I talked a little bit about Sing and Read books in my post on 8/20/09 entitled "Books to Read and Sing!". Unfortunately, I am not aware of any particular studies that have measured the effectiveness of Sing and Read books (if you are aware of any - please let me know. I would love to read them!), but in my experience and with the common sense that rhythm and rhyme do assist in the acquisition of language skills, I have always used Sing and Read books with my clients. There are several qualities that I try to identify before purchasing a new Sing and Read book, and they are as follows:
1. It should be a melody that my children can readily learn
2. It should be repetitive
3. The pictures should give an idea of the meaning of the text
4. The font should be big enough that children can follow along with their fingers.
Two years ago, I decided to make a Sing and Read book of my own using one of my best selling songs entitled "Going On a Train". I worked with an artist and tried to follow my own rules (above). The result is a wonderful little book and cd combo (I'm not too biased!) that was extremely fun to put together. I'm planning on turning several more of my songs into Sing and Read Books - so stay tuned!
I made a short clip of "Going On a Train" this morning so that you can get a feel of what I'm talking about. If you would like to purchase the Going On a Train Book and CD set, click on the following link, which will take you to the CD's and Books section.
Going On a Train is also available as a song download below. The lyrics are included.