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Seattle Opera.

Opera Time


Since we can't offer this program in person due to the current public health recommendations from King County, Seattle Opera is now offering recorded classes on video so that you can have Opera Time at home! To access these videos and all of our other streaming content, visit our Opera at Home page.


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, 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


A Shelter in Our Car by Monica Gunning

A Shelter in Our Car

Ideal for 1st–2nd Grade | Written by Monica Gunning & illustrated by Elaine Pedlar
Lexile: AD560L
Zettie and her Mama left their warm and comfortable home in Jamaica for an uncertain life in the United Sates. With Papa gone, Mama can't find a steady job that will sustain them and so they are forced to live in their car. But Mama's unwavering love, support, and gutsy determination give Zettie the confidence that, together, she and her mother can meet all challenges.

Monica Gunning's moving and authentic story about homelessness in an American city was developed with the help of the Homeless Children s Network in San Francisco. Elaine Pedlar's strong and lively illustrations bring the story to life in vibrant chalk pastel.

Great for World Homelessness Week, homelessness awareness, and for any time of the year.

Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae

Commotion in the Ocean

Ideal for Pre-K–2nd Grade | Written by Giles Andreae & Illustrated by David Wojtowyez
Lexile: AD850L
This delightful collection of poems includes fun rhymes about the creatures who live in and around the ocean. Children will delight in the snappy poems and colorful illustrations about whales, walruses, penguins, polar bears, stingrays, and sharks.

Great for an introduction to sea animals, creatures and for any time of the year.

Decibella and Her 6-Inch Voice; Written by Julia Cook & illustrated by Anita Du Falla

Decibella and Her 6-Inch Voice

Ideal for K-2 Grade | Written by Julia Cook & illustrated by Anita Du Falla
Lexile: AD630L
Isabella is a spirited girl who enjoys shouting out her thoughts, ideas and feelings. In fact, she loves using her loud voice so much; it's earned her the nickname "Decibella"! Young readers will be entertained as they see how Isabella learns the "five volumes" of voice and discovers that different situations require a different tone.

Great for classroom expectations, practicing the “five volumes” of voice or any time of the year.

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Dragons Love Tacos

Ideal for Pre-K–2nd 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.

Great for any time of the year.

Elena’s Serenade by Campbell Geeslin

Elena’s Serenade

Ideal for K–2nd Grade | Written by Campbell Geeslin & illustrated by Ana Juan
Lexile: AD650L
Who ever heard of a girl glassblower?
In Mexico, where the sun is called el sol and the moon is called la luna, a little girl called Elena wants to blow into a long pipe…and make bottles appear, like magic.
But girls can’t be glassblowers. Or can they?
Join Elena on her fantastic journey to Monterrey home of the great glassblowers! – in an enchanting story filled with magic realism.

Great for issues of gender roles, self-confidence, and the workings of an artist’s heart. Great for 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 and for any time of the year.

Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World by Laurence Anholt

Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World

Ideal for Pre-K–2nd Grade | Written & Illustrated by Laurence Anholt
Lexile: AD580L
When a little girl named Mariana is sent to have her portrait painted by Frida, she is scared. "Well, that's okay," Frida tells her. "Everyone feels scared sometimes. Now take my hand and let's go inside." Soon, Mariana meets all of Frida's pets, from a handsome parrot and funny spider monkey to a little dog, baby deer, and beautiful eagle. Frida's home is full of wonders, and her studio is brimming with strange but beautiful paintings. As Mariana sits for her portrait, she learns all about Frida's life, and begins to think of her as the bravest woman in the world. Frida thinks Mariana is very special too&emdash;and she's got a wonderful surprise in store for her!

Great for Women’s History Month, Arts history, and for any time of the year.

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands by Kadir Nelson

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

Ideal for Pre-K–2nd Grade | Written & Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Lexile: AD170L
"Nelson’s vibrant signature illustrations rendered in pencil, oil, and watercolor breathe new meaning and life into this favorite Sunday school spiritual in which families, communities, and forces of nature are celebrated with lively images and inspiring scenes. The cover painting of an African-American boy against a colorful landscape beckons readers inside to discover the wonders of creation. With each page turn and line of verse, Nelson gives fresh, thought-provoking interpretations to the lyrics that will stir the imagination and spark discussion.

The simple, repetitious flow of the words and the refrain make this an excellent read-aloud choice as well as a sing-along favorite." -School Library Journal, starred review

Great for celebrating our world and the people who share in its splendors, any time of the year.

I Am Enough by Grace Byers

I Am Enough

Ideal for Pre-K–2nd Grade | Written by Grace Byers & illustrated by Keturah A. BoBo
Lexile: AD580L
We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.

A simple but powerful poem that has been penned as a picture-book affirmation for girls who may be doubting their self-worth.

Great for teachers and librarians who wish to introduce concepts and spark discussion on self-esteem, women empowerment, and for any time of the year.

In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming

In the Tall, Tall Grass

Ideal for Pre-K–2nd Grade | Written by Denise Fleming
Lexile: AD630L
If you were a fuzzy caterpillar crawling through the tall, tall grass on a sunny afternoon, what would you see?

To find out, just follow the tiny tour guide as he inches his way through the pages of this book. You'll see ants and bees and birds—hip-hopping bunnies too. You'll even hear the sounds some of them make.

Crunch, munch,
caterpillars lunch...
Crack, snap, wings flap...

Great for an introduction to nature, and for any time of the year.

Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Julián is a Mermaid

Ideal for Pre-K–2nd Grade | Written & Illustrated by Jessica Love
Lexile: 190L
In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world.

While riding the subway home from the pool with his Abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love’s author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.

Great for Celebrating Pride, Inclusion and Acceptance, Self-Love, Individuality, and for any time of the year.

Jump, Frog, Jump! by Robert Kalan

Jump, Frog, Jump!

Ideal for Pre-K–2nd Grade | Written by Robert Kalan & Illustrated by Byron Barton
Lexile: AD630L
JUMP! This infectious cumulative tale will soon have the young frogs you know jumping and chanting with joy.

Great for any time of the year.

Mister and Lady Day by Amy Novesky

Mister and Lady Day

Ideal for 2nd Grade | Written by Amy Novesky & illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton
Lexile: AD630L
Billie Holiday—also known as Lady Day—had fame, style, a stellar voice, gardenias in her hair, and lots of dogs. She had a coat-pocket poodle, a beagle, Chihuahuas, a Great Dane, and more, but her favorite was a boxer named Mister. Mister was always there to bolster her courage, even at her legendary appearance at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Stylish illustrations keep the story focused on the bond between Holiday and her dog. An author’s note addresses the singer’s troubled life, and includes a little-known photo of Mister and Lady Day!

Great for black or women's history, an introduction to jazz and blues and for any time of the year.

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.

Great for any time of the year.

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.

Great as an introduction to instruments and for any time of the year.

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

Great for an introduction to sea animals, creatures and for any time of the year.

Possum Come A-Knockin'; Written by Nancy Van Laan & illustrated by George Booth

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.

Rumble in the Jungle by Giles Andreae

Rumble in the Jungle

Ideal for Pre-K–1st Grade | Written by Giles Andreae & Illustrated by David Wojtowyez
Lexile: AD1010L
Join this rhyming safari and meet everyone from the elphing elephant to the gangly giraffe, and maybe even the terrible tiger!

Great for any time of the year.

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o


Ideal for K–2nd Grade | Written by Lupita Nyong’o & illustrated by Vashti Harrison
Lexile: AD580L
Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

From Academy Award–winning actress Lupita Nyong’o comes a powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.

Great for teachers and librarians who wish to introduce concepts and spark discussion on self-esteem, women POC empowerment, hope and resilience, and for any time of the year.

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.

Great for Jazz History Month, introduction to instruments and for any time of the year.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything; Written by Linda Williams & illustrated by Megan Lloyd

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, Fall and for any time of the year.

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts

Those Shoes

Ideal for K–2nd Grade | Written by Maribeth Boelts & illustrated by Noah Z. Jones
Lexile: AD550L
All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. Though Jeremy’s grandma says they don’t have room for "want," just "need," when his old shoes fall apart at school, he is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that are much too small. But sore feet aren’t much fun, and Jeremy soon sees that the things he has — warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend — are worth more than the things he wants.

This book delivers powerful lessons on topics like being grateful, sharing, kindness, friendship, and generosity .Great for any time of the year.

What If… by Samantha Berger

What If…

Ideal for Pre-K–2nd Grade | Written by Samantha Berger & illustrated by Mike Curato
Lexile: AD580L
Creativity, the power of imagination, and the importance of self-expression are celebrated in this inspiring picture book written and illustrated by real-life best friends.

This girl is determined to express herself! If she can't draw her dreams, she'll sculpt or build, carve or collage. If she can't do that, she'll turn her world into a canvas. And if everything around her is taken away, she'll sing, dance, and dream...

Stunning mixed media illustrations, lyrical text, and a breathtaking gatefold conjure powerful magic in this heartfelt affirmation of art, imagination, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Great for any time of the year.

Young Warren Sings! by Sonya Sardon

Young Warren Sings!
Overcoming the Fear of Stage Fright

*In Black and White print
Ideal for 1st–2nd Grade | Written by Sonya Sardon & illustrated by Tanya Stewart
Lexile: AD560L
Being afraid is not much fun. You feel squishy inside, and you’ve not quite sure what to do. Warren knows all about being afraid. When he is asked to sing a solo in his school’s annual spring program, he is struck with “Stage Fright.” There are butterflies dancing in his tummy. How can Warren sing like that? With help and support from his mother and father, as well as from his music teacher, Mrs. Franklin, Warren practices and prepares for his big night. Watch and see what happens when Young Warren Sings!

Sonya Sardon (Dr. Sonya Franklin-Burney), delivers and excellent book for children on how to deal with stage fright. Here is a story that helps children learn to let go of their fears and not let those fears control their lives.

Great for any time of the year.



Still looking for the perfect program for your school?

We know that each classroom has unique needs and opportunities, and that no program is truly one-size-fits-all. Seattle Opera will work directly with you and your school to create opera programming that best serves your students and community. Email for more information!

Main Photo © Jonathan Vanderweit