"An ambitious feast for the senses." — Kirkus Reviews
"‘Little Creatures: An Introduction to Classical Music’ is a fascinating collections of classical music selection about insects, frogs, spiders, snakes, and butterflies. Illuminations of each selection and background about the composers are provided by Ana Gerhard, an accomplished pianist and music educator. Stunning illustrations portray each species represented in the style of the musical selection, showing delicacy, accuracy, such as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Liverpool Philharmonic, and the Nashville Symphony, include the following: ‘The Tale of Tsar Saltan/ Flight of the Bumblebee,’ by Rimsky Korsakov, ‘He spake the word, and there came all manner of flies.../ Israel in Egypt,’ by Handel, ‘From the Diary of a Fly/ Mikrokosmos,’ by Bartok, ‘Overture/ The Wasps,’ by R. Vaughan Williams, ‘The Night's Music/ Out of Doors,’ by Bartok, ‘Music of Insects, Frogs and Toads/ The Child and the Spells,’ by Maurice Ravel, ‘The Frogs,’ by Telemann, ‘The Wandering Tadpole,’ by Silvestre Revueltas, String Quartet opus 50, no. 6/ The Frog,’ by Haydn, ‘The Cricket,’ by Josquin des Prez, ‘March of the Grasshoppers/ Music for Children,’ by Sergei Prokofiev, ‘The Grasshopper,’ by Benjamin Britten, ‘Song of the Flea / Goethe's Faust,’ by Beethoven, ‘The Flea,’ by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, ‘Tarantella/ Bardic Sounds,’ by Johann Kaspar Metz, ‘The Spider in its Web/ The Spider's Feast,’ by Albert Roussel, ‘Entrance of the Ants/ The Spider's Feast,’ by Roussel, ‘The Butterflies,’ by Couperin, ‘Seven Butterflies, VI,’ by Kaija Saariaho, and ‘Sensemaya,’ by Revueltas. In addition to the illuminations and illustrations of the 20 different selections, ‘Little Creatures’ contains a Listening Guide, with further explanation and description of the use of orchestral sounds and instruments, a list of the composers with a thumbnail portrait and biography, an extensive Glossary of Musical Terms, and a Timeline of Composers and Periods using shadings of color to distinguish composition eras and the composers' placements within the Renaissance through 20th Century eras (1450-2000). ‘Little Creatures: An Introduction to Classical Music’ is a fabulous find, and should not have its appeal limited to the juvenile audience only, although children ages 7-9 will undoubtedly enjoy it deeply." — Nancy Lorraine, Midwest Book Review
Pianist and author Gerhard (Simply Fantastic, 2014) returns with a new picture book exploring classical music through the sounds and movements of such "little creatures" as bees, fleas, and frogs, as interpreted by composers all over the world.
Translated from Spanish, this book may help demystify the creepy-crawlies kids encounter and perhaps spark a youngster's love of nature and observation. An engaging assortment of facts about small animals and insects accompanies acclaimed Mexican illustrator Gómez Morin's whimsical, surreal, and slightly creepy artwork. Each full-bleed spread echoes characters or themes from its coordinating piece of music: The "Wasp" overture from Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Aristophanic Suite" is paired with illustrations that resemble ancient Greek art, for instance. The featured composers span several hundred years, from the early 1500s (Josquin des Prez) to early 2000s (Kaija Saariaho), and they are predominantly male. An audio CD containing two-minute clips of each piece is included. The CD, combined with the visual components of the book, is somewhat accessible to younger audiences, but the complexity and formatting of the text itself (especially the small font) seem best suited for older readers. It's a thorough resource for classrooms and homes alike; extensive backmatter includes a listening guide featuring short analyses of each piece, composer biographies, a glossary of classical music terminology, and a timeline.
An ambitious feast for the senses. (Informational picture book/audio CD. 7-10)