Hot off the press! Here’s a first look at the musical picture books that will be released by The Secret Mountain in 2024. We’re thrilled to share that these titles will be available in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia. Scroll down for more titles from our catalogue that will land in the U.K. and beyond next year! Amondo, Son of the Baobab In West Africa, a magnificent baobab presides over a village beset with a terrible drought. A long, long time ago, when the stars were still babies, the tree fell in love with the earth. As it buried its roots deep in the earth’s heart, the sun grew jealous. The sun shone and shone, until lakes and rivers flew away and even its own heart dried up and disappeared. At the centre of this tale is Amondo, son of the baobab, known as “The One Who Unites.” Only he can restore hope to the villagers by freeing the water from the spell cast by the sun. But in order to succeed, he must complete four difficult tasks… This play, followed by seven songs, transports readers to the extraordinary world of African folklore, to a time when the moon, trees and animals spoke to humankind. Available March 1, 2024 Bookshop | Barnes & Noble | Amazon Glory Days in New Orleans Mama and Papa Poss continue their musical odyssey on a boat bound for New Orleans. As they make their way down the Mississippi, a sudden hurricane tosses one of the passengers overboard. Papa Poss jumps to the rescue, pulling none other than Louis Catstrong out of the crashing waves. In thanks, the famous feline trumpet player takes the duo to his club in the French Quarter, where a group of cool cats are scratching up a new kind of music. Take a trip to the Big Easy in this swinging and scatting tale that pays homage to the city that invented jazz! Available April 1, 2024 Bookshop | Barnes & Noble | Amazon The Piano Music can give life to anything and everything. That’s exactly what happens when a boy and girl play their brand new piano for the first time. As they take turns tapping keys, the children discover that even the simplest melody can stir up a symphony of sensations. This playful tale invites children to explore how music makes them feel. Hear how sounds attune to emotions. See how music colours the imagination. From synesthesia to onomatopoeia, these musical sketches show that learning big words and even bigger ideas can be as simple as PLINK, PLANK, PLONK. Available May 1, 2024 I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly Get to know a quirky old lady who swallows a heap of animals—from a dog, cat, bird and spider to that infamous little fly. The children’s classic sets the table for several timeless folk tunes, written over 50 years ago. Tongue-in-cheek and smart at heart, this buffet of singalong alphabet, counting and rhyming songs is jaw-droppingly silly as it is devourable. Available June 1, 2024 Coming to the United Kingdom in 2024 Songs on the Vanilla Trail An enchanting collection of 25 traditional songs that pay homage to the rich cultural heritage and multilingual communities of East and Southern Africa. Mixed musical styles unique to each region demonstrate how these communities embraced new cultures and horizons. A wide array of styles—skipping rope songs from Mozambique, lullabies from South Africa, counting songs from Réunion, and traditional dance tunes from Madagascar—are all performed exquisitely by local musicians in more than a dozen languages and dialects. Vibrant artwork and homegrown instruments, such as the tube zither, kayamb, bobre, segakordeon, and ravanne drums round off this wonderful celebration of history, language, and culture. Lyrics appear transcribed in their original language and translated to English, followed by a map of East and Southern Africa and extensive notes describing the cultural background of each song. The musical picture book is accompanied by 25 songs, available on all major streaming platforms. A free teaching guide and activity sheets can be downloaded here. Available January 1, 2024 Bookshop | Hive | Waterstones | Amazon The Hummingbird Sings and Dances An extraordinary collection of traditional nursery rhymes and lullabies in Spanish originating from Latin America that have withstood the test of time. Warm, colourful illustrations with earth-toned backgrounds provide the setting for this endearing repertoire of family-friendly songs from 17 different countries. Solid musicianship supporting lively vocal performances transport the young listener into a playful, fanciful world inhabited by singing frogs and dancing skeletons! Available January 1, 2024 Bookshop | Hive | Waterstones | Amazon Tomorrow is a Chance to Start Over Ira and Isabelle live in a tiny red house by the sea. One night, to escape the sound of the city’s beeping cars, they sail to a faraway land. When they arrive, they learn from a new friend—a robin with a soft voice—that dreams really can come true. This musical picture book includes the narrated story as well as 10 original heartwarming songs and an ethereal rendition of Johannes Brahms' classic “Cradle Song.” Available April 1, 2024 Hive | Amazon Now Available in the United Kingdom Free to Be Me Awaken children’s vocabularies with this sunny collection of folk-pop songs. These upbeat melodies and accessible lyrics were written to help budding language learners discover how to share their feelings, hopes, and dreams. The picture book features the illustrated lyrics of each song, followed by activity ideas for teaching English. Available now Books Etc. | Bookshop | Hive | Waterstones | Amazon It’s Raining Cats and Dogs Discover 10 delightful, lighthearted sing-along songs about funny, irresistible animal characters, including cuddly cats and dogs who just want to be your friend, even on a rainy day! Available now Books Etc. | Bookshop | Hive | Waterstones | Amazon Rockin’ Down the Bayou in Louisiana! Mama and Papa Possum tell the story of how they first met and where their glory days as a musical duo began! Take a trip to the bayou in this side-splitting, toe-tapping tale that pays homage to Louisiana’s Cajun and Zydeco music traditions. The first story from a series that follows these two plucky marsupials on travels that bring them to the birthplaces of Cajun, jazz, country, rock’n’roll, blues, and traditional Quebecois music. At the end of each book, explanatory notes delve into the key figures, instruments and customs behind each genre. Available now Books Etc. | Bookshop | Hive | Waterstones | Amazon A Picnic in the Sun Bertie and Friends Hit the Road Bertie and his buddies never get bored with each other… except for the time when it rained for four straight weeks! The journey to the faraway destination won’t be easy, but with a little help from newly made animal friends, they make it to the summit, which happens to be the best place in the whole world for a picnic! An imaginative musical tale interspersed with 18 original and traditional songs. Available now Books Etc. | Bookshop | Hive | Waterstones | Amazon Sing Out! Six Classic Folk Songs for Tomorrow Rediscover your favourite folk songs with this endearingly offbeat rendering of six classics: “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain,” “Little Bingo,” “This Old Man,” “Pop Goes the Weasel,” “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Available now Bookshop | Hive | Waterstones | Amazon Songs from a Journey with a Parrot Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes from Brazil and Portugal The music styles of samba, modinha, and fandango, not to mention a velvety smooth bossa nova, rule in this diverse 15-song collection. Spanning Lisbon to Bahia, and Porto to Rio, a range of play-time songs showcase work, play, courtship, love, and travel themes. Available now Books Etc. | Bookshop | Hive | Waterstones | Amazon Songs in the Shade of the Olive Tree Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes from the Maghreb Discover a North African journey of traditional music from Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. This collection offers a 30-song anthology performed in Arabic and Berber, and is a grand achievement in its eclectic selection of melodies. Available now Books Etc. | Bookshop | Hive | Waterstones | Amazon Songs in the Shade of the Cashew and Coconut Trees Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes from West Africa and the Caribbean A lively collection of 12 traditional songs that pay homage to the communities of West Africa and the Caribbean. Discover stories about children playing in the schoolyard, sisters braiding each other’s hair, and parents dancing late into the night. Available now Books Etc. | Bookshop | Hive | Waterstones | Amazon TK Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay informed about our new releases and events and for a chance to win our subscriber giveaway. To order books for your library or bookstore, please contact Hornblower Books/University of Toronto Press (Canada, United States) and MMS/BookSource (United Kingdom). For additional information, email email@example.com.