Berlioz the Bear

Berlioