March is Music in Our Schools Month, which was created to increase music education and remind us that students should have access to music at school. Here at Lee & Low, we are big music fans and have published these head-bobbing picture books and many more. Get grooving to these books this month!
Breaking to the Beat!
By Linda J. Acevedo and illustrated by Frank Morrison
A boogie-down picture book about a shy boy named Manolo who overcomes his fears and insecurities to become part of a new innovative dance style called breaking.
Capoeira: Game! Dance! Martial Art!
Written and photographed by George Ancona
★ “Full-color photos and lively text introduce a sport that combines dance, music, and acrobatics with fighting techniques. Action-packed pictures of capoeiristas – people who play capoeira – in both the United States and Brazil make this an eye-catching title.” —School Library Journal, starred review
Calling the Water Drum
By LaTisha Redding and illustrated by Aaron Boyd
★ “A powerful story of loss and survival, human connection and hope. . . Redding’s distinguished text sensitively portrays the tragedies young Henri and Karrine have faced, and Boyd’s watercolor illustrations expressively convey the love of Henri’s family, the perils of their sea crossing, and the range of emotions he experiences as he finds his way in New York with his uncle and friends. Moving.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Drumbeat in Our Feet
By Patricia A. Keeler and Júlio Leitão and illustrated by Patricia A. Keeler
A journey into the deep-rooted traditions, artistry, and energetic spirit that make up the world of African dance, past and present.
Finding the Music / En pos de la música
By Jennifer Torres and illustrated by Renato Alarcão
In this bilingual English/Spanish book, a determined Latina girl accidentally breaks her grandfather’s vihuela and ventures into her community to find someone who can fix the instrument, leading her to discover his legacy as a mariachi player.
I and I Bob Marley
By Tony Medina and illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson
★ “[A] glowing, substantive, picture-book biography in verse. . . Watson’s beautifully expressive acrylic paintings evoke a strong sense of Marley’s remarkable life and his Caribbean homeland. A short bibliography of adult titles rounds out this rare, soulful tribute.” —Booklist, starred review
Lakas and the Makibaka Hotel
By Anthony Robles and illustrated by Carl Angel
When Lakas strolls through his neighborhood one sunny afternoon, the last thing he expects to find is a group of drum-beating, tap-dancing, karaoke-singing new friends. But these new friends face a crisis: the Makibaka Hotel, where they make their home, is about to be sold. They must pack their belongings and leave their home in thirty days. Unless…
Little Melba and Her Big Trombone
By Katheryn Russell-Brown and illustrated by Frank Morrison
★ “Staccato rhythms pepper the fluid prose. . . Morrison’s oil paintings practically sway with a jazz beat, though somber moments crop up, too: the shadows on Liston’s face signify the trials of life on the road. A final image showing long-limbed Liston in profile as she plays under the glow of stage lights is exquisite.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
Music Time (Confetti Kids #4)
By Gwendolyn Hudson Hooks and illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez
In this early chapter book, part of the Confetti Kids series, Henry tries to find a place where he can practice his drums without disturbing his mom.
Rafi and Rosi Music!
Written and illustrated by Lulu Delacre
In this fourth chapter book starring Rafi and Rosi, the curious, fun-loving tree frog siblings explore the bomba, plena, and salsa music traditions of their home island, Puerto Rico.
Rent Party Jazz
By William Miller and illustrated by Charlotte Riley-Webb
An African American boy living in New Orleans in the 1930s raises money to pay the rent with the help of a popular jazz musician. Listen to a read-aloud with actress Viola Davis, created and provided by Storyline Online.
Sweet Music in Harlem
By Debbie Taylor and illustrated by Frank Morrison
Searching his Harlem neighborhood for his uncle’s missing hat, an energetic African American boy unintentionally creates an exuberant gathering of the neighborhood’s jazz musicians for a magazine photograph; a fictional story inspired by Art Kane’s historic photograph of jazz greats, Harlem 1958.