100 books like Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin

By Lloyd Moss, Marjorie Priceman (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin fans have personally recommended if you like Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Stephanie Calmenson Author Of Dinner at the Panda Palace

From my list on counting for young children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've written more than 100 books including the counting books Dinner at the Panda Palace (HarperCollins / PBS StoryTime) and Dozens of Dachshunds (Bloomsbury / Scholastic Book Clubs).  I also write easy readers such as Stomp! (Ready-to-Read / JLG) and early chapter books including the Our Principal series and, with Magic School Bus author Joanna Cole, The Adventures of Allie and Amy series. As a former early childhood teacher and children's book editor, I'm a big fan of counting books and look forward to writing – and reading – many more. 

Stephanie's book list on counting for young children

Stephanie Calmenson Why did Stephanie love this book?

On Monday, a tiny, very hungry caterpillar ate through one apple. 

"But he was still hungry." 

On Tuesday, he ate through two pears, on Wednesday, three plums, and so on through the week. 

When he gets to Saturday, he eats way too much, starting with one piece of chocolate cake and ending with one slice of watermelon. 

That night he has a stomach ache! The caterpillar recovers on Sunday and, no longer tiny and no longer hungry, he builds a small house around himself called a cocoon.

In time, he becomes a beautiful butterfly.

With cutout pages and gorgeous Eric Carle art, this book is a joy to share with young children. 

By Eric Carle,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Very Hungry Caterpillar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There are so many ways to spend a sunny summer day. Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar and explore everything the season has to offer!

Celebrate summer with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and his friends in this exploration of the season. Young readers can learn all about seasonal sensory experiences, like listening to noisy bugs, feeling the warm sunshine, smelling the yummy scents of a cookout, and so much more!


Book cover of This Magical, Musical Night

Melanie Ellsworth Author Of Clarinet and Trumpet

From my list on introducing young readers to orchestra instruments.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a children’s book author with a Master of Education in Language and Literacy who loves the musicality of words. Growing up in a musical family, I started piano lessons in second grade, clarinet lessons in fourth, and dabbled a bit in saxophone in high school. Clarinet was the instrument that really stuck for me – I played in bands, pit bands, and orchestras all through school and beyond. My picture book Clarinet and Trumpet blasted forth from my own band experiences. 

Melanie's book list on introducing young readers to orchestra instruments

Melanie Ellsworth Why did Melanie love this book?

This book not only introduces readers to the sections and instruments in an orchestra, it does so in lyrical, rhythmic, rhyming verse. Readers will love saying – and hearing – sounds like “pling…plung,” “lootle-oots,” and “bumble, boom…crash!” As a bonus, readers learn musical terms like “arpeggio,” “glissando,” and “diminuendo.” The illustrations are colorful and dynamic and remind me of a movie I loved as a child – Fantasia!

By Rhonda Gowler Greene, James Rey Sanchez (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Magical, Musical Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

"A symphony soars in rhyming couplets.There are many other introductions-to-the-orchestra titles out there, but few have such charm. Pleasing to the eye and ear." -Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

"Like a 21st-century update of Lloyd Moss's virtuoso Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin, this really is a magical, musical book." -School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Best Picture Books of 2021--School Library Journal

Music! Music! Oh, how grand! A language we all understand.
Get swept away by the musical performance of a lifetime as, one by one, each instrument of the symphony orchestra shows off their skills!

Follow along as the symphony orchestra's…


Book cover of The Oboe Goes Boom Boom Boom

Melanie Ellsworth Author Of Clarinet and Trumpet

From my list on introducing young readers to orchestra instruments.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a children’s book author with a Master of Education in Language and Literacy who loves the musicality of words. Growing up in a musical family, I started piano lessons in second grade, clarinet lessons in fourth, and dabbled a bit in saxophone in high school. Clarinet was the instrument that really stuck for me – I played in bands, pit bands, and orchestras all through school and beyond. My picture book Clarinet and Trumpet blasted forth from my own band experiences. 

