Cover image for Orchestranimals
Van Kampen, Vlasta.
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Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Inc., [1989]

Physical Description:
40 pages ; 27 cm
A band of animal musicians introduces the symphony orchestra.
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Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML460 .V26 1989 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
ML460 .V26 1989 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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A band of animal musicians introduces the symphony orchestra.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. It is minutes before the opening bars of the orchestra's performance and a frantic penguin conductor (sans musicians) mutters in a lilting but agitated refrain, "I need players to bow, players to blow, and players to hit to the beat." One by one, they straggle in--their ludicrous excuses for lateness tinged with just enough logic to impart clever tidbits of musical information; for example, the duck was at the pond getting reeds for his oboes. Colorfully frenetic illustrations echo the text's bustling tone with a visual climax provided by Crash (a monkey percussionist) who shows up to bang his cymbals right on cue. This jovial introduction to the symphony orchestra includes musical notations for each instrument and, used with Scott Gustafson's Animal Orchestra [BKL Ja 15 89], will make a harmonious duet. --Phillis Wilson

Publisher's Weekly Review

It's just a few minutes before showtime and the nattily dressed penguin conductor frets over the empty seats before him. One by one the animal orchestra members appear with silly excuses and informative remarks about their instruments. The predominant theme of the story is that Crash the monkey is missing. Predictably he surfaces toward the very end of the book, clangs his cymbals together and is the hit of the show. The thin plot line leading to the practically nonexistent show is drawn out to 41 pages, presumably to accommodate a full range of instruments. In addition to the distraction of complicated musical notations that embellish occasional pages, the instruments have a photographic quality that is incongruous with the rest of the illustrations. The subject matter would imply that a good time was had by all, but real fun is noticeably absent. In trying too hard to instruct, the book misses an opportunity to entertain. Ages 5-8. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-- Concert time is fast approaching, but maestro penguin's musicians have yet to arrive. One by one the animal instrumentalists appear, each with an excuse meant to be amusing, to be met by the conductor's continued plea, ``Where is Crash?'' Finally the concert begins, and Crash, a monkey, appears in the nick of time (from the bell of the tuba) to crash the cymbals and be the star of the show. Tidbits of musical instruction are worked into the silliness. The instruments arrive in family groupings, with a three- or four-bar sample of music. Small labels in some of the illustrations point out the peg at the base of the cello or the tuning pedals of the harp. Van Kampen's illustrations are large, colorful, and busy, and the musical notation and the labels worked into the layout compound the busyness. The art work is pleasant enough, but it can't compensate for the limp text. For real orchestral whimsy, stick to Kuskin's The Philharmonic Gets Dressed (Harper, 1982); for animal musicality try Bill Staines' All God's Critters Got a Place in the Choir (Dutton, 1989). Mark Rubin and Alan Daniel's The Orchestra (Salem House, 1986) is a better introduction to instruments. --Elaine Fort Weischedel, Turner Free Library, Randolph, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.