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  • Kraig Brachman

5 Musical Children’s Books

In our continual effort to bring you interesting children's books and pursue strange new directions, we are serving up five new book highlights, this time with a musical bent. Covering the genres of Canadiana, rap, rock, and a general love of music, today's list is one that can get your toes tapping, busting hot rhymes, and rocking out while you read to your kids!

As always, all our suggestions can be borrowed from the Calgary Public Library for free, and we included read along videos when possible. Enjoy!

The Log Driver’s Waltz

A beautiful, contemporary picture book adaptation of a beloved Canadian classic.

If you ask any girl from the parish around

What pleases her most from her head to her toes

She’ll say I’m not sure that it’s business of yours

But I do like to waltz with a log driver

Based on the perennially popular Canadian folk song and animated short film of the same name, The Log Driver’s Waltz showcases a spunky, independent young woman whose parents are keen for her to marry. The town’s well-to-do doctors, merchants, and lawyers try to impress her, but it’s the humble log driver—with his style, grace, and joie de vivre—who captures her attention. When she and the log driver finally meet on the dance floor, their joy leaps off the page.

With homages to the original film, and celebrating the flora, fauna, and folk art of this great land, The Log Driver’s Waltz brings a hallmark of Canadian childhood to life. -- Simon & Schuster

Borrow it from the Calgary Public Library:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, [Vol.] 17 Diper Överlöde

Written by Jeff Kinney

When he decides to tag along with his brother Rodrick’s band, Löded Diper, Greg doesn’t realize what he’s getting into. But he soon learns that late nights, unpaid gigs, fighting between band members, and money troubles are all part of the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle.

Can Greg help Löded Diper become the legends they think they are? Or will too much time with Rodrick’s band be a diper överlöde? --

Borrow it from the Calgary Public Library:

Northwest Passage

By Stan Rogers, illustrated by Matt James

Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Illustration

Award-winning artist Matt James takes the iconic song "Northwest Passage" by legendary Canadian songwriter and singer Stan Rogers and tells the dramatic story of the search for the elusive route through the Arctic Ocean to the Pacific, which for hundreds of years and once again today, nations, explorers and commercial interests have dreamt of conquering, often with tragic consequences.

The lyrics are accompanied by the striking paintings of multiple award-winning artist Matt James. Matt brings a unique vision to the song and the history behind it, providing commentary on the Franklin expedition and its failure to heed the wisdom of Inuit living in the North. The book also contains the music for the song (as well as a final verse that was never recorded), maps, a timeline of Arctic exploration, mini-biographies and portraits of the principal explorers, and suggestions for further reading. -- House of Anansi

Borrow it from the Calgary Public Library:

The Story of Rap:

By Editors of Caterpillar Books, and illustrated by Lindsey Sagar

Award Winner: 2019 National Parenting Product

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!

Parental Advisory: May cause toddlers to develop excessive amounts of swagger. -- Silver Dolphin Books

Borrow it from the Calgary Public Library:

Music is...

By Brandon Stosuy, and illustrated by Amy Martin

From music writer and The Creative Independent/Kickstarter Editor in Chief Brandon Stosuy, comes an entertaining new board book that introduces the many moods, styles, and senses of music to the youngest audiophiles—because music is for everyone, and music is for you.

Featuring Amy Martin’s dynamic art style, Music Is… explains music through our eyes and ears so that the sense of hearing is transformed into a visual experience. A pitch-perfect board book that is sure to strike a chord with readers of all ages. -- Simon & Schuster

Borrow it from the Calgary Public Library:


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