Saturday, August 13, 2011

Carnival of the Animals by Saint Saens

Carnival of the Animals by Saint Saens.

Commentary by Barrie Carson Turner and Illustrations by Sue Williams

"The animals are having a carnival, and guess who is coming? There's the majestic lion, braying mules, the dancing elephant, and the bouncy kangaraoos. The animals are having a carnival and you are invited."

What a fun book to read and it includes an accompanying music CD also. The full length CD contains the entire score of Saint-Saen's most famous composition.

This book is a great introduction to classical music for young children. The pictures are colorful. The book begins with a brief description of Saint Saen's Carnival of the Animals masterpiece and each animal that children will meet in the music... He even throws in a few "unusual animals" for children to locate.

We move to the orchestra for the carnival with all of the instruments and ofcourse, the conductor "maestro" wielding his baton conducting the orchestra. We first meet the string instruments, with a description of each including the violin, viola, cello, and double bass. A simple description is given along with the type of tune that is played. For example, "the viola looks like a big violin and has a deeper sound. It plays the tune of the fish in the aquarium."

The woodwind instruments are next with the clarinet, flute, and piccolo. The flute is one of the highest of the woodwind instruments. It plays the fast fluttering tune of the birds."

Saint Saens was a pianist and included the xylophone, glockenspiel, and piano. "The glockenspiel is like a small xylophone but it is made of metal. Its tinkly sound is the sunlight on the water in the aquarium."

We then move into the 14 tracks on the CD. The first track is the Royal March of the Lion.

Track 2 is the Hens and Roosters; Track 3 are the Mules; Track 4 the Tortoises; Track 5 the Elephant; Track 6 the Kangaroos; Track 7 the Aquarium,Track 8 Animals with long Ears; Track 9 Cuckoo in the Woods; Track 10 Birds; Track 11 Pianists; Track 12 Fossils; Track 13 the Swan; and Track 14 Finale.

Now the orchestra calls all the animals to the start of teh carnival parade. The pianists play great swooshing soundsm, then the orchestra plays a special parade tune. Suddenly, with a great clatter of hooves, the mules rush by. Can you hear the music?Then we hear the spiky music of the hens and roosters. Now the kangaroos pass by, jumping and hopping to their tune.

Last of all we heard the loud hee-haws of the ... you'll have to read the book for the rest of the "finale!"

I recommend this book for children of all ages. This is a must-have for home, school, and public libraries. What a great introduction to classical music for children. This will be great for story time but make sure that you have an accompanying CD player to play the music and have the children describe the animal in the tune. The book is colorful, bright and just plain fun.



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

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