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Little Rat Makes Music Hardcover – August 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 520L (What's this?)
  • Series: Little Rat (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; 1 edition (August 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152053050
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152053055
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #923,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–3—Little Rat comes from a musical family and wants to learn an instrument of her own. After hearing other kids playing melodious notes on the violin, she is determined to do the same. To play the violin well, however, requires a lot of practice. With the help of Kitty, a tutor, Little Rat begins to make beautiful music. Kids will be able to relate to Little Rat's impatience with practicing and find many moments humorous. The jewel-toned watercolor-and-gouache artwork will help keep readers engaged. A realistic and meaningful look at the satisfying results of hard work and perseverance.—Erika Qualls, Ela Area Public Library District, Lake Zurich, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

* "In the third easy-reader collaboration from this mother-daughter team (Little Rat Sets Sail, rev. 7/02; Little Rat Rides, rev. 5/04), the small, determined heroine takes on a new challenge: violin lessons. Of course, Little Rat's dream of making beautiful music on the first try is quickly dashed. Her teacher (a stern-faced rabbit wearing a pince nez and Birkenstocks) hears some potential, but Little Rat avoids practicing because it's "BORING." When Kitty, an older student, tutors her, Little Rat starts to improve, finally buckling down when she's given a chance to take part in a recital. Bang-Campbell's text is divided into eight short chapters and sets a matter-of-fact tone that allows her flashes of humor to shine more brightly. For the most part, the text is upstaged by Bang's stunning illustrations, which go way beyond the obligatory visual clues needed for an early reader. Deep jewel-toned colors provide a rich counterpart to the homely settings and the drabness of the rats' fur. Both text and art make seemingly incongruous situations (such as a small rat cleaning a huge litter box) completely believable by treating their subjects with respect. Bang's spot-on visual representation of music is worth special note, particularly the scratchy beginner sounds Little Rat makes on her violin, shown as a jumble of dark jagged lines. In the end, Little Rat discovers the joy of making real music while the reader basks in an elegantly orchestrated mother-daughter duet." (starred review) (The Horn Book Magazine)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Monika Bang-Campbell's LITTLE RAT MAKES MUSIC will reach ages 6-9 with its easy reader about Little Rat, who longs to make music like the violinists she sees at concerts. Unfortunately, she hates to practice: it's hard and her violin squawks. How can Little Rat make beautiful music NOW? Any kid taking music lessons will relate to her dilemma.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anne M. Patterson on August 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm a violin teacher, trying to teach my 6yo. daughter. She's struggling with practicing, frustrated like all kids that it doesn't work right away. There's a phrase in the book we loved that I'll be using with all students from now on: playing the violin is like eating a big bunch of spaghetti, if you try to eat it all at once it's a big mess! You have to take small bites. The teacher in the book is very strict, could be a turnoff to kids that don't already have a teacher, but Little Rat gets help from another student and eventually performs in a recital. I wish there were more books like this to encourage little musicians!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anne TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have been scouting out the library for books with a good vocabulary, big font, lots of pictures, and short chapters. This book fits that bill. There were a lot of things I loved about this book. My daughter, who is 6 1/2, enjoyed this book a lot. She read it on her own and then I read it aloud to her and to my 4 1/2 year old. I was caught by surprise when Little Rat said loudly that practicing was "Stupid!" and then stomped off. Her mom did come to talk to her and explained that there wouldn't be any more tantrums and talked her through it. I liked how it was resolved. I was caught by surprise once more when Little Rat farted. My children are homeschooled and though they have great vocabularies, that word didn't happen to be in their vocabularies. So, it was an interesting thing to explain.

My daughter started playing piano a year ago and it has been really hard to get her to practice. I think she really understood this book and it held a great lesson for her. A year after starting lessons, it is finally easier for her. I think she liked and understood Little Rat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. K. Johnson on November 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
Learning to make music is often a difficult and frustrating slog, but the reward can be the incomparable joy that comes from performance. Little Rat loves beautiful violin music, but her own efforts are ugly and simplistic. Her teacher isn't warm and friendly, and Little Rat hates to practice, often throwing tantrums when her instrument won't behave. Still, she perseveres and her teacher finds her an older, more patient student who helps Little Rat settle down and focus. At the end of the book Little Rat learns an ambitious piece and experiences the joy of MAKING MUSIC at a recital.

This book made me tear up as it brought back my own struggles and joys with the piano. My children (aged 7 and 5) love it, and they love my connection to it. I believe it will give them a good reference point as they start piano lessons in a few weeks.
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