Childrens Picture Books
 

Home

Reviews
General Picture Books
Math
Science
Social Studies
Music & Art
Holidays
Religious
Folk & Fairy Tales
Story Collections
Kid's Books on CD

About Picture Books
Author & Illustrator Info
Picture Book Awards
Picture Book Links

Subjects
Math
Science
Social Studies
Music & Art
Holidays
Religious
Folk & Fairy Tales
Story Collections
Kid's Books on CD

Book Shoppe

ChildrensPictureBook.info Review

Carnival of the Animals with CD: Poems Inspired by Saint-Saens' Music
Editor: Judith Chernaik
Illustrator Satoshi Kitamura
Publisher Candlewick Press

Introducing children to classical music is often easiest with compositions that deal with something concrete that the child already knows. This is true of Saint Saens' Carnival of the Animals. Children have an easier time deciding if a song really sounds like a lion because they know what lions are like. This children's book takes that approach and adds in another element, poetry. Poetry, like music, can be difficult for children to understand if it does not deal with the concrete. In Carnival of the Animals, editor Judith Chernair has taken poems written expressly for this book and meant to accompany the music of Saint Saens Carnival of the Animals. Starting with the "Royal March of the Lion," the poems by 13 modern poets offer their interpretations of the animals from the music. Some succeed better than others do, but that's often true of poetry collections. My preferences may differ from yours. Illustrator Satoshi Kitamura has captured each poem perfectly from the serenely beautiful swan to the slightly offbeat tortoises kicking up their heels.

A CD accompanies the book. It contains the narrated poems, each followed by the portion of the Carnival of the Animals that applies. The final portion of the CD includes the complete Carnival of the Animals suite without poetic interruptions. Carnival of the Animals offers a double benefit. It allows children to listen and think about a classical music piece and do the same for a piece of poetry. In reading the poems with your children, they can decide whether the poem or the music is more lion-like. Listening to poetry read by someone who knows how to do it properly is also a benefit because the way a poem is read often gives added meaning to the text.

There are some flaws in the CD's presentation. The individual files are labeled as track1, track2, and so on. It would have been nice to have the titles. Also, the poem about the swan includes more lines on the CD than in the book. But these are minor flaws. I highly recommend this book/CD combo as a great introduction to listening attentively to music and poetry.


Carnival of the Animals with CD: Poems Inspired by Saint-Saens' Music

More Art & Music Reviews

This site was created for the benefit of parents, grandparents, and all those who love to read to children everywhere.
All contents are Copyright © 2005-2007 ChildrensPictureBooks.Info.and EEGPublishing. All Rights Reserved.
Please send comments to the Editor.