Picture Books Based on Hymns
I love singing to Elliot throughout the day, but I don't have the best memory, so I often forget lyrics. One of my favorite picture book genres is sing-along books, or books that have lyrics from well-known songs, both Christian and secular. Elliot absolutely loves these books, so I have searched our library for different picture books specifically about Christian hymns to help expose him to the rich text of classic hymns while he is also exposed to the beautiful illustrations that help conceptualize the text. I sing-read these books during our morning nursing session after we read our storybook Bible and pray together. It's become a sweet tradition I look forward to continuing even when he's no longer nursing in the mornings. My hope is that he'll start singing along with me one day. Some of these hymns are centuries old, so it is a pretty amazing thing that they've been preserved and enjoyed for so long. I want Elliot to be exposed to Christian history, and music and art is one easy way to start in the early years. Some of these books have the music sheets at the back of the book, so if you are musically inclined, you can play an instrument as you sing the song! I plan on trying this with my violin in the near future. Or, what I want to do more often, is hand Elliot a few of his toy instruments to sing along and make his own joyful noise as I sing through the book.
There is research on how combining reading and music together is an exceptional way to boost vocabulary, teach rhythm and rhyming, accentuate different parts of a word or phrase that may be missed in a regular reading voice, and is just so fun for both the reader and child to add some variety to read-alouds. Here are my current favorites. I was surprised that my library (and inter-library system connected with my public library) had so many of these. It may help to make a playlist on Youtube, Amazon Music, or whatever music platform you use to save the songs of the picture books you choose to introduce to your child. It's fun when Elliot hears a song he recognizes form our picture books and will likely help him retain the lyrics better as well.