|The Composer is Dead, by Lemony Snicket|
Written by Lemony Snicket
Illustrated by Carson Ellis
Music by Nathaniel Stookey
HarperCollins Publishers, 2009, Fiction, ages 5 and up
Orchestra, Music, Mystery
"The Composer is Dead.
'Composer' is a word which here means 'a person who sits in a room, muttering and humming and figuring out what notes the orchestra is going to play.' This is called composing.
But last night, the Composer was not muttering. He was not humming. He was not moving, or even breathing.
This is called decomposing."
This picture book and accompanying CD were created to introduce young readers to the orchestra, something like Prokofiev did in his time. The story follows a detective who investigates the death of the Composer. The listener is introduced to various instruments through text and music.
What I Love:
Daniel Handler (AKA Lemony Snicket) is both author and musician. He brings his personal brand of bizarre to this somewhat educational picture book. Snicket has a style all his own. His ironic humor is not lost on his young audience, and is appreciated by adult fans as well. The accompanying CD includes an instrumental track along with the narrated version, so it can be enjoyed in many ways. This book is a humorous introduction to orchestral music, musical instruments, and various musical terms. If you are a fan of The Mysterious Benedict Society series, then you will especially appreciate the familiar illustration style of Carson Ellis.
1. Take your children to experience live orchestral music. Our local concert series always includes works geared toward young people. Local colleges are also a great place to go. Kids can hear the music in a more intimate setting and may have a chance to talk with the musicians. If you live near a public radio station, as we do, you may have the opportunity to be in the audience for free. Call your local NPR station and ask.
|Thanks to Mister Make It and Love It|
3. I remember listening to Holst's The Planets in middle school. We were supposed to close our eyes and write down each of the different instruments we could hear. Listening in this way teaches a child to be more aware of the sounds around them. They can begin to appreciate the complexity of musical composition.
Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday for March 8, 2013.
Thanks to Susanna Leonard Hill and to Julie Rowan-Zoch for prompting me to participate.