You've Read The Book, Now Hear the Song

You've Read The Book, Now Hear the Song

Decades before audiobooks were a thing, we remember prancing around to some of our favorite children's books set to music. Reading along singing along with books was a wonderful way to connect with those titles, and we knew every word by heart thanks to those story times/dance parties.

Really Rosie is a musical based on Maurice Sendak's Nutshell Library, with music by Carole King. In 1975 it was made into an animated special for CBS and the soundtrack became an instant classic (in our house, at least).

Shel Silverstein wrote hit songs for Johnny Cash and Dr. Hook, so it comes as no surprise that recording artists mined his children's poetry for material. Peter, Paul and Mary recorded Boa Constrictor and folkies The Irish Rovers had a minor hit with The Unicorn, both from Silverstein's Where The Sidewalk Ends.

One of the strangest examples of a kids' book set to music has to be the recording of Yertle The Turtle by Dr. Seuss on the otherwise not-so-kid-friendly album Freaky Styley by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

It bears mentioning that this phenomenon also works in reverse, with children's book adaptations of popular songs. Noteworthy examples include The Train They Call The City Of New Orleans (Steve Goodman) and Stay Up Late (Talking Heads).

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