Melanie's book list on introducing young readers to orchestra instruments

Melanie Ellsworth Why did Melanie love this book?

This book makes a wonderful read-aloud for a music class or a library storytime. The main character, Mr. V the band director, introduces each instrument in the band. The best feature of this book? It’s funny! Kids will crack up as the young drummer keeps interrupting right before each instrument in the band is about to play. As a former clarinetist, my favorite line is, “Listening to a clarinet is like eating rich chocolate cake, bold and sweet at the same time.” Warning to parents: any reader who hasn’t yet chosen their just-right instrument will ask to after reading this book! (If your little readers love Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein or Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham and Paul O. Zelinsky, I bet they’ll love this one, too.)

By Colleen AF Venable, Lian Cho (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Oboe Goes Boom Boom Boom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

No matter where you are, you can find the perfect instrument and join this band! A winning pick for young readers who adore books by Jory John, Mac Barnett, and Christian Robinson.

The band director knows everything about all the instruments, and he can't wait to help find the perfect one for you. But an irrepressible young girl keeps interrupting with enthusiastic BOOM BOOM BOOMS on her drum. At least until the band director introduces one instrument that's even louder.

This laugh-out-loud picture book from National Book Award-longlisted author Colleen AF Venable is packed with boundless energy and giggle-worthy jokes-as…


Book cover of Play This Book

Melanie Ellsworth Author Of Clarinet and Trumpet

From my list on introducing young readers to orchestra instruments.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a children’s book author with a Master of Education in Language and Literacy who loves the musicality of words. Growing up in a musical family, I started piano lessons in second grade, clarinet lessons in fourth, and dabbled a bit in saxophone in high school. Clarinet was the instrument that really stuck for me – I played in bands, pit bands, and orchestras all through school and beyond. My picture book Clarinet and Trumpet blasted forth from my own band experiences. 

Melanie's book list on introducing young readers to orchestra instruments

Melanie Ellsworth Why did Melanie love this book?

Play This Book is a rhyming, rhythmic read-aloud with plenty of fun-to-say onomatopoeia. With full-spread illustrations of instruments and text that encourages readers to “play” the instruments, toddlers will be tapping on the book and hopping around to their own beat! I love the bright colors and energy of the illustrations. Toddlers who enjoy this book can explore more instruments in the board book, Hello, World! Music by Jill McDonald.

By Jessica Young, Daniel Wiseman (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Play This Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For fans of Press Here, this new interactive picture book line invites readers to touch and move and "play" with the book.

To start our show we need a band--maybe you can lend a hand!

There are lots of ways little hands can make music. Each page of this interactive book invites readers to strum the guitar, slide the trombone, crash the cymbals, and more--no instruments required! With a delightful rhyming text and engaging illustrations, this book is full of instruments waiting to share their sounds. The only thing this band needs is YOU! Just use your imagination, turn the…


Book cover of Welcome to the Symphony: A Musical Exploration of the Orchestra Using Beethoven's Symphony No. 5

Melanie Ellsworth Author Of Clarinet and Trumpet

From my list on introducing young readers to orchestra instruments.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a children’s book author with a Master of Education in Language and Literacy who loves the musicality of words. Growing up in a musical family, I started piano lessons in second grade, clarinet lessons in fourth, and dabbled a bit in saxophone in high school. Clarinet was the instrument that really stuck for me – I played in bands, pit bands, and orchestras all through school and beyond. My picture book Clarinet and Trumpet blasted forth from my own band experiences. 

Melanie's book list on introducing young readers to orchestra instruments

Melanie Ellsworth Why did Melanie love this book?

I included this picture book because it was one of my daughter’s favorites. Through Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, the book introduces orchestral concepts such as “concertmaster,” “pitch,” and “dynamics” and teaches readers about the various sections that make up an orchestra. Newer books like How to Build an Orchestra by Mary Auld and illustrated by Elisa Paganelli, also do a wonderful and comprehensive job introducing all things orchestra-related, but what my daughter loved about Welcome to the Symphony was the button panel on the side of the book. With a push of a button, she could listen to the sound of different instruments playing snippets from Beethoven’s Fifth. Pair Welcome to the Symphony with classical music pieces like Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra or Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf for additional fun identifying musical instruments!

