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Seattle Opera.

Opera Time


Presented in classrooms, daycares, and libraries all year long.

Read together and sing together! this musical storytelling program, delivered to your classroom by a teaching artist, fosters literacy in and through the arts. Opera Time aligns closely with Common Core Standards in English Language Arts, and gives students skills in broadening and contextualizing vocabulary, creating original stories, identifying character and motive, and selecting words that supply richness and meaning. Read our detailed guide on how Opera Time integrates with Common Core standards.

Appropriate for Pre-K through 2nd Grade. A teaching artist will present Opera Time to your classroom or community center during a 30-minute session of singing, read-aloud story time, movement, and story/character exploration using one of the following books.

Just $65 per session.

Seattle Opera is committed to providing equitable access to the arts. Financial assistance is available.

Contact Us about an Opera Time Session


Octopus's Garden by Ringo Starr

Octopus's Garden

Ideal for Pre-K–2nd Grade | Written by Ringo Starr & illustrated by Ben Cort
Lexile: AD880L
Who wouldn’t like to visit an octopus’s garden? Well, now you can! This lively picture book brings Ringo Starr’s joyful underwater tale to life and is perfect for reading, sharing, and singing again and again.

Come sing and dance around in an octopus’s garden in the shade! The classic Beatles song comes to life with colorful illustrations from bestselling illustrator Ben Cort.

I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’s garden in the shade
He’d let us in, knows where we’ve been
In his octopus’s garden in the shade

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Dragons Love Tacos

Ideal for Pre-K–1st Grade| Written by Adam Rubin & illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
Lexile: AD720L
The award-winning team of Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri has created an unforgettable tale of new friends and the perfect snack.

Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You're in red-hot trouble.

The Jazz Fly by Matthew Gollub

The Jazz Fly

Ideal for Pre-K–2nd grade | Written by Matthew Gollub & illustrated by Karen Hanke
Lexile: AD480L
This singular story about musical insects celebrates language and the inventive spirit of jazz. A fly, who speaks jazz, asks different critters which way to town. “Rrribit,” replies the frog. “Oink,” says the hog. Although baffled, the fly hears music in their words, and that evening he uses those sounds to set the insect dinner club a hoppin.’ The computer enhanced artwork of Karen Hanke perfectly complements the text. Get ready to tap, snap, and swing to the beat as Nancy the Gnat, Willie the Worm, and Sammy the Centipede take the stage. Here’s a combination of storytelling, visual art, and music for children to savor time and again.

Mortimer by Robert Munsch


Ideal for Pre-K–2nd grade | Written by Robert Munsch & illustrated by Michael Martchenko
Lexile: AD680L
"[Mortimer is the story] of a little boy who won't go to sleep at night and who drives his family crazy with his rowdiness ... [It] reads as though it was written by a parent driven frantic by one of the contemporary but compulsive stages of childrearing ... [It is] of tremendous appeal to kids and parents at the same stage." -Globe and Mail

Clang, clang, rattle-bing-bang
Gonna make my noise all day.

Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo by John Lithgow

Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo

Ideal for Pre-K–1st Grade | Written by John Lithgow & illustrated by Leeza Hernandez
Lexile: AD820L
This lively and lyrical jaunt is from actor and author John Lithgow.

Oh, children! Remember! Whatever you may do,
Never play music right next to the zoo.
They’ll burst from their cages, each beast and each bird,
Desperate to play all the music they’ve heard.

A concert gets out of hand when the animals at the neighboring zoo storm the stage and play the instruments themselves in this hilarious picture book based on one of John Lithgow’s best-loved tunes.

Seasonal Selections

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

Ideal for Pre-K–2nd Grade | Written by Linda Williams & illustrated by Megan Lloyd
Lexile: AD710L
“A delightful picture book, perfect for both independent reading pleasure and for telling aloud. The Little Old Lady… is a clever reworking of the classic story of a ghostly body that appears bit by bit (see “What's the Matter'' in Maria Leach's Whistle in the Graveyard Viking, 1974 ). The humor of the little old lady's fearless attitude and her clever solution as to what to do with the lively shoes, pants, shirt, pumpkin head, etc., that are chasing her, will enchant young audiences. The catchy refrain never falters, and the rhythmic repeated sounds made by each of the woman's pursuers are sure to appeal to children. Lloyd's brilliantly-colored, detailed folk art-style illustrations are a perfect complement to the text. Great for Halloween or any time of the year.” -School Library Journal

Possum Come A-Knockin by Nancy Van Laan

Possum Come A-Knockin'

Ideal for Pre-K–2nd Grade | Written by Nancy Van Laan & illustrated by George Booth
Lexile: AD710L
That rascally possum is the kind of critter that knocks on the door and then hides! Granny is a-rockin' and Ma's a-cookin' taters when that possum comes a-knockin' at the door. That sets Coon-dawg a-growlin' and Tom-cat a-sniffing', but nobody believes the little girl when she says she sees that ol' possum! Van Laan's rollicking rhyme reads like a rap song, and George Booth is at his comic best.

Great for Fall or any time of the year.

Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter

Follow the Drinking Gourd

Ideal for K–2nd Grade | Written & illustrated by Jeanette Winter
Lexile: AD630L
Winter's story begins with a peg-leg sailor who aids slaves on their escape on the Underground Railroad. While working for plantation owners, Peg Leg Joe teaches the slaves a song about the drinking gourd (the Big Dipper). A couple, their son, and two others make their escape by following the song's directions. Rich paintings interpret the strong story in a clean, primitive style enhanced by bold colors. The rhythmic compositions have an energetic presence that's compelling. A fine rendering of history in picture book format.

Great for Black History Month, Civil War History or any time of the year.

Please contact us at if you are not sure if Opera Time is right for your classroom, or if you have any other questions.

Main Photo © Jonathan Vanderweit