Picture Book Review ~ Musical Biographies part 5

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Folk songs are some the most singable songs out there and I used a ton of them in the classroom when I was teaching. From the more patriotic “This Land is Your Land” to the silly “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain” and everything in between, the majority of these songs started out much like the spirituals being adopted and adapted by various communities and changing slightly over time. But many of them have been used to convey messages, particularly of a political nature and one of the names most synonymous with this movement is Pete Seeger.

Born in NYC in 1919, Pete was shy but had a love of music and the truth instilled in him from an early age. He protested and attended rallies for the rights of workers during the Depression. He learned to play the banjo and absorbed the folk music he heard at festivals. He dropped out of school to form a band and met Woody Guthrie who let him tag along to some of his concerts and meetings he played at across the country. And did what he could to make a difference. WWII, marriage, civil rights, and various government issues all shaped Pete and Pete shaped those things right back. His discography isn’t extensive, he only released 5 official albums in his lifetime. But his influence is incalculable. And this book does a superb job of showing both pieces of that puzzle.

Pete Seeger book review

Pete Seeger book review2

Stand Up and Sing!: Pete Seeger, Folk Music, and the Path to Justice

Written by: Susanna Reich

Illustrated by: Adam Gustavson

Number of Pages: 32

Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2017

Age Range: 8-12

Rating: 4/5

 

One of my favorite ways to get my students involved was with music. As I mentioned above I sang a lot of folk songs with them particularly. Sometimes we’d just sing a capella, sometimes with a CD accompaniment, and often with the help of a picture book. There are so many great ones out there to choose from I’ll have to dedicate a whole post to them to do it justice but I wanted to leave you with a few to get you started. And add the caveat that kids (little ones at least 🙂 don’t care if you can’t carry a tune. Be enthusiastic, sing out, and they will join in. I promise!

 

This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie and Kathy Jakobsen

Yankee Doodle by Mary Ann Hoberman and Nadine Bernard Westcott

The Wheels on the Bus by Jane Cabrera

Down by the Station by Will Hillenbrand

 You Are My Sunshine by Dare Coulter

Down By the Bay by Raffi

Five Little Monkeys by Eileen Christelow

 

Oh, and so many more! Watch for a whole list to come a little later and thanks for joining me this week. I love sharing my favorite books and music with you and when those things overlap it just makes it all that much better. Happy Reading!

 

 

2 Replies to “Picture Book Review ~ Musical Biographies part 5”

  1. I used to teach and reading aloud was one of my favorite things to do. And you are right about the carrying a tune thing…. they don’t care! They just love being read to! Picture books are a great way to get kids into biographies. I used to read them to my fourth graders. Thanks for the great post!

    1. I could never decide if my favorite part of teaching was reading aloud or getting the book order boxes 😉
      Thanks for stopping by, Tina. I hope you find more here to your liking!

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