'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 11 May 2018

Review: Poppy and the Orchestra

Poppy and the Orchestra is not a bedtime story. This story and its sound buttons, will have your children dancing around the room like a graceful ballerina, stomping elephant, fluttering butterfly or waving their arms around like a conductor.

Like Poppy, readers will get caught up in the excitement of the upcoming concert. During Poppy's journey along the forest path she meets the musicians and their instruments.

First Poppy meets a cat, in a tuxedo with tails, playing a clarinet. On each page the illustrator, Magali Le Huche gives a clue who the next musician will be.

As Poppy continues along the path we meet more musicians; a bear playing a piano, a Elephant violinist, a Mouse on double base, a xylophonist pig and many more musicians that play a piccolo, celesta, cello, flute and bassoon.

Throughout the story the readers will learn the orchestra instrument's names and sounds in a fun and interactive way by pushing sound buttons. This added dimension to the story brings each instrument's distinctive sound to life.  Once all the musicians have gathered together, the orchestra is ready to play their concert. On the concert page, the reader can press the last button to hear 15 seconds of music from the song 'The Carnival of the Animals: Finale' by Camille Saint-SaĆ«ns.

Huche's illustrations clearly identify the musicians from the other characters, as they are dressed formally in black attire. I like how Huche illustrates the passing of time, at the beginning of the story the forest is lit with daylight and as the evening concert approaches the sky changes colour and lanterns are lit.

Along with the sound buttons for the music, the creators of Poppy and the Orchestra have inserted bit of humour to the illustrations with extra sound buttons of a jumping frog, skateboarding frog and the poor mole musician tripping over. 

After the story's conclusion a double page spread shows all of the instruments, labelled. An additional page lists the credits for each piece of music. Please note that the music for the clarinet in this book does not match the name of the credited piece, while this is disappointing it does not take away from the delight that this book brings. And parents, yes, there is an off switch on the back of the book.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did and that it will lead you to seek out the full beautiful classical music pieces to listen to.

Title: Poppy and the Orchestra
Illustrator: Magali Le Huche
Publisher: Walter Foster Jr., $18.99
Publication Date: 22 November 2017
Format: Hadrcover
ISBN: 9781633224018
For ages: 4 - 6
Type: Activity Book