Carnival of the AnimalsA bit about the book…
While we had listened to a few of the movements from Camille Saint-Saens’s “Carnival of the Animals” (specifically Yo Yo Ma’s performance of  “The Swan”), Kate had never really appreciated it the way I wanted her to.  So, when I saw this book was at our public library, I decided to check it out and see if it would help her to fall in love with this clever composition.  From the moment we read the first pages and listened to the first accompanying piece, we were hooked!  Kate couldn’t wait until our next ‘school day’ when we could listen to a few more of the movements and read along in this book.

What we loved…
Barrie Carson Turner has done a fabulous job of commentating and setting the tone for this entire work of Saint-Saens.  The first few pages describe why Saint-Saens wrote the piece (although I’m not positive it’s historically accurate, it’s a very cute story) and then describes an orchestra, the different instrument families, and how they are all arranged during a concert.  A perfect introduction to the orchestra!  The illustrations, by Sue Williams, that accompany this are a great visual for kids to ‘see’ it all, too.  Turner’s descriptions of each musical movement and it’s corresponding animal are incredibly written so that you can easily hear the subtle nuances of each piece without getting bogged down in too much verbiage.

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