Songs Turned Bookish.
I love to sing with my girls. I’m NOT a singer, and I dearly hope they won’t grow up tone deaf or generally harmed by my lack of singing ability, but I still think singing with them is important. As a baby, Munchkin #1 was fussy about 85% of the time, so I sang to her for large chunks of every day. Munchkin #2 is much more easygoing, so she hasn’t had as much singing in her life. I’m making a concerted effort to remedy this, so she won’t feel neglected. She’ll still have plenty of things to tell her therapist, though, so don’t worry.
As they get older, I’m relying on books based on songs to keep the music going. We’ve already noticed that Munchkin #1 will pick a song-based book up and sing her way through it. She even accompanied herself on a hotel air-conditioner “piano” a few weeks ago. (Of course, only Nana got to witness this.) Here are just two of our current favorites:
Ezra Jack Keats did a beautiful rendering of Over in the Meadow, and we love to sing this together. The illustrations are calming and peaceful enough to make this exciting song suitable for bedtime. I particularly love the way Keats included bit and pieces of real plants in his paintings.
If you have two little people at your house, this one will make you smile. Mara Frazee took the original lyrics to Hush, Little Baby, and illustrated them with a twist. In this version, the baby in the house is finally asleep, but older sister gets a little too vigorous with her cradle rocking. Baby wakes, and the entire family tries everything to get her back to sleep. The illustrations are rooted in the Appalachian tradition of the song, and the end result of this hilarious story is actually quite sweet. The pictures give you plenty to discuss, when you’re done singing the “lullaby.”