This is very clever. Sue Lake has invented characters and stories around the notes and their characteristics. Eg Grandpa semibreve walks slowly and Quentin quaver runs everywhere. It subtly introduces concepts like stave, rhythm, ledger lines etc. It does not dumb down, but creates ways of explaining so it works with a child's natural interest in stories and characters.
I'm reading it with my nearly 4 year old and she likes it, not loves it. She knows she's learning something and that it's not just a story, so often she prefers just a 'normal' story, but when she's in the mood, this is very good. I think this will remain as a story for a while, but at some point the concepts will sink in and one day it will click.
As a fellow-author, I had been able to review this book before it was published, and I thought it was wonderful, as did my four-year-old daughter, who effortlessly learned something about notes, tempo, and notation while enjoying lovely stories. A fantastic book from Sue Lake! Let your kids enter the world of Quentin Quaver, Charlie Crotchet, Minny Minim etc. and they will want to keep coming back. The stories are well told, the illlustrations are charming, and the book comes with a CD that further explores the concepts... and it also contains readings of the stories by the author, Sue Lake, which I can put on for my daughter while she thumbs through the book herself. I can't recommend it highly enough, biased as I am!
What can seem an opaque and difficult world of musical language is brought almost effortlessly alive in the form of small stories. The overarching narrative moves the young learner from the characters (the notes) through to the whole story involving all aspects of basic music knowledge. It introduces tempo and all aspects of the music as you collect your knowledge via the characters. A really simple, yet clever, vehicle to making the language of music less foreboding and far more accessible to my young children. Our three year goes to sleep listening to the CD bound in to the book. Can't speak highly enough of this book.
these books are just great! I am 60+ and always found reading music was a bit over my head, but now I have joined an Age UK singing group, and this year we are involved with a concert in Oxfords Sheldonian theatre, singing a piece written by Bob Chilcott, so an ability to read music is a great help. Through reading Sue Lakes books I feel I understand reading music now makes sense, she writes and explains tempo etc in easy to take in stories, so if an old crock like me can get to grips with music, then children should find it very easy in deed, Well done Sue!
My 5 year old is just starting to learn the piano. She finds these stories really engaging. They fit well alongside her lessons because even the most child-orientate music books can be a bit dry. We can't wait for the sequel!