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

Sunday 7 February 2021

Review: Wild Symphony

Music, rhythm, rhyme, nature, and animals. You'll find them all in Wild Symphony.

Just as an orchestra is made up of different instruments, each with their own musical personality, so is Wild Symphony

The pages each feature a different animal and poem to read. They all combine to create something special, a symphony.

The animal who begins the story is the conductor, Maestro Mouse, who explains the journey about to be travelled.

Mouse is soon joined by birds, kittens, kangaroos, boars, ponies, whales, crickets, and others. They're all part of the orchestra.

Wild Symphony also hides puzzles. There's an anagram to find on each page which spells out the name of a musical instrument. The letters are hidden well, so look carefully!

Wild Symphony is the creation of bestselling author Dan Brown (best known for his adult novel The Da Vinci Code). In a note at the end of this book, his first picture book, Dan Brown tells readers that before he wrote books he wrote music, and that it offered him a special place as a child.

The storytelling nature of music, and wanting to share his love of it, was something that drove Dan to create Wild Symphony. It comes with a free app and website, so you can experience the music and turn it and reading the book into an immersive experience. 

The music of the Wild Symphony orchestra is like the animals in the book, full of personality, humour and movement, unique to each animal.

Illustrations for the book are by Susan Batori. They're cute and colourful, with cartoon animals in the wild landscape offering exxploration of the natural world (along with some imagined things like a hippo eating a hamburger!). And the endpapers depict orchestral instruments.

Wild Symphony can be experienced on different levels depending on what you want. You can simply read the book, dip in and out, add in looking for the hidden clues, or download the app and read and listen to them together. It would make a great family activity, and is suitable for classrooms as well.

Visit the Wild Symphony website to watch the world premiere concert performance of Wild Symphony (including Dan Brown reading the poems), and for a behind the scenes video about the book, Q&As with the author, and answers to the anagram puzzles.

Title: Wild Symphony
Author: Dan Brown
Illustrator: Susan Batori
Publisher: Puffin, $ 27.99
Publication Date: 2020
Format: Hardcover
ISBN:  9780241467916
For ages:  3+
Type: Picture Book