By Carolyn Sloan, James Williamson (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Welcome to the Symphony as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This charming and interactive picture book with sound panel is like a ticket to a concert hall. Narrated by three mice, Welcome to the Symphony takes readers on a journey that begins with the musicians tuning up. Readers learn the basics: What is a conductor? What is a symphony? Who was Beethoven? The elements of music: melody, harmony, tempo. The families of instruments - strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. But the best part is that every idea is illustrated in sound. Nineteen sound buttons allow readers to actually hear the different parts and voices of the music. The famous beginning…


Book cover of One Was Johnny: A Counting Book

Stephanie Calmenson Author Of Dinner at the Panda Palace

From my list on counting for young children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've written more than 100 books including the counting books Dinner at the Panda Palace (HarperCollins / PBS StoryTime) and Dozens of Dachshunds (Bloomsbury / Scholastic Book Clubs).  I also write easy readers such as Stomp! (Ready-to-Read / JLG) and early chapter books including the Our Principal series and, with Magic School Bus author Joanna Cole, The Adventures of Allie and Amy series. As a former early childhood teacher and children's book editor, I'm a big fan of counting books and look forward to writing – and reading – many more. 

Stephanie's book list on counting for young children

Stephanie Calmenson Why did Stephanie love this book?

This book, one of four in Maurice Sendak's Nutshell Library begins, "1 was Johnny who lived by himself." 

Wait till you see who joins him and the chaos that ensues! Children get to count from 1 to 10 and, when Johnny figures out how to get rid of the crowd, readers get to count back from 10 to 1.

The rhyme flows along merrily, the illustrations are Sendak-irresistible, and readers of any age can relate to Johnny valuing his "me" time. 

By Maurice Sendak,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Was Johnny as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

From one to ten and back again, children have been counting along with One Was Johnny for over fifty years!

Now in a larger, 5 x 7  trim size, this charming book about a boy and his many visitors is one that children and their grown-ups will want to count along with again and again.

This beloved classic from Maurice Sendak has helped introduce counting to generations of children. This edition is perfect for lap sharing and as a baby shower gift.


Book cover of How to Count to One (And Don't Even Think about Bigger Numbers!)

Stephanie Calmenson Author Of Dinner at the Panda Palace

From my list on counting for young children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've written more than 100 books including the counting books Dinner at the Panda Palace (HarperCollins / PBS StoryTime) and Dozens of Dachshunds (Bloomsbury / Scholastic Book Clubs).  I also write easy readers such as Stomp! (Ready-to-Read / JLG) and early chapter books including the Our Principal series and, with Magic School Bus author Joanna Cole, The Adventures of Allie and Amy series. As a former early childhood teacher and children's book editor, I'm a big fan of counting books and look forward to writing – and reading – many more. 

Stephanie's book list on counting for young children

Stephanie Calmenson Why did Stephanie love this book?

At the start of this book, readers are asked to count one apple. Easy right? 

Next, one elephant. Again, easy. From there, it becomes tricky...and so much fun! 

There are two whales on a spread, but readers are still asked to count to one . One what? One sausage being blown out of a whale's spout. 

On we go, from soup to nuts. Well, there are no nuts, but there's a hot dog, and ducks and worms, a dinosaur, and more.  Throughout, readers are reminded to count to one. That's the rule. 

The one problem is that kids may be giggling too much to remember to stick to the rule.  It's a great concept, energetically told and brightly, humorously illustrated. 

This is one counting book you won't want to miss.

Book cover of Pete The Cat And The Missing Cupcakes

Stephanie Calmenson Author Of Dinner at the Panda Palace

From my list on counting for young children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've written more than 100 books including the counting books Dinner at the Panda Palace (HarperCollins / PBS StoryTime) and Dozens of Dachshunds (Bloomsbury / Scholastic Book Clubs).  I also write easy readers such as Stomp! (Ready-to-Read / JLG) and early chapter books including the Our Principal series and, with Magic School Bus author Joanna Cole, The Adventures of Allie and Amy series. As a former early childhood teacher and children's book editor, I'm a big fan of counting books and look forward to writing – and reading – many more. 

Stephanie's book list on counting for young children

Stephanie Calmenson Why did Stephanie love this book?

Hey! Who's taking the cupcakes that Pete and Gus baked?

They're disappearing two by two. Is it squirrel? Alligator? Turtle? 

I won't tell, but when they find out, Pete and Gus give the cupcake nabber a chance to make amends because "that's what friends do."  

Part of the popular Pete the Cat series, this rhyming, counting, mystery story is also a story of forgiveness and second chances.

By Kimberly Dean, James Dean,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pete The Cat And The Missing Cupcakes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?


From Kimberly and James Dean's bestselling Pete the Cat series, help Pete and his friends solve the mystery of the missing cupcakes!

Pete the Cat and his friends are busy as can be baking cupcakes for a party, and Pete can't wait to perform with his groovy band. But some of the cupcakes have gone missing! Who could have taken them

In this rhyming picture book by New York Times bestselling authors James and Kimberly Dean, Pete and the gang work together to find the missing cupcakes and learn about making mistakes, forgiveness, and that it's cool to be kind.…


Book cover of I Can Only Draw Worms

Kyle Scheele Author Of A Pizza with Everything on It

From my list on for goofy kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a goofball. When I was a kid, I was constantly getting in trouble for making my friends laugh in the back of the room. But then I would get out of trouble by making the teacher or the principal laugh. Humor and absurdity have always had a special place in my heart, and I love books like these that encourage us to not take ourselves quite so seriously!

Kyle's book list on for goofy kids

Kyle Scheele Why did Kyle love this book?

This book is such a fun example of taking something that could be seen as a limitation (for instance, the fact that you can only draw worms) and turning it into something more. The book is narrated by the author/illustrator, who explains that he can only draw worms. 

He then introduces a cast of worms and tells us about their various adventures. But whenever he describes something non-worm-like (Worm Six is riding on a flying unicorn!) he quickly reminds us that he can’t draw those things, because he can only draw worms. Never fails to get my kids laughing!

By Will Mabbitt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Can Only Draw Worms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

A hilarious picture book in bright, neon colors that is perfect for fans of The Book With No Pictures and The Day the Crayons Quit.

This is part counting book, part introduction to worms, but all superbly silly. The fact that the author/illustrator can only draw worms will not take anything away from the laugh-out-loud adventure readers will have as they turn the pages of this slightly subversive picture book.


Book cover of Moja Means One: Swahili Counting Book

Kwame Nyong'o Author Of A Tasty Maandazi

From my list on what life is like in Africa for children.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a Kenyan/American raised in both countries, I noticed growing up that there was very little creative content about Africa. Whilst in Kenya, I experienced much joy and fun in the culture and felt that other people in other parts of the world would also enjoy it. Loving reading, drawing, comics, and movies, I felt it would be useful to create such content about Africa. I was very fortunate to study arts at an undergraduate and graduate level in the US. This formal training, combined with extensive travel around Africa and the diaspora, has informed my sense of book and film creation and appreciation. I hope you enjoy this book list that I’ve curated!

Kwame's book list on what life is like in Africa for children

Kwame Nyong'o Why did Kwame love this book?

This well acclaimed and award-winning book by Muriel Feelings is great for anyone interested in learning about culture through language. What I love so much about this book is its simplicity. The book teaches how to count up to ten in Swahili, using East African imagery and culture, and it has pronunciation keys as well. The detailed monochromatic illustrations create a mood of awe and reverie.

By Muriel Feelings, Tom Feelings (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moja Means One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. The Swahili words for the first ten numbers are introduced together with information on East African culture


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in counting, musical instruments, and music?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about counting, musical instruments, and music.

Counting Explore 23 books about counting
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Music Explore 634 books about music