Sometimes, at Christmastime, you just want to sing. If you love farm animals, then you just want to sing “The Friendly Beasts.” And if you love singing and farm animals and you’re three years old, then you want to sing “The Friendly Beasts” over and over and over.

At least, that’s how it goes at our house.

The Friendly Beasts | Little Book, Big Story

The Friendly Beasts is one of Sarah’s favorite songs and because of that, it’s become one of our favorites, too (it was either that, or let the pendulum swing the other direction. We didn’t want to let that happen). Tomie dePaola’s beautiful book walks through the song, verse by verse, with his oh-so-uniquely-beautiful illustrations, and closes with a page of sheet music so that you can pick the tune out on the piano for your kids. (If you don’t have a piano or don’t like the piano or find that sheet music bears an uncomfortable resemblance to Ancient Hebrew, you can also sing along to Sufjan Stevens’s version of the song.)

But if your little musician loves singing and animals and happens to be three, get ready: “The Friendly Beasts” season does not close at the first of the year. (But you may not mind that as much as you think.)

The Friendly Beasts | Little Book, Big Story

The Friendly Beasts
Tomie dePaola (1998)