Recently recommended in our non-fiction Picks, the book The School of Music ‘s companion website is now fully live, with lots of illustrative instrumental and voice samples.
Target audience children aged 7 – 12. Introduces readers to many different genres of music. There are activities to help reinforce the 40 ‘lessons’ and QR links to music samples on line.
16-year-old aspiring photographer receives an invitation to take backstage photos for a chart-topping boyband and is launched into a world of bloggers, paparazzi and backstage bickering – a debut novel that has been described as Geek Girl with boy bands.
Soprano Katherine Jenkins has realised her dream of working with her director husband, as the pair are bringing out a children’s TV series.
Earlier this year, Jenkins told the Standard how she hoped to bring together her background and that of her husband, Andrew Levitas, to create something.
Now the couple have found the perfect project, and today announced that they are busy on a new animated children’s show which will aim to spark youngsters’ interest in music.
Called Symphony Street, it will follow a group of musical characters and feature music from all genres, chosen by classical crossover star Jenkins.
I’m not surprised this book was selected as a Highlight of the Season in The Bookseller’s Children’s Autumn Buyers Guide. It’s rather special. And it’s Litchfield’s first picture book. He will be opening The Bookseller’s Children Conference later this month when he will be exhibting (alongside five other illustrators) original artwork from this title.
I recommend a visit to his website:
From the end papers and the opening spread, the artwork in this picture book is stunning. And I love the variation in page layout. The designers have done a wonderful job.
But well-presented artwork also needs an original and moving story and this book has that also.
A bear discovers an old piano abandoned in the wood. He plays on the piano every day, practising for months and years until he can play so well that other bears come to listen. One night his playing is overheard by a girl and her father, who ‘discover’ him and entice him away to the city, where he performs in public and becomes a star on Broadway. He wins awards, is lauded, and feted. But he misses his home and his friends.
He returns to the forest. The piano has gone. His friends aren’t there. He is forlorn. But it turns out the piano has simply been moved to a safe position. His friends have been following his career. They are his fans too. He sits down and plays a special concert set just for them.
Litchfield’s forest and city illustrations are equally strong. I love, in particular, the auditorium double spread. The hardback’s dustjacket tells us that he uses “a variety of traditional techniques, assembling the different elements together in Photoshop to create large-scale, dramatic scenes.” We’re also told that the book was inspired by The White Stripes short 50-second song ‘Little Room’.
Teen opinion: My top five YA book and music combos, by Guardian Children’s Books blogger ShadowKissedHannah
Follow the link to the fullpiece for YouTube videos of all the music:
1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin – No One’s Here To Sleep by Naughty Boy Ft Bastille
When I first heard this song, the first thing I noticed was the haunting, almost sad tone to the lyrics and notes played, but even then this song is quietly powerful and captured me from the first beat. I feel this song links to the UOMD trilogy by Michelle Hodkin as both the trilogy and the song are underlined with desperation and a dumbfounding weight of emotion; the feeling of not being able to escape a fate bigger and badder than you could have ever imagined and realizing that it doesn’t matter how hard you try to hide your feelings or issues, that they’ll always find you in the end.
2. Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead – The Wire by Haim
If you haven’t read the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead yet (shame on you! Joking, but this series is one of my top few favorite series EVER and you all should go and read them right now!), you may want to dodge this recommendation as spoilers! I do not want to be the cause of such a crime as spoiling someone of a book! SPOILERS FROM HERE. DO NOT READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. I feel like this song can be heavily linked to the last book in the Vampire Academy series, Last Sacrifice, as I feel like this would be the song Rose would make Adrian listen to instead of her awful excuse of why she cheated on him with Dimitri. I may love Rose and Dimitri together with all my heart, but what she did was wrong and her explanation was not good at all. This song manages to convey all of Rose’s reasoning and emotions about the “I SLEPT WITH DIMITRI WHEN WE WERE STILL TOGETHER BUT I WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY FOR ME” section of the book, but it also puts across Roses resilience about how Adrian will find love again and be happy: “I just know I know I know I know that you’re going to be okay anyway”.
3. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare – Run This Town by Jay Z, Rihanna and Kanye West
I love to make fan-videos on youtube and I found the most perfect video using clips from the sadly failing City of Bones film with RTT in the background. Let me just say my fangirl heart soared as the two go perfectly together and ever since that moment I’ve always, and I mean always, related that song to the series. The strong and determined beat of the song and the lyrics (“Feeling it coming in the air, hear their screams from everywhere, I’m addicted to the thrill, of this dangerous love affair. Can’t be scared when it goes down, got a problem tell me now. Only thing what’s on my mind, who’s gonna run this town tonight?”) are both almost a direct translation from the books into song form, and it is obviously one of the most bad-ass songs I’ve ever listened too and never fails to get me pumped up, as if I was going into battle and could do back flips and stuff like that. Obviously I can do all those things now *coughs loudly* but that doesn’t mean I still don’t need awesome songs to help me!
4. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas – Mercy by Hurts
Throne of Glass is one of the best YA fantasy sagas out there at the moment, and is packed with ALL of the feels. Mercy is such an emotive song, and links to Celaena’s character through the lyrics (lead me in chains, fill me with rage) and the conquering beat of the song sounds almost like a battle mantra. This song was yet again found through a fan video (a pretty amazing Teen Wolf one which you should ALL watch) and right from the moment I heard it I knew this song was for only the beautiful and bad-ass- meaning perfect for Celaena!
5. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter – Problem by Natalia Kills
For such an amazing trilogy, Gena Showalter’s White Rabbit Chronicles have hardly any hype surrounding them, which seems terribly unfair as this series is everything you could really want in a paranormal YA, and had me salivating for more as soon as I shut the last page. Ali Bell is a heroine born from grief and a burning vendetta, and learns that to be a bad-ass all you need to do is believe in the power you have inside of you, and never let anybody persuade you otherwise. Of course there is an extremely attractive male specimen who our Ali comes into contact with *sniggers*, and I feel the relationship between said specimen (his name is Cole) and Ali can be described with the lyrics of Natalia Kills’ song Problem. Ali is our good girl who is swayed to the darker side of life through a really bad thing which happens at the start of the book which I won’t explain as, well, spoilers, and Cole’s tempting purple eyes. Ali and Cole are a couple who are very, very hot together, but many others aren’t too sure of their relationship. They’re very problematic and sometimes down right rude to each other, but there’s definitely chemistry, and definitely some other emotions entwined in there.
Clare’s new book, Tallulah on Tour, is available as an ebook on Amazon from April. Her first book, Tallulah and the Teenstars, will be reissued as an ebook next week
A fine portrait of Moby by Lou O’Bedlam introducing a full-length interview in The Photographic Journal.
Robbie Robertson of The Band fame has just published (Tundra) a children’s book about rockstar legends.
Robbie Robertson, former guitarist for the Band, has released a new book aimed at educating kids about the founding fathers of rock and roll. The book, Legends, Icons and Rebels: Music That Changed the World, tells the story of 27 influential artists, while sharing their music on two CDs.
The line-up of musicians and songs included in the CD are as follows:“Johnny B. Goode” – Chuck Berry, illustrated by Dale Stephanos
“Get Rhythm” – Johnny Cash, illustrated by Roberto Parada
“I Say A Little Prayer”- Aretha Franklin, illustrated by Kevin Newton
“Here Comes the Sun” – The Beatles, illustrated by Denise Esposito
“What a Wonderful World” – Louis Armstrong, illustrated by John Mattos
“Three Little Birds” – Bob Marley, illustrated by Yuriy Shevchuk
“Peggy Sue” – Buddy Holly, illustrated by Roberto Parada
“The Circle Game” – Joni Mitchell, illustrated by Olaf Hajek
“Hit the Road Jack” – Ray Charles & The Raeletts, illustrated by Yuriy Shevchuk
“Hound Dog” – Elvis Presley, illustrated by Dan Brown
“People Get Ready” – Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions, illustrated by Andrea Ventura
“Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” – Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra, illustrated by Roberto Parada
“Lucille” – Little Richard, illustrated by Luis Alves
“Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” – Hank Williams, illustrated by Marc Burckhardt
“I Heard it Through the Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye, illustrated by Dale Stephanos
“Fly Me to the Moon”- Frank Sinatra, illustrated by C.F. Payne
“So Far Away” – Carole King, illustrated by Denise Esposito
“Wonderful World” – Sam Cooke, illustrated by Roberto Parada
“In My Room”- The Beach Boys, illustrated by Chris Kasch
“Caldonia” – Louis Jordan, illustrated by Brian Hoang
“A-Tisket, A-Tasket” – Ella Fitzgerald, illustrated by Gary Kelley
“I Got You (I Feel Good)” – James Brown, illustrated by Luis Alves
“Crazy” – Patsy Cline, illustrated by Roberto Parada
“That’s How Strong My Love Is” – Otis Redding, illustrated by Dale Stephanos
“It’s Only a Paper Moon” – Nat King Cole, illustrated by Merryl Jaye
“Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” – Stevie Wonder, illustrated by Brian Hoang
“Forever Young” – Bob Dylan, illustrated by Dan Brown
To be performed live at Carnegie Hall in October (Monday 21st)
What happens when a pair of music professionals set out to create a CD to share with their kids? In the case of composer Luna Pearl Woolf and soprano Lisa Delan, they enlist author Cornelia Funke, actor Jeremy Irons, and Mirada Studios to help them turn their vision into a multimedia storybook and interactive iPad app. The result is Angel Heart, a CD in mini-hardcover packaging being released September 24 by Oxingale Records. An app is set to follow in early 2014.
On the recording, an original Funke story narrated by Irons is woven throughout a collection of songs, both traditional and new, and a score composed by Woolf. The central tale stars a girl who embarks on a nighttime quest with an angel who helps heal her broken heart.