Yes, singing them!
I saw this presented by an elementary school teacher at a conference.
To sing a book, you take a picture book or an early reader book, put them to the melody of an American folk song, and sing the words to your heart’s content.
The arrangements of the songs that the presenter used were exceptionally delightful. Jazzed up. Catchy. Certainly not your run-of-the-mill-predictable-and-boring arrangements.
As I listened to the presenter, I got really excited and decided that I just HAD to sing a couple of books with my grandkids.
My grandkids came a week ago and it was the perfect time to do this activity with them.
First, I read the book to the kids. Then, I sang the song turning the pages of the book so they could see the pictures as I sang the words.
Then we sang it together.
And sang it again.
They had a ball! It’s easy to see why.
First, the melody was easy to learn and fun to sing.
We absolutely loved the illustrations! The pictures were clever. Take a look at the dog’s face as the children and the chef are kneading the dough.
And, look at how they ‘sliced’ the bread!
Later in the day when my grandson was doing something else, he paused and said, “Grandma, I keep singing Peanut Butter and Jelly in my head!”
Funny thing, I was singing the song in my head, too!
I knew then that singing this book was a true hit with the kids!
You can purchase the book on Amazon (I DO NOT get any money if your buy it!) or check it out from your local library.
If you decide not to buy it and you can’t find the book in the library, do not fret. You can still sing it. Jennifer Purdy, the person who created the tune to go with the book, is graciously allowing me to share some of the handouts she created for this book.
Here is a free printable of the Peanut Butter and Jelly words. Jennifer included actions to do as you sing the song. (You can use this printable instead of the having the book.)
If you know how to read music, Here is the sheet music for Peanut Butter and Jelly. (Note, the term ‘sheet music’ is used loosely here. It is not professionally done at all.)
If you don’t know how to read music, or if you do not have a piano. here is an mp3 file to listen to so that you can learn the melody. This file isn’t the whole length of the book. It’s just a couple of ‘verses’ so that you can learn the melody.
Listen to it several times so that you can get the melody in your head. It’s super simple and easy to learn.
Here is the accompaniment that you play while you sing the melody.
(You can download the accompaniment above by right clicking on it and dragging down to Save as. Then you can have it on your computer, smart phone, or tablet.)
Using the accompaniment is a little tricky. Listen to it several times while looking at the words.
The introduction lasts about 9 seconds. You start with singing the words ‘peanut butter jelly jelly.’ Then, the ‘verse’ starts — first you take the dough and knead it, knead it. Then, sing the rest of the words.
I hope you take this opportunity to learn this little song and sing it with your grandkids. It’s a unique experience that they will enjoy. In fact, if you sing it often enough, it can even become a favorite activity for them that they’ll request to do over and over.