ACHUKA Book of the Day 9 Sep 2021
Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week 12 Sep 2021
“A simply stunning book crafted with love and skill.” BfK 5-star review
This magnificent and generous picture book (it has 90+ pages) sets out to be the “beginning of an exciting musical journey”—you can tell that creating it has been a heartfelt project and mission for James Mayhew, who both recounts the stories and illustrates them, in a style perfectly fitted to the target audience (of children aged 5+). I wish I had had access to a book like this when I was young, which highlights the fact that its most appreciative readers will be those who do not already listen to or have access to the six pieces of music by different composers (Dukas, Sibelius, Rimsky-Korsakov, Grieg and Rossini) that the book features. In its back pages there are useful notes from the author explaining the sources of the stories and how they inspired the musical compositions.
The book is beautifully designed, with endpapers of repeating motifs from the stories inside. The font size is large and easy on the eye. The words always stand out well from the background and, especially on the larger spreads, are cleverly co-ordinated with the artwork. From the opening illustration (showing the Sorcerer’s towers and turrets, some composed of musical notation) to the last (the dawning of a new day at the conclusion to William Tell), the artwork is breathtakingly good.
ACHUKA cannot recommend this book highly enough.
James Mayhew is well-known for bringing live classical music, art and storytelling to families across the UK, and is sure to be actively promoting this book on his social media channels.
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The stories are excitingly told and stunningly illustrated byThere are also Musical Notes where you can find out more about the stories and music, plus James’s recommended recordings to download and listen to.
Here is a Spotify playlist featuring the pieces of music from the book: