Celebrate Music & Arts in School

Celebrate Music & Arts in School

Piper Chen Sings

Piper Chen Sings By Phillipa Soo and Maris Pasquale Doran; illustrated by Qin Leng

An empowering story about a girl who turns her performance jitters into confidence when faced with singing a solo at her school concert. Inspired by the childhood experience of award-winning actress Phillipa Soo who originated the role of Eliza in Hamilton.

Piper Chen loves nothing more than to sing. She sings to the sun, and she sings to the moon. She sings to her stuffed animals and with the birds outside her window. So, when her music teacher asks if Piper would like to sing a solo in her school’s Spring Sing, all she can say is “yes!” But as practice continues, doubt and worry creep in and Piper’s confidence wavers. She feels like butterflies are having a dance party in her belly. At home, Piper finds Nai Nai, her grandmother, at the piano. They’ve always shared a love of music, and Piper knows if anyone can help her through the unsettling feeling in her stomach and to shine her brightest at the Spring Concert, it’s Nai Nai.

First time picture book writers and sisters-in-law, Phillipa Soo and Maris Pasquale Doran along with acclaimed illustrator Qin Leng have created a cheerful intergenerational and stunning story that inspires confidence in the face of nervousness

I Am a Masterpiece!

I Am a Masterpiece! By Mia Armstrong; illustrated by Alexandra Thompson

Tween actress Mia Armstrong celebrates her fun, funny, beautiful childhood living with Down syndrome in this debut picture book.

Mia likes many of the things other people like--going to the beach, the color blue, drawing. But she doesn't like when strangers stare at her because she looks different from them.

Down syndrome allows Mia to see and understand the world in a way that may not make sense to others. She considers it her superpower--and instead of it making her strange, she considers herself a masterpiece. As we all are.

In this sparkling picture book, Mia offers a glimpse into the life of a child with Down syndrome, helping some readers see themselves in a book and helping others understand those friends, classmates, and family members who are neurodivergent.

Beautiful Noise

Beautiful Noise By Lisa Rogers; illustrated by Il Sung Na

Open this unique picture book and meet John Cage, the pioneering, inspiring composer who believed all sound—from the crash of a slamming door to the whirr of a blender to the whoosh of the wind—was music.

For John Cage, music was everywhere: in the hum of the refrigerator, the screech of a garbage truck, the patter of the rain. But other people disagreed. They felt that, surely, a pianist on stage must actually play their piano to create music...not just sit there. And in no way was it melodic to turn a musician's mic on and off as they do play their instruments--it was just chaos!

John Cage found sound in silence, and knew that all noises were unique. All you had to do was listen to hear it.

Told in second person and paired with exciting illustrations as innovative as Cage's music, here is a picture book--perfect for any budding musician--that celebrates the genius of a nonconforming musician who always stayed true to his artistic vision.

Wild Symphony

Wild Symphony By Dan Brown; illustrated by Susan Batori

#1 New York Times bestselling author Dan Brown makes his picture book debut with this mindful, humorous, musical, and uniquely entertaining book!

The author will be donating all US royalties due to him to support music education for children worldwide, through the New Hampshire Charitable foundation.

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.

Along the way, you might spot the surprises Maestro Mouse has left for you- a hiding buzzy bee, jumbled letters that spell out clues, and even a coded message to solve!

Children and adults can enjoy this timeless picture book as a traditional read-along, or can choose to listen to original musical compositions as they read--one for each animal--with a free interactive smartphone app, which uses augmented reality to play the appropriate song for each page when a phone's camera is held over it.

The Green Piano

The Green Piano By Roberta Flack with Tonya Bolden; illlustrated by Hayden Goodman

This autobiographical picture book by the multiple Grammy Award-winning singer Roberta Flack recounts her childhood in a home surrounded by music and love: it all started with a beat-up piano that her father found in a junkyard, repaired, and painted green.

Growing up in a Blue Ridge mountain town, little Roberta didn't have fancy clothes or expensive toys...but she did have music. And she dreamed of having her own piano.

When her daddy spies an old, beat-up upright piano in a junkyard, he knows he can make his daughter's dream come true. He brings it home, cleans and tunes it, and paints it a grassy green. And soon the little girl has an instrument to practice on, and a new dream to reach for--one that will make her become a legend in the music industry.

Here is a lyrical picture book--perfect for aspiring piano players and singers--that shares an intimate look at Roberta Flack's family and her special connection to music.

Little Rosetta and the Talking Guitar

Little Rosetta and the Talking Guitar By Written and illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow

A picture-book biography of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the woman who invented rock and roll—a warm, inspiring tale of a childhood filled with music, community, and a drive to succeed.

"Music is the heart of our story," says Momma to young Rosetta, surprising her with her first guitar. Rosetta's strums sound like ker-plunks. But with practice and determination, she makes music, fingers hopping "like corn in a kettle," notes pouring over the church crowd "like summer rain washing the dust off a new day."

In this stunning picture book, author and illustrator Charnelle Pinkney Barlow imagines the childhood of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whose rural roots inspired the music we still hear today.

Young readers will see a child's dream become reality through hard work and perseverance. And they'll learn the overlooked story of a pioneering Black artist, whose contribution to music history is only now being discovered.

Harlem's Little Blackbird

Harlem's Little Blackbird By Renee Watson; illustrated by Christian Robinson

From Caldecott Honor winner Christian Robinson and acclaimed author Renee Watson, comes the inspiring true story of Florence Mills.

Born to parents who were both former slaves, Florence Mills knew at an early age that she loved to sing, and that her sweet, bird-like voice, resonated with those who heard her. Performing catapulted her all the way to the stages of 1920s Broadway where she inspired everyone from songwriters to playwrights. Yet with all her success, she knew firsthand how prejudice shaped her world and the world of those around her. As a result, Florence chose to support and promote works by her fellow black performers while heralding a call for their civil rights. Featuring a moving text and colorful illustrations, Harlem's Little Blackbird is a timeless story about justice, equality, and the importance of following one's heart and dreams.


A CARTER G. WOODSON ELEMENTARY HONOR BOOK
(awarded by the National Council for the Social Studies, 2013)

Benny Ramírez and the Nearly Departed

Benny Ramírez and the Nearly Departed By José Pablo Iriarte

Benny Ramírez can see dead people . . . Well, one dead person, anyway. A hilarious and heartwarming story about a boy who can suddenly see the ghost of his famous musician grandfather!

After moving cross-country into his late grandfather’s Miami mansion, Benny discovers that the ghost of his famous trumpet-playing abuelo, the great Ignacio Ramírez, is still there . . . and isn’t too thrilled about it. He’s been barred from the afterlife, and no one can see him except his grandson. But Benny’s got problems of his own. He’s enrolled in a performing arts school with his siblings, despite having no obvious talent.
    Luckily, Abuelo believes they can help each other. Abuelo has until New Year’s Eve to do some good in the world and thinks that teaching Benny how to play the trumpet and become a school celebrity might be the key to earning his wings. Having no better ideas, Benny finds himself taking Abuelo's advice—to disastrous and hilarious results.
    Benny and Abuelo will find that there’s more than one way to be great in this unforgettable, laugh-out-loud tale of family, music, and self-discovery.

Random House Teachers and Librarians