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It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to holiday celebrations, school concerts, and gift-giving.  We are excited to share two selections for this month that fit in perfectly for all those occasions!

Early Elementary Selection

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

As Sung by Peggy Lee / Illustrated by Tim Hopgood
Item #866795, $17.99  Hardcover

This edition of Walking in a Winter Wonderland is an illustrated song at its finest.  The artist depicts a family taking a walk in the woods and playing in the snow, watching the animals, and enjoying time together.  Music notes are woven through every page, letting the reader know this is a song.  The illustrations are vibrant and clean and infuse energy on every page.

Ideas for Your Classroom:

Walking in a Winter Wonderland is an excellent way to introduce this classic holiday song to your students, or if they already know it, a way to reinforce the story behind the song!  The artist illustrated the book to correspond with Peggy Lee’s upbeat “jazzy” rendition, and it matches perfectly!  Here’s a link to the song so you can follow along:

Late Elementary Selection 

Goodnight Songs: A Celebration of the Seasons

By Margaret Wise Brown
Item #868426, 17.95, Hardcover w/CD

Staying with our outdoor / seasons theme, this beautiful collection of lullabies comes from Margaret Wise Brown (you know her from Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and more).  In addition to the nearly 100 books she wrote over her brief career (she died at 42), she also wrote a wealth of song lyrics that were never published.  Now, her songs are released in new collections like this one.

This collection contains 12 songs/poems, only two of which have ever been published before.  Each song was illustrated by a different award-winning picture book artist, giving each a unique flavor and feel.  The book also contains a CD with the book’s songs composed and performed by Tom Proutt and Emily Gary.

Song Sample: “The Song of the Tiny Cat

Ideas for Your Classroom:

This collection could be used as a foundation to teach composition.  Students could read the lyrics and look at the illustration, and then come up with a tune for each song, plus an accompaniment on mallets or non-pitched percussion.  They could compare what they came up with to the recording’s version and talk about the similarities and differences to their own arrangement.

This book could also form the base for a themed concert on music and the outdoors, as it incorporates songs/poems for every season.  Use the poems as transitions between songs, or as the songs themselves (with students performing their own compositions).

Students could also pick specific poems and explore the other picture books of that particular artist, comparing the illustrations in each as a cross-curricular project with the art class.  The possibilities really are endless with this collection.

If you enjoy this book, you should also look at the original New York Times Bestseller Goodnight Songs (868403).  Same concept – just no outdoor / seasonal theme.

Happy Holidays!

We hope you have enjoyed our first semester of Children’s Book of the Month selections, Walking in a Winter Wonderland and Goodnight Songs: A Celebration of the Season!  Watch for more titles coming in January!  From all of us at West Music, have a very happy holiday season, good luck with all your performances, and we’ll see you in 2019!

Thank you for being a part of our West Music family of educators!