School Library Journal - School Library JournalPreS-Gr 1 One ``Maestro Toucan'' introduces children to the musicians in his animal orchestra, from the ``two double basses'' to the ``ten flutes.'' The final double-page illustration shows the entire ensemble on stage, and a concluding ``note from the conductor'' identifies all the animals pictured (as Ms. Vole, Mr. Lion, etc.). There seems to be little if any reason for the choices of either animals or instruments shown. The instruments are totally inconsistent with any normal orchestral mix. There are touches of humor such as the French-horn playing opossums hanging by their tails, and the curve of the heron's neck duplicating the curves of the saxophone he is playing. However, several of the pictures are so dark that it is difficult to see the detail and the expressions on the animal's faces. Bert Kitchen's Animal Numbers (Dial, 1987) is a superior choice. The Animal Orchestra needs more rehearsal. Elaine Fort Weischedel, Turner Free Library, Randolph, Mass.
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