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Many of our all-time favorite country singers are also master songwriters. These skilled men and women have the ability to get you fully absorbed in a song and take you on a journey that keeps you coming back time and time again. So is it any wonder that some of these stars would be capable of sharing their storytelling abilities with children?
We've rounded up 10 children's books written by some of the biggest names in country music that will make an amazing gift or bedtime story for the little ones in your life.
Brett Young had a number one hit with his single "Lady," which was inspired by his wife Taylor and their oldest daughter, Presley. He's now taking those same sentiments and putting them in book form for all young girls to be able to appreciate. Love You, Little Lady will reflect all of Young's feelings about being a father and sweet moments that bond a father and a daughter. The new book will be released on Aug. 24, which the country singer discussed on a recent appearance on Today with Al Roker.
"The publishers came to us after hearing the song with the idea. With one little one in the house and another one on the way, we thought my wife [Taylor] and I could come together for a cool little venture....It'll be one of the most interesting things I've written."
As a child, Brent Cobb was inspired by a singer named Okefenokee Joe who would visit children in school and sing songs about the Georgia swamp. Also inspired by Waylon Jennings writing songs for his son Shooter, Cobb decided to take his song "Little Stuff" and turn it into a children's book with tweaked lyrics.
"Wouldn't it be really cool to have that and be able to take that with you and go, 'Hey, I'm a musician and you can do cool stuff like that too,'" Cobb told Rolling Stone.
"Here's a book about this stuff that I write about. It's about the creeks, about pecan trees, just little stuff in life. And that stuff's important. It's important to let kids know that."
Jimmy Buffet wrote this picture book with his daughter, Savannah Jane Buffett. It tells the story of a guitar-playing fisherman who uses his musical gifts to bring fish to his nets. He goes on a real adventure when he's kidnapped by pirates and needs help from a special friend in the ocean to escape. Not only did Buffet have the original story in the book, but he made an accompanying CD of him and Savannah reading the story with original music to take you and your child through the story.
Everyone is most likely familiar with Dolly's "Coat of Many Colors." The song inspired not only a children's book but a TV special and is one of the most well-known songs she's ever released. But the country star, who is also the creator of the Imagination Library, wrote a second kids book that was specifically for children and how to understand their emotions.
"I wanted to write a book that talked about the emotions of children, which is the rainbow," the country legend explained to Time.
"We all have moods. We talk about being blue when we're sad, and being yellow when we're cowards, and when we're mad, we're red. It's really about us all having these colors, and it's O.K. to have them, but it's learning how to deal with them and what to do with them. It's a sweet little book done in rhyme. I hope to write lots and lots of children's books through the years."
Jimmie Allen has really proven himself to be one of the biggest new voices in the world of country music. His latest album is incredibly popular, he was recently named Best New Male Artist of the Year at the ACM Awards, and now he's a children's book author. Allen explained to People that he really wanted to write a book that would inspire young people to start using their voices early on.
"It's very important to me that kids learn at a young age that they have a voice, and that it is powerful. It is up to us as adults to teach them to use their voice to encourage and show love," Allen said. "Being a father of two kids, I try to encourage them to be themselves and love everyone around them. I'm hoping this book inspires at least one child and they always remember their voice is a trumpet."
Rory Feek of Joey+Rory wrote a children's book to remind all little ones that God had a special purpose for them when they were born. It celebrates our differences and inspires kids to be happy with who they are since God knew all along who they would be and what they were capable of.
The original Idol Kelly Clarkson published her first children's book with HarperCollins back in 2016 and it was an immediate New York Times bestseller. The book follows little girl River Rose (the former American Idol winner's real daughter's name) as she is excited leading up to her first big day at the zoo. In the hardcover board book, which is full of sweet illustrations from Laura Hughes, shows that soon River Rose falls asleep and finds herself in a dream spending time with hippos, penguins and more in the center of the zoo.
The original lullaby book was followed up by River Rose and the Magical Christmas with a publication date just a year later. The second book follows River Rose and her dog as they go on a magical adventure to visit Santa in the North Pole on Christmas Eve. No, she doesn't escape through her bedroom window...this is another of River Rose's magical lullaby's that shows all of the wonderful places you can go when you sleep, set to Clarkson's adorable rhyming.
The world knew Lil Nas X overnight thanks to his Grammy Award-winning hit with Billy Ray Cyrus, "Old Town Road." But the rapper/singer decided that he wanted to appeal to a younger audience with a kids book that inspires children to love who they are. While this isn't new messaging in youth literature, Lil Nas X tells NPR that he never really felt like it was authentic when he was growing up.
"It was never truly enforced," he says. "It was kind of like 'do what you want, be who you want, but be who I want you to be.'"
His book takes you through the letters of the alphabet, led by a young cowboy dressed in a pink rhinestone outfit. "A is for adventure. Every day is a brand new start. B is for boots -- whether they're big or small, short or tall. C is for country," and so on.
Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The USA" is easily one of the most recognizable patriotic songs of all time. The country star decided to take his lyrics and set them to a children's picture book. On his website, Greenwood explains that his hope for this book was to instill a strong sense of patriotism among America's youth.
"America is still the greatest country on earth. This book is meant to reinforce the same patriotism and optimism in our children and grandchildren I felt as a young boy. As you sit together reading the words of my to your child or grandchild, and viewing the illustrations that reflect the lyrics, it is my hope that young and old alike will feel tremendous pride in being citizens of the United States of America."
Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman recently wrote a children's book inspired by her daughter Daisy praying for a younger sister and their family deciding to adopt baby Dolly Grace. The result is a magical Christmas story that is personal for Schlapman's family but will ultimately be a welcome bedtime story for families everywhere.
"It's our family's story about little Daisy, our Daisy so desperately wanting a sibling," Schlapman revealed on social media in 2020. "She prayed for five years, every night she prayed for a baby. My husband and I had a struggle trying to have a second child. Then it's also about our journey to and through adoption."
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