Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Meet the Orchestra by Anna Hayes and Karmen Thompson

Meet the Orchestra
Written by: Ann Hayes and Illustrated by Karmen Thompson

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

This colorful and engaging book is a delight for young and older readers alike as an introduction to musical instruments in an orchestra. The book begins with "The Orchestra plays tonight. The audience has arrived. The musicians come on stage with their instruments. What a lot of different kinds they play -- strings, woodwinds, brass, adn percussion."

There is a lovely picture with the animals preparing to play their instruments. There is an alligator, rabbit, tiger... and .... you tell us the rest in the picture!

The first instrument described is the Violin. A raccon dressed in a tuxedo coat sits on a chair playing the violin. Notice his violin case.... There are stickers from the places where he has performed? Paris... Boulder, Colorado... New York... How fun!

We next move to the babboon wearing a summer dress or tutu playing the Viola. We learn the difference between the Violin and the Viola..... "The viola looks and sounds like a big brother to the violin. It has a deeper tone, reminding you of evening shadows, cloudy skies, and the color blue....

Who has ever seen a koala bear playing a cello? We have one here...... "You can't tuck a cello under your chin the way you do a violin or a viola?"

Why not?????????

"It is so big you must rest it on the floor."

A walrus playing the String Bass greets us next......
What is the string bass?

"The string bass is the grandpa of the string family... When bowed, its low notes moan and groan."

Rabbit plays the flute?

Beaver plays the Piccolo

Panda Bear plays the Oboe

Polar Bear plays the Bassoon

Two lovely Foxes  play the Clarinet... A girl fox plays the B-Flat Clarinet and a boy fox plays the Bass Clarinet

Tiger plays the French Horn

Monkey plays the Trumpet

Wart Hog plays the Tuba

Alligator plays the Timpani or Kettledrums

Elephant plays the Cymbals

Another Monkey plays the Piano

Lion is the Conductor

and finally.......

The musicians have taken their places. The strings, who are by far the largest group of players, sit in front, almost filling the stage. The woodwinds sit close together at the center. The brass and percussions are in the back.

The conductor strides on stage in front of the orchestra, raises his baton ...

Let the music start!

I absolultely love this book and have recommended it to all of my musician friends, teachers, librarians, friends, family, co-workers!I love the pictures of each animal playing his /her instrument. Each description was short, fun, and played on our senses. For example, To play the flute, you hold it sideways, tighten your lips, and blow across the air hold. With practice, you can trill like a bird or play slow, quivering notes as cool as a mountain stream.

This certainly engages all of our senses!It is quite descriptive and makes you feel like running out and playing our favorite instrument!

My father played the tuba and my brother the trumpet so I am partial to the Bass instruments.......

The Tuba has a huge bell and a very long tube. The tuba seldom carries a tune. It is more of a rhythm instrument. Its "umpahs" help the brass to keep the beat, just as the thump of the bass does for the strings."

This book is an excellent addition to every home, school, and public library. This book is a great introduction to instruments, orchestra, classical music, etc.

Happy reading!

Until the next time...

A children's book a day, keeps the scary monster away!

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