Before I get to today’s review, I want to share a funny story.
When our children were young, I had some cassette tapes of classical music that I would play for them. During the Christmas holiday season when our youngest son was about 4 years old, he asked to listen to the ‘Graham Cracker Suite.’ He really meant the Nutcracker Suite. Wasn’t that a cute mistake? I thought so.
Okay. Let’s get on with the regularly scheduled program, folks.
Welcome to the Symphony by Carolyn Sloan is a delightful interactive picture book that introduces young children to the symphony.
See the 3 little mice in the picture below? They narrate the story. They take readers through the whole symphony experience — from the musicians tuning up, through understanding what a conductor does, through various musical elements and instruments, and finally to the music from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
There are 19 sound buttons along the side. Children hear what a melody is and what harmony is. They hear the sounds of the various instruments. (My 6 year-old grandson recognized a trombone. Smart little whippersnapper, isn’t he?)
I sat on the couch with my grandsons and read the book. (They are in their jammies. My youngest grandson is wearing a t-shirt from the high school where my son teaches. He thinks that’s the best jammies ever!)
My three-year-old grandson enjoyed ‘reading’ the book by himself. Do you notice that the book is upside down for him? I guess that is alright.
He really enjoyed pushing the buttons over, and over, and over to listen to all of the wonderful sounds of the symphony!
This book is very educational — but not boring. It’s the ideal way to introduce children to classical music and to the symphony. It combines words and pictures and sounds to make reading this book a delightful experience. Children can’t help but enjoy it.
One of the things that I really like about this interactive book is that the sound is not blaring and harsh. This book wouldn’t be annoying to parents or grandparents as kids pushed the interactive buttons over and over.
The best thing about this book is that the music is played by young musicians who are members of the New York Youth Symphony. Isn’t that cool? This could inspire a young child to become seriously involved in making music!
The author, Carolyn Sloan, is a very experienced musician. She knows what she is talking about. She started playing playing classical piano at the age of seven. At fifteen, she became a professional singer. In her twenties, she wrote and performed her own compositions. She has written over 50 songs for children. Her music has been performed on radio, television, and concert stages around the world. She is now a music educator at the Berkeley Carroll School.
Take a moment to read about this book. You will find that it would be a wonderful addition to your home library.
You can find it on Amazon.com for under $18. What a bargain.
You know, Christmas is just around the corner. This would make a great gift for a grandchild. It would also be a wonderful birthday present. Give a gift of value — give someone the beginning of a music education!