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We Read to Babies and Toddlers

We Read to Babies and Toddlers

Your librarians have created a book of rhymes and songs for babies and toddlers as part of We Read! You can pick up copies of this booklet at your local library, scan the QR code using your smart phone's camera and access songs on the go. Thanks to the many librarians who contributed their singing talent to creating this fun resource for families!

We Read is a year-round, all-ages, community wide celebration of all kinds of reading. To participate, Madisonians can simply find something to read that they love, share it with a friend or on social media and join in the conversation about reading using the hashtag #WeReadMadison. There are a variety of ways for Madisonians to engage with We Read this summer through their neighborhood library and out in the community. Learn more about We Read and join in the fun! 

We Read is funded by Madison Public Library Foundation, Ascendium Education Group, Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation, Dick Goldberg & Lisa Munro and Jane Doughty & David Wood.

Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky

With baby sitting on your lap, "jump" them back and forth from knee to knee until the last line. Then bring the baby down right in the middle of your lap or swoop them down towards the floor for an exciting "kerplop"!

Sung by Carissa at Alicia Ashman Library


Down by the banks of the


Where the bullfrogs jump

From bank to banky,

With a hip hop,

Flippity flop,

Missed that banky and went kerplop!

The Elevator Song

Baby loves to be lifted up and down as you sing the song together. This is a great song to sing in an actual elevator if baby is scared of a new space or experience.

Sung by Rebecca at Sequoya Library


Oh the city is great and the city is grand! 

There's a whole lot of people on a little piece of land.

And we live way up on the 57th floor,

and this is the way that we go out the door!

We take the elevator UP

and the elevator DOWN!

And the elevator UP

and the elevator DOWN!

And the elevator UP

and the elevator DOWN!

And then we turn around!

Criss Cross Applesauce

Use a finger to draw a big "x" on your child's back for the "criss cross". Pat your child's back three times as you say "applesauce". Blow on your child's neck for "cool breeze". Give a hug/squeeze! Then end with a tickle!

Sung by Tracy at Hawthorne Library


Criss cross applesauce,

Spiders crawling up

your back,

Cool breeze,

tight squeeze,

Now you've got the shivers!

Jelly on the Plate

With baby sitting on your lap, wobble baby right and left for the jelly verse. Gently shake baby's hips for the Candies verse. Gently blow on baby's neck or head for the Candles verse. 

Sung by Karen at Sequoya Library


Jelly on the plate, Jelly on the plae,

Wibble wobble, Wibble wobble,

Jelly on the plate!

Candies in the jar, Candies in the jar,

Shake them up, Shake them up,

Candies in the jar!

Candles on the cake, Candles on the cake,

Blow them out, Blow them out,

Candles on the cake!

The Wheels on the Bus

Parents can help with motions of going round and round, wipers swishing, or horn beeping, or kids can make up their own verses!

Sung by Ruth at Central Library


The wheels on the bus go round and round,
round and round,
round and round.
The wheels on the bus go round and round
all through the town!

The wipers on the bus go swish swish swish!

The horn on the bus goes beep beep beep!

El Pecesito

Con acciones que pueden actuar con las manos, ésta cancioncita es ideal para introducir el reconocimiento de rimar, un paso importante en el alfabetizacion temprano.

Cantado por Tammy de La Biblioteca Central 


Un pececito se fue a nadar.

Nadaba, nadaba al fondo del mar,

vino un tiburón y le dijo: “ven acá”,

no, no, no, no, no porque se enoja mi mamá.

Los Pollitos

Esta canción es mi favorita. Es muy divertida para los niños porque pueden incorporar movimientos con las manos. Cuando cantan "pío, pío, pío" pon las manos en forma de pico y cantan con los pollitos.

Cantado por Savannah de La Biblioteca Goodman South Madison


Los pollitos dicen, pío, pío, pío

cuando tienen hambre, cuando tienen frío

La gallina busca, el maíz y el trigo

les da la comida y les presta abrigo

Bajo sus dos alas, acurrucaditos duermen los pollitos hasta el otro día.

Cuando se levantan dicen mamacita, tengo mucha hambre dame lombricitas.

Zoom Zoom Zoom

Una canción divertida para niños de cualquier edad - ¡salta al final (o levanta a un bebe) para despegar!

Cantado por Holly de La Biblioteca Pinney


Zoom, zoom, zoom, Vamos a la luna.

Zoom, zoom, zoom, Vamos a la luna.

Si quieres viajar conmigo, Súbete al cohete

Zoom, zoom, zoom, Vamos a la luna.

En 5, 4, 3, 2, 1


Una Mariposita

Esta canción de cuna es ideal para bebes y niños pequeños para ayudarlos a dormir en la noche o una siesta.

Cantado por Yesianne de La Biblioteca Meadowridge


Una mariposita, que del cielo bajó

Con sus alas extendidas, Y en el pico una flor.

¿Para quién son las flores?

Si no son para mí. Ay mamita del alma

Yo me muero por ti.

Cuando venga papito, Se lo voy a decir

Que esa mariposita, No me deja dormir


We Read to Babies and Toddlers Vol. 2

Volume 2

In this edition, released in July 2022, we focused on bringing in a larger variety of voices from our library staff. This is a bilingual collection of songs and rhymes perfect for entertaining babies and toddlers while you're waiting for the bus, at the doctor's office, or simply during a quiet evening at home.

Tick Tock

Sit baby on your lap, and wobble baby side to side until the word Stop!. Then lift baby up for each chime of the clock as the clock strikes one, then two, then three o'clock with each verse. This action rhyme makes counting fun!

Sung by Nancie at Pinney


Tick tock, Tick tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock,

Tick tock, Tick tock, Stop!

What time is it? It's one o'clock!


Tick tock, Tick tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock,

Tick tock, Tick tock, Stop!

What time is it? It's two o'clock!

Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

Tick tock, Tick tock, I'm a little cuckoo clock,

Tick tock, Tick tock, Stop!

What time is it? It's three o'clock!

Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!

Tlacua, tlacua tlacuatzin

Este trabalenguas viene en español y después en náhuatl. El náhuatl es la lengua de los aztecas y se sigue hablando en México y Centroamérica.

Cantado por Martin de La Biblioteca Central


Come, come el tlacuache

Come, come el tlacuache

¿Qué come el tlacuache? El tlacuache come cuaxilote.

Cuaxilote come el tlacuache

Tlacua, tlacua tlacuatzin

tlacua, tlacua tlacuatzin

¿Tlein quicua in tlacuatzin?

In tlacuatzin quicua cuaxilotl

cuaxilotl quicua in tlacuatzin.

Row Row Row Your Boat

Pretend to row your boat, or add other actions using the same tune. Maybe you could rock the boat? Or splash the boat? Have fun singing and playing (and being silly!) together!

Sung by Tim at Pinney


Row, row, row your boat,

Gently down the stream,

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,

Life is but a dream!

Burbuja, Burbuja, Burbuja, POP!

Se puede contar de uno a cinco con peces de colores distintos, o hacer un juego usando juguetes o peces hechos de tela o papel.

Cantado por Holly de La Biblioteca Central


Un pez rojo,

nadando en el agua,

nadando en el agua,

nadando en el agua,

un pez rojo,

nadando en el agua,

burbuja, burbuja, burbuja,


Dos peces azules,

tres peces amarillos,

cuatro peces verdes,

cinco peces morados, etc

Slice, Slice

This is a calming rhyme for you & baby. Pretend to "slice, slice" by sliding your hand down each of their arms. "Spread" the butter on their back. Then touch the top of their head for the "jam on top". Give a big hug at the end!

Sung by Nancy at Pinney


Slice, slice, Bread looks nice.

Spread, spread, Butter on the bread.

Some jam on top, To make it sweet!

And now it's good enough to eat!

Con mi Dedito

Ideal para poner a dormir más de un niño en la misma habitación.

Cantado por Tammy de La Biblioteca Central


Con mi dedito digo: si, si

Con mi dedito digo: no, no

Digo, digo: si, si; Digo, digo: no, no

Y este dedito se escondió

Con mi piececito, digo: si, si

Con mi piececito, digo: no, no

Digo, digo: si, si; Digo, digo: no, no

Y este piececito se escondió

Con mi cabeza, digo: si, si

Con mi cabeza, digo: no, no,

Digo, digo: si, si

Y esta cabeza se escondió

Yes, Yes Vegetable

A great song to get your child ready for mealtime! Change the word to whatever food your child is eating, and change the name of a favorite stuffy or toy, or even an older sibling or friend for "teddy".

Sung by JeVaughnte at Meadowridge


Peas, peas, it's time to eat your peas!

Yes, yes, yes,

I want to eat my peas!

Good, good!

The peas are good for you!

Yay, yay, yay,

I love them, ooh!

See, see, teddy likes them too! One, two, three!

He ate them up, you see!

Ha ha ha, the peas are all gone now!

Yum, yum, yum, we like them, wow!


¿Pueden encontrar la forma de una estrella durante su dia? ¿Un diamante? ¿Cuales otras formas pueden encontrar?

Cantado por Danny de La Biblioteca Pinney


Estrellita, ¿dónde estás?

me pregunto, ¿quien serás?

en el cielo o en el mar,

un diamante de verdad,

estrellita, ¿dónde estás?

me pregunto, ¿quien serás?

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Sing this lovely classic song at bedtime, naptime, or anytime! The gentle tune, and fun actions can be a great way to share the rhythm and rhyme of language with your child!

Sung by Danny at Pinney


Twinkle, twinkle, Little star,

How I wonder, What you are,

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

Twinkle, twinkle, Little star,

How I wonder, What you are!

Cuando te conocí

Cuando usted se acurruca y canta con su bebe, se siente muy amado a la vez que crece su corazón.

Cantado por Jame de La Biblioteca Central


Naranja dulce, Limón partido

dame un abrazo, que yo te pido.

Si fueran falsos, mis juramentos,

en otros tiempos se olvidarán.

Toca la marcha , mi pecho llora,

adiós señora , yo ya me voy.

a mi casita de sololoy

a comer tacos y no le doy