Naturalist Suzy's Book Pick: 'Noisy Sing-Along' Stories

Get ready to make some noise! These books will make you “peeeep,” “chiiiirp” and “tap tap tap!”

Photo by Suzy Lyttle

The “Noisy Sing-Along” books, by John Himmelman, are at the top on my list because they introduce kids to sounds, syllables and rhythm with a bonus of using real animal songs and calls.


Each page illustrates a lifelike animal in its habitat singing its heart out. I have used them for many of our children’s programs. After reading them, we have made instruments to create our own music to play along with the animals.


I don’t think I have ever read these indoors! The books are thin and lightweight, making them easy to take outside with you and your family. Can you match the sounds to what you hear in your own back yard, hiking a preserve or camping?


The last few pages of the books are a bonus for anyone who wants to dive into more information about each of the featured animals, along with activities on the subject. For example, in “Noisy Bird Sing-Along,” the back pages guide you in putting up bird feeders, using binoculars and creating a bird list. The “Noisy Bug Sing-Along” back pages dig deeper into sound waves and show the reader what each insect’s sound waves look like. “Noisy Frog Sing-Along” adds in how to track metamorphosis and how to build a house for a toad.


Want to hear these sounds with a naturalist? Check out these upcoming Forest Preserve District programs.


Sounds of Insects Night Hike: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, July 14, at Thorn Creek Nature Center.


Reservoir Frogs: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, August 3, at Monee Reservoir.


Nocturnal Chorus Hike for Adults: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 29, at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center.


Hello Belva!: Incredible Insects: 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, September 8, at Plum Creek Nature Center.