We're big fans of what the kids call "singing books" in our house... books that need to be sung instead of simply read out loud. We own several, and have checked out a great number of them over the years. A few of our favorites include a handful from Iza Trapani (a great author for singing books), The Christmas Song by Mel Torme and Robert Wells (illustrated by Doris Barrette), Giddy Up! Let's Ride! by Flora McDonnell, and Sing Sophie! by Dayle Ann Dodds.
I discovered The Christmas Song: Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire by Mel Torme and Robert Wells when searching for books that were illustrated by Doris Barrette. I love her work in the book Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes (not a singing book, but a good one with great rhythm). Both are wonderful holiday books and make a great gifts.
I'm a Little Teapot by Iza Trapani is our favorite of her singing books, and is beautifully illustrated, with wonderful verses that include the teapot and kids on a Fox Hunt in England, in a row boat in China, in outer space, and on a pirate ship... to name a few. It's brilliant!
Sing Sophie by Dayle Ann Dodds attracted me because of the great little cowgirl on the cover, and all the better that her name was Sophie... similar to cousin Sophia! This little cowgirl makes up lovely and original tunes and sings them with gusto! No one wants to listen until her singing proves very useful to the family!
And, finally, Flora McDonnell's Giddy Up! Let's Ride! takes one of the kids' Gramma's oft-sung tunes and adds many verses... this is the way the knight, jockey, clown, fairy, nomad, cowgirl, and many others.
All of these favorites have really fun and beautiful illustrations that add to the stories, and all of them are very fun to sing, as well as being filled with wonderfully rich vocabulary and sparking creativity in little listeners. Check them out!