Cover image for M is for music
M is for music
Krull, Kathleen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Orlando : Harcourt, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
An alphabet book introducing musical terms, from allegro to zarzuela.
Reading Level:
AD 530 Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC K-2 3.5 1 Quiz: 34440 Guided reading level: NR.
Added Author:
Electronic Access:
Publisher description
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-A-B-C 1-2-3 Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Music and the alphabet have always gone together. Don't kids learn their letters by singing the ABCs? But you've never seen--or heard --a musical alphabet like this one. Beloved tunes. Unusual instruments. Legendary virtuosos. From anthems to zydeco, the language of music and the music of language harmonize in one superb symphony. It's a funky fusion for songsters of all ages!
Playful text opens up the world of music to the youngest readers, and conversational endnotes offer older readers a springboard to further musical explorations.

Author Notes

KATHLEEN KRULL is well known for her lively, award-winning nonfiction for young readers. She lives in San Diego, California.

STACY INNERST 's award-winning artwork has been featured in magazines and newspapers worldwide. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

K-Gr. 3. Krull, who brought readers the irrepressible prose of the Lives of . . . series, turns to an alphabet of music--eliding from E for Elvis to H for Hildegard to P for Piano. Singers, composers, instruments, and types of music are all part of the composition. Innerst's unusual oil-and-acrylic technique on gesso and tin allows for expressiveness but can sometimes be muddy or even surreal. Each page is very involved. For instance, the Q page (for quartet and quintet) has a sprinkling of other musical words (quiet, quadrille), and the four grisaille musicians play number fours that morph into bowed instruments. Each reference is expanded in the "Musical Notes from A to Z" at the end. Aliki's Ah, Music! BKL Je 1 & 15 2003 is richer and more detailed, but this has its own quirky appeal. --GraceAnne DeCandido Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

From pop to classical, jazz to folk and everything in between, Krull's (Lives of the Musicians) hip, witty abecedary offers readers an eclectic smorgasbord of musical tastes, terms, instruments, luminaries and more. First-time illustrator Innerst not only maintains the material's nimble tempo, but his slyly humorous, slightly abstract oil and acrylic illustrations give the minimal text a sophisticated spin. The textured brushwork and subdued color create a kind of deadpan delivery for funny spot illustrations-as in a Valkyrie shattering glass ("Vv is for voice and vibration"), a pair of hula-skirted ukuleles dancing on a beach ("Uu is for ukuleles in unison") or a portrait of a pained-looking Mozart plugging his ears as a chorus belts out a melody. Each central image or theme is bolstered by a sprinkling of alphabetically related words. "Aa is for anthem," for instance, features an accordion player and Louis Armstrong alongside such words as "allegro," "alto" and "a cappella." Some of the drollery may be lost on the picture-book audience: "Bb is for Beatles," for example, features the "Bb" picked out in a groovy '60s font and three "bees" labeled "Bach," "Brahms" and "Beethoven" buzzing around the lads from Liverpool. Even so, there's plenty here for all to enjoy. All ages. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-This alphabetical compendium, from "anthem and accordion" to "zydeco, zither, and all forms of zippy music," takes a look at the people and things that make us sing. Krull displayed her love and knowledge of music in Gonna Sing My Head Off (Knopf, 1995) and Lives of the Musicians (Harcourt, 1993). Here, she offers both abstract and concrete terms to illustrate each letter. For example, "Ee is for Elvis, energy, and encore." Within the artwork are the words electric guitar, echo, elevator music, and ear, the last word appearing as if it were the call letters for a radio station, circa 1930, perched above a microphone shaped to suggest an ear. The jazzy oil-and-acrylic collage assemblages include humorous touches to reinforce the concepts. The range of words explored is almost as vast as the world of music itself, with figures as diverse as Frank Zappa and Hildegard and musical genres as different as ragtime and klezmer included in the mix. This book will make a great companion to Lloyd Moss's Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin (S & S, 1995) and Music Is (Putnam, 2003) along with Aliki's Ah, Music (HarperCollins, 2003), all of which celebrate the beauty and diversity of music.-Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.