Peculiar Picks

Peculiar Picks are a selection of odd, funny, interesting, curious, moving, irreverent, and otherwise wonderfully awesome, but perhaps not well known, reads. Peculiar Picks are books for younger readers and their grown-ups, handpicked by the Library's Youth Services Manager, Joshua Carlson.

As mentioned in the first Peculiar Picks about Song Books, music is a constant in our household. All kinds of music. Here are some more books based on songs that are absolutely full of positive vibes, as well as some links to the music that inspired the books.

Note: I recommend caregivers listen to the music for themselves before sharing with their child to determine if they feel it is appropriate for their child.

Peace Train adapted from the song by Yusuf / Cat Stevens, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
OverDrive & Libby / Library Catalog
This brand new and recently published book features the message of love and peace from the classic 70s tune by Yusuf / Cat Stevens. It is a perfect marriage of text and illustrator: Peter H. Reynolds is known for illustrating some of the most empathetic, kind, caring and compassionate contemporary picture books of recent years, such as The Water Princess, I am Human, I am Peace, I am Love, Be You!, and The Word Collector (one of my all-time favorite books). You will regularly find my appreciation for Reynolds’ work in Peculiar Picks posts.

Here’s a great live version of “Peace Train” Yusuf / Cat Stevens performed when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

Check out the original version of “Peace Train” and other Yusuf / Cat Stevens hits on The Best of Cat Stevens:

Singing in the Rain
Library Catalog
With the bright and happy illustrations of Tim Hopgood, who also illustrated What a Wonderful World featured in the recent Earth Day Peculiar Picks, Singing in the Rain uses the lyrics from the classic 1952 music of the same name, in which Gene Kelley dances, sings and splashes with jubilant abandon through rainy city streets. It is the same joyous experience I have seen my daughter have while splashing in puddles, and Hopgood’s book captures that so well with children enjoying the rainy weather, and their imaginations taking them from the dreary city streets to lush, bright, colorful jungles. It is a celebration of the simple joys of life and finding ways to turn possibly negative things into positive ones.

Here’s Gene Kelly “Singing in the Rain” from the 1952 musical:

Check out these albums featuring songs from classic musicals, including “Singing in the Rain.”

Sweet Child O’ Mine adapted from the song by Guns N’ Roses, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin
OverDrive & Libby / Library Catalog
The lyrics to the classic Guns N’ Roses track from 1987’s Appetite for Destruction become a poignant and sentimental tribute to the love of parents for their children when paired with Zivoin‘s moving illustrations.

Check out the original “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses:

Forever Young adapted from the song by Bob Dylan, illustrated by Paul Rogers
Library Catalog
Bob Dylan has written so many memorable and moving songs. This adaptation of “Forever Young,” a song originally released in 19 on Dylan’s album Planet Waves, travels with a boy and his guitar into manhood, following his friendships, music, and life. Rodgers' illustrations connect to various figures and moments connected to Dylan throughout his life, with explanations at the end of the book.

Check out these albums by Bob Dylan:

Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

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