Monday, April 27, 2009

Meet the Orchestra Ages

Have you ever met an orchestra? Well, here's your chance!

Meet the rabbit with her flute... The koala cellist...the tuba-playing warthog...the alligator on the drums...

This unusual introduction to the orchestra describes the instruments - strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion - and offers interesting information about them.

Playful illustrations show the animal musicians as they gather for an evening's performance. Then the conductor lowers his baton, and the wonderful music begins...

Meet the Orchestra

By Ann Hayes, Karmen Thompson
Illustrated by Karmen Thompson
Edition: illustrated
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1995
ISBN 0152002227, 9780152002220
32 pages
From Publishers Weekly
Working within the framework of an evening at the symphony--the title page features concert-goers buying tickets, the last page shows musicians and audience members heading home--these collaborators have drummed up a treasure of a book for musically inclined children. Each instrument of the orchestra--from oboes and violas to tubas, trumpets and timpani--is explained, with clear definitions as well as more subjective information as to how each one sounds (the clarinet's "cool tones melt in your ears just like ice cream melts in your mouth"). Thompson's illustrations are sumptuously silly--but musically correct--featuring an array of formally dressed animal musicians (check out the otter in tails on the piccolo). Readers also meet the conductor and learn his role, and are treated to a glimpse of the orchestra seated and in full cry. It's a smashing introduction to classical music, and a must prior to a first visit to the symphony. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-- An attractive, well-planned book that introduces the orchestra's families (groups of like instruments) and its members. In clear and understandable prose, each instrument's function, especially as it relates to the other members of its family, and its sound are described in sometimes poetic phrases--"its song can be bright as laughter, light as air, soft as a whisper, or sad as a tear." Single- or double-page spreads feature a large watercolor illustration of an animal playing the instrument under discussion. Although most are aptly chosen for their instruments--a polar bear playing a bassoon and a lion as the conductor--some are disconcerting. The sight of a chimpanzee in a pink dress and frilly pantaloons sitting at a grand piano lessens the effectiveness of that instrument's description. Overall, however, these creatures add a lively note and enable the book to be friendly and accessible without exhibiting the overriding silliness found in Eugen's Orchestranimals (Scholastic, 1989). A good book to use in the classroom as well as individually, this is a collaboration between two artists whose love for music and the orchestra is evident throughout. --Jane Marino, White Plains Pub . Lib . , NY
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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