Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Thursday, July 15, 2010


"A child’s basic attitude towards and appreciation of literature, music, history, art, philosophy, even science, and of course life and religion—must come first of all not from school, for the school will give you all this mixed up with modern philosophy; it must come first from the home and Church, or else he is bound to be miseducated in today’s world, where public education is at best agnostic, and at worst openly atheistic or anti-religious." -from ORTHODOX WORLDVIEW by Fr. Seraphim Rose

Yes, I'm writing about music today on my blog for children's literature! That's because there are some great stories out there that can help you introduce your kids to the orchestra, classical composers, and the world of opera and jazz...

Animal Orchestra (Little Golden Treasures book), by Ilo Orleans, illustrated by Tibor Gergely (baby-preschool). The rhyming text and fun illustrations will delight babies and toddlers
Gabriella's Song, by Candice Fleming, illustrated by Giselle Potter (ages 4-8). Young Gabriella lives in Venice and finds music and rhythm in the sounds of everyday life around her. She hums her melody and is heard by her neighbors, who share her tune with each other. Each interprets it a little differently and it spreads through the city and into the ear of "the brilliant composer Giuseppe Del Pietro". It becomes his inspiration for a magnificent symphony. Through the engaging text and whimsical pictures, your child will get to know a little bit about the old world charm of Venice and the power of music!
Pet of the Met, by Don Freeman (ages 4-8). We LOVED this book! The Metropolitan Opera has a tiny page-turner for the Prompter of the Metropolitan Opera...and he happens to be a mouse named Maestro Petrini. He is constantly trying to evade Mefisto the Cat. Hilarity ensues when the Maestro Mouse gets carried away during a performance of THE MAGIC FLUTE and joins the performers on stage for all (including the Cat) to see.
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin, by Lloyd Moss, illustrated by Marjorie Priceman (ages 4-8). Clever catchy verse and zany, colorful illustrations bring music to life as the instruments that make up an orchestra are introduced by "a chamber group of ten". (A Caldecott Honor book.)
Mole Music, by David McPhail (ages 4-8). Tender-hearted story of a Mole who feels that something is missing in his life underground. After hearing a musician on his television playing beautiful music, he decides to get his own violin and learn to play. Find out if Mole can change the world with his music.

Carnival of the Animals: Classical Music for Kids, by Barrie C. Turner, illustrated by Sue Williams. (preschool-2nd grade) My children absolutely loved listening to Camille Saint-Saens' CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS. I was excited to find this picture book that comes with a CD recording of music and narration!
The Jazz Fly, by Matthew Gollub, illustrated by Karen Hanke. (preschool-1st grade) A fly, who also happens to be a drummer, gets lost on the way to a performance. Lots of "scat" talk in the bouncy narration, and music from a jazz quartet, make the accompanying CD loads of fun. The illustrations have a jazzy style and are mostly black, gray, and white, with small splashes of color.

Through these narrated dramatic stories, a little bit of history, and music accompaniment of some of the great composers, your children will be introduced to the joys of classical music. Fun and unique!
Beethoven Lives Upstairs;
Mr. Bach Comes To Call;
Mozart's Magical Fantasy: A Journey Through the Magic Flute;
Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery

1 comment:

  1. The Remarkable Farkle McBride written by John Lithgow and illustrated by C.F. Payne is another really great book - and has an accompanying CD with narration and song by John Lithgow that highlights the sounds of the different orchestral instruments.