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The Carnival of the Animals (Book & CD) Hardcover – August 24, 2010
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From School Library Journal
About the Author
Mary GrandPré is best known as the illustrator of the Harry Potter books. She has also illustrated The Blue Shoe by Roderick Townley and the picture book Chin Yu Min and the Ginger Cat by Jennifer Armstrong.
Top Customer Reviews
All fourteen movements of Camille Saint-Saën's Le Carnaval des Animaux (The Carnival of the Animals) are included on the CD. The movements are prefaced by Prelutsky's recitation of his poem. The last track on the CD is an uninterrupted, fully orchestrated performance of the piece performed by the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra.
On each two-page spread is a stunning interpretation of the animals in the Carnival. Mary GrandPré is best known for her illustrations of the American Harry Potter books. The illustrations are vibrant and capture the essence of Saint-Saën's work perfectly.
In the back of the book is a note to parents and educations discussing this work. The Carnival has been long noted as a perfect introductory classical piece for young children. Judith Bachleitner, head of the Rudolf Steiner School music department, notes that "Kindergarten-age children will move with the rhythm of the music, imitating the animals. They'll walk like an elephant, swim like a fish, march like a lion, hop like a kangaroo, and so on." This amazing book would be a perfect addition to any homeschool or classroom shelves!
The concept behind this book and CD is that Prelutsky wrote a set of lyrics to accompany Camille Saint-Saens' The Carnival of the Animals, composed in 1886. It's a perfect introduction to classical music for children of all ages as it consists of a set of orchestral character pieces, with each depicting a particular animal. Think of it as like Peter and the Wolf, where each character was represented by an instrument that complimented its nature and personality.
Prelutsky has put together a great set of lyrics that captures the essence of the movements and has a great knack for words and rhythm. And I think that GrandPre's work really shines here, compared to in Harry Potter, as she uses vibrant colors and stylized set-ups to convey big movements and sounds in the lion, rooster, and donkey pages, but also beautifully captures the quiet stillness of the turtle and the swan.
The book alone is wonderful, but it's the CD that really seals the deal here. Enjoy this by reading the book, listening to the CD, or doing both, and you can do it all at once or in chunks. This can be as interactive or lazy of a read as you want it to be. I bought this for my niece and nephew last holiday season for the concentrated all-day family events when I knew we would all be too busy and too tired to read books all day. It was perfect and they still love The Carnival of the Animals to this day.
"Carnival of the Animals" with over 100 students, grades K-8. The performance received a standing ovation.
The school community is Rural, Native American, Free and Reduced Lunch. Ballet. Poetry. STANDING OVATION, PEOPLE! Really Good Poetry!!!! The kids loved the illustrations, too.
The musical performance was very good. I did like the poems, even though they were not like lyrics a la "Beethoven's Wig". I loved the illustrations.
This was purchased as part of a K - 2 general class curriculum. My students would not be able to sit and take in 22 minutes straight of classical music. I will be using a different recording to play as I read a poem per day to the students.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We all love to listen to this in the car and the girls follow along with the book. It's great when they can identify these pieces when they randomly come on the classical music... Read morePublished 1 month ago by E. McCormick
I am using this book in my elementary music classroom as a listening center. My kiddos love it!Published 2 months ago by Tamela
The book is beautiful, but unfortunately, the accompany CD is incorrect. The text does not match up with the correct selections from Saint-Saen's work. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a great resource to use in the Music classroom. I use it for 2nd graders but the vocabulary is tough. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Megan Krug
The songs on the CDs were not listed in the proper order. It made what should have been a simple lesson much more complicated.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book came without the CD. There was a pocket in the book for the CD and it was empty. I needed it as soon as possible for one of my music classes at school and had to carry... Read morePublished 9 months ago by shelly burcalow