Little Creatures: An Introduction to Classical Music
Polished, visually appealing, and educational, this picture book-CD combination features five centuries worth of classical composers who have found inspiration in all manner of creepy crawlers—fleas, flies, butterflies, bees, spiders, and more. The 20 tracks, selected by Ana Gerhard and performed by world-class musicians, are wide-ranging, going back to Franco-Flemish Renaissance composer Josquin des Prez (The Cricket), up to contemporary Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho (Seven Butterflies, IV). Other tracks include piano pieces by Béla Bartók (From the Diary of a Fly) and Prokofiev (March of the Grasshoppers); the Music of Insect, Frogs, and Toads from Ravel’s opera, A Child and the Spells; and of course, the Rimsky-Korsakov classic, Flight of the Bumblebee. Mauricio Gómez Morin’s inventive illustrations are tailored to each piece. Gerhard’s informative text (for older children and adults) is divided into sections, with descriptions of how these “little creatures” inspired the compositions, a timeline and bios for each composer, a listening guide, and a glossary of musical terms.
Lynne Heffley ©2019 Parents’ Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper’s first weekly children’s arts and entertainment beat.