Camille Saint-Saens's [cf4]The Carnival of the Animals[cf3]

40p. 978-0-37586-458-2.
RedReviewStarGr 1—7—Prelutsky has created a group of poems that match the animals that Saint-Saëns portrayed in his famous classical work, composed in 1886. Read alone or in tandem with the accompanying CD, the sounds of the animals come through in the poetic form with Prelutsky's use of repetition, alliteration, and carefully placed line breaks. Listen to "Roosters and Hens" and the "peck peck peck" and "cluck cluck cluck" bring these skittery creatures to mind. The CD allows readers to listen for the same animal through Saint-Saëns's music, which brings the chickens alive in a very different way. In "Birds" children can hear the "flitter" that Prelutsky describes come alive in the tones of the flute. Having children tune in to the sounds, whether poetic or orchestral, creates a sensitivity to music in all its forms. A third dimension is added with GrandPré's vibrant art, which suggests movement through the use of collage and luminous acrylics. This is a carnival, after all, and the rich colors bring to mind the otherworldliness a carnival provides. While music teachers will want this book to complement their introduction of the sounds of the orchestra, it is also a collection children will enjoy on their own. Teachers will enjoy sharing Prelutsky's use of "just the right words" when describing each animal. It is onomatopoeia at its best.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
New verses by Jack Prelutsky. Music by Camille Saint-Saëns. Prelutsky's verses, befitting the fourteen short movements of Saint-Saëns's orchestral work, are highly entertaining to read aloud. GrandPré's acrylic and paper-collage illustrations are simultaneously individual works of art and a cohesive collection depicting all the playful animal characters the music evokes. A CD of Prelutsky reading the verses followed by a preview of each movement and the entire score adds to accessibility.

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