Here are some of my favorites...I'm planning on posting about some more soon! Click on each picture to view it on Amazon or Alibis.
"If you find a Rock"
by Lember and Christian
I found this picture book a few years ago, and immediately thought that it would work really well with "Obwisana," which you can find here. It is such a beautiful book, with poetic language and higher level prose.
"Before John as a Jazz Giant"
by Weatherford and Qualls
"The Drums of Noto Hanto"
by James and Tsukushi
"Marching to the Civil War: Drummer Boy"
by Turner and Hess
I really love this book as a way to delve into the song "Fire in the mountain," which you can see below:
To play the game, one student stands in the middle, playing the drum to the beat. Half of the students stand, and half of the students sit. As the drummer plays, the standing students walk around the circle. Whenever the drummer stops (halfway through the song, at the end of the song, halfway through the second time...whenever!) all the standing students have to find someone to stand behind. The drummer also has to find someone, so one person is left without someone to stand behind (much like musical chairs.) Then, that person becomes the drummer, and the sitting students stand, the standing students sit, and the game continues.
The song is actually about the Revolutionary War, but the book is a great connection about what drummer boys had to do. I will warn you...it is a sad book with very real sentiments, as the drummer boy laments about the sounds of war, and about his friends who have died. I have had to be careful to not get choked up as a I read it to students. That being said, I think it is a great book for students to read, as it gives them perspective about how much life has changed over the years, and gives them some historical context behind a song they love.
Looking for more picture book ideas? Here is one of my Pinterest boards, focused on picture books: