Saturday, December 5, 2015

Kid Konnection: Welcome to the Symphony

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week I'm going to share with you a fun, interactive book for the child who loves music!

Summary: Using one of the most famous works in classical music—Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony—here is the perfect way to introduce a young child to the world of classical music. This charming and interactive picture book with its panel of 19 sound buttons is like a ticket to a concert hall, taking readers on a journey from the exciting first moment when the musicians begin tuning up to the end of the first movement (attention newcomers: don’t clap yet!). At each step of the way, readers learn the basics of classical music and the orchestra: What is a conductor? What is a symphony? Who was Beethoven? The different aspects of music: melody, harmony, tempo, theme. And the families of instruments—strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.

But the best part is that every critical idea is illustrated in gorgeous sound. The sound panel allows readers to hear the different parts of the symphony and voices of the music—the famous beginning of the Fifth, what a clarinet sounds like, the difference between a violin and a viola, what a melody is, and what harmony is. Kids will want to match their voices to the A note that tunes the orchestra, dance to the rhythmic passages—and, of course, sing along to da-da-da-daah! -- Workman

WELCOME TO THE SYMPHONY by Carolyn Sloan and illustrated by James Williamson is an excellent book for children who want to learn more about classical music and the symphony. It has nineteen buttons on the side which kids will love to play with; and in the process, they can learn about the various instruments in a symphony as well as the basics of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5.

While some kids might find that subject matter a little daunting, WELCOME TO THE SYMPHONY makes learning fun with its many interactive sound buttons. There is a button that demonstrates the tuning necessary for musicians and others that play Symphony No. 5 and the main theme. In addition, there are sixteen buttons of various instruments so kids can learn how they sound when compared to each other.

WELCOME TO THE SYMPHONY is both fun and educational. My kids probably would have spent the majority of their time just playing with the buttons and "making music." However, the book also teaches children the basics of the music. They will learn what a symphony is as well as the definitions of pitch, note, and tempo to name just a few. In addition, they will learn background/history of the various instruments and when it's okay to clap!

I was pleasantly surprised by how much information exists between the pages of WELCOME TO THE SYMPHONY. The book is only 31 pages, yet it contains so much educational material about the symphony. I found the information to be very interesting, so I'm sure youngsters will manage to learn a thing or two. What I really appreciated, though, was how the authors include mice as the audience members -- the ones who were learning along with the reader about the symphony. These characters and their humor made the book lighter and even more fun!

My son's class went to see the orchestra last year for a field trip, and I think this book would have been a fantastic way to introduce the symphony to them! Highly recommended for both home and school libraries.

Thanks to FSB Associates for providing a review copy of this book.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


bermudaonion said...

Vance has always loved music and concerts of any kind. I'm sure he would have loved this book!

Stacie said...

I have this book to review too! I think it looks like a fabulous book to have AND give. Exposing kids to music early has many benefits!