that introduces little ones to the rappers that started it all!”

There aren’t many board books about rap, but children’s book publisher Caterpillar Books has you covered. In fact, they have a board book on just about every type of music! The Story of Rap has colorful, baby-friendly illustrations and a rhythmic, rhyming cadence! Therefore, it embodies the rhythm of rap in its writing. So get your groove going and rap the book to your little one!

To learn more and to purchase on Amazon, click here.

One, Two, Three O’Clock Rock: A First Number Book for Kids from Laughing Elephant Books

“In One, Two, Three O’Clock, Rock! the numbers from 1 to 10 (as well as the numbers 20, 50, and 100) are illustrated alongside classic rock-n-roll references. Every number from one to ten is paired with a rock song, like One Way or Another by Blondie, Just the Two of Us by The Beatles, Three Little Birds by Bob Marley, Four Sticks by Led Zeppelin, Five Years by David Bowie, and more.”

If you love rock and roll, this book is for you and your kid! What better way to learn their numbers than with the help of rock legends like David Bowie and throwback illustrations and musical instruments? And, if you love this book, then check out other Laughing Elephant Books like The Notorious A.B.C. or Apples to Zepplin.

To learn more and to purchase on Amazon, click here.

Wild Symphony by Dan Brown

“Travel through the trees and across the seas with Maestro Mouse and his musical friends! Young readers will meet a big blue whale and speedy cheetahs, tiny beetles, and graceful swans. Each has a special secret to share.”

Yes, you read the author’s name correctly; Dan Brown, who wrote the best-selling The DaVinci Code, also wrote this adorable book for kids! Just released in September of 2023, this practically brand-new music book is definitely one add to your shelf. Another reason to purchase this book is that Dan Brown is donating all of his royalties to support music education for children through the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation (CHNF). So this is one to consider, as it supports a great cause!

To learn more and to purchase on Amazon, click here.


Undoubtedly, many great books help teach your kids about music and musicians. So, instead of just choosing one or two, utilize the library or look for used books on sites like ThriftBooks to reduce costs and keep the learning going! Then, after reading these great music books, break out the music and instruments and have a dance party! Dancing is fun! Additionally, music and dancing relieve stress, increase our mood, and provide us with exercise!

October 17, 2023, by L. Elizabeth Forry

written by

L. Elizabeth Forry 

L. Elizabeth Forry is an Early Childhood Educator with fifteen years of classroom teaching experience. She earned a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from The University of North Dakota and has a Bachelor of Arts in English and one in Music from Lebanon Valley College. She has taught children in Japan, Washington D.C., Chicago, and suburban Maryland. She is trained as a reading therapist, has a TEFL certification, and has done extensive work with children regarding mental health, social-emotional development, gender development. She has written curriculum for children and educators and has led training sessions for parents and educators on various topics on early childhood development. She is the mother of two boys and resides outside of Annapolis, Maryland.

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