Reviews for Ah, music!

School Library Journal
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Gr 1-4-Like a carefully composed song, this ode to music slowly unfolds-note by note, line by line, stanza by stanza. The first several pages are devoted to the definition of music itself. With headings like "Music is Rhythm" or "Music is Volume," these terms are explained in an easy, child-friendly manner. For pitch, a boy playing a piccolo says, "A piccolo is so high, I hear it way at the top of my head." Then music as a written creation is introduced with a brief description of notes, likening them to handwriting. Next, "the creation comes to life" through the instruments and orchestra that play it, the voices that sing it, and even the dancers who perform it. With each of these elements, a few lines of explanation are followed by Aliki's signature figures that do so much in such a small space. The history of music is broken down into many stages, from prehistoric to classical to modern, and many composers are introduced with a small portrait captioned by a single sentence. Here, the author sometimes uses words like "motet" or "oratorio" without definition and only gives the briefest of glimpses into centuries and countries. However, the book is meant to be an introduction and Aliki's love of her subject shines through. This enjoyable title is best shared one-on-one and its format makes it ideal for browsing. It should lead young music lovers back to the shelves to find out more about a type of music or composer who has piqued their curiosity.-Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Gr. 1-3. The indefatigable Aliki takes on the whole of music--its origins, its history, its necessity to the human spirit. As simply as possible, she explains everything from rhythm, melody, and pitch to orchestral instruments, harmony, and tempo. The human voice and dance come to the fore. Jazz gets two pages, and popular music explodes in a quickie collage of names and dates. Aliki uses all the tools in her formidable repertory: straight text, sidebars, captions, and word balloons play off a profusion of small and not-so-small images of children, instruments, historical characters, and scenes. A gaggle of multiethnic kids sing a round: Row Row Row Your Boat. The Gotta Dance! page echoes everyone from Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire to China's Lion Dancers. For orchestral music, Bruce Koscielniak's Story of the Incredible Orchestra (2000) and Robert T. Levine's Story of the Orchestra (2001) are stronger; for African American music, there's the incomparable 1999 i see the rhythm by Toyomi Igus. But no one else so captures the power of music as Aliki. --GraceAnne DeCandido Copyright 2003 Booklist

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