Laugh out loud and learn a little

January 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm

The Composer Is Dead written and read by Lemony Snicket, music composed by Nathaniel Stookey, illustrations by Carson Ellis; published by Harper Collins, New York; 2009.

Wow, this is an unbelievable multimedia experience.  I’m not usually a fan of the author narrating his or her own books, but in this case, Lemony Snicket is a natural.  He is at his inimitable best in this educational but entertaining tale of the murder of the composer.  His narration is paired with original compositions by Nathaniel Stookey and illustrations by Carson Ellis.  Stookey’s music highlights the sounds and styles of the various sections of the orchestra with drama and panache; I can’t imagine this book without the music.  Ellis’ images reminded me of the pictures in my piano books from the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.  The silhouette busts of the composers on the end pages really tickled me but I found I didn’t refer much to the book—I preferred to let the story and music play in my imagination.

I have got to let our music teacher know about this book—the accompanying CD includes nine instrumental tracks along with the narrated tracks and any music teacher could incorporate this into her lessons.  I would also use it in an educational box about classical music or orchestras as well as in a music program at the library.


Entry filed under: Children's Picture Books on Audio. Tags: , , , , .

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Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that sometimes books are received for review for free by publishers or authors. All books (ARCs, galleys, library or purchased) will be reviewed fairly; no special consideration is given to anything reviewed on this blog. In addition, I make every attempt to avoid spoilers. Sometimes they happen inadvertently or because they are important to defend a review; not all spoilers have been removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement included as a warning to readers.

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