Busy Busy City Street by Cari Meister, illustrated by Steven Guarnaccia
This story combines simple, rhyming text with lovely illustrations. Whenever I've shared this book, kids are really into the fun images on the pages that correspond with the story itself. The repeated chorus of "Honk! Honk! Beep! Beep! Busy, busy city street" catches the attention of listeners, and by the end of the book they are quick to respond to my honks with beeps of their own.
The Croaky Pokey by Ethan Long
This amphibious version of the Hokey Pokey is a lot of fun. Lots of young kids haven't really heard the Hokey Pokey before, so they are excited about discovering a song that is so interactive and silly (you put your backside in!). I sing the text of the book to get things going, and I jump around with my tongue stuck out to catch flies in the appropriate parts of the story.
Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig, illustrated by Marc Brown
This book has so many great applications. It introduces a variety of farm animals and the sounds they make, it includes great sounds for promoting phonological awareness, and it boasts a great, consistent rhythm. Animals in the story cannot sleep because "they've got that beat," and every listener quickly catches the beat, too.
What are some of your favorite books with beat to use in story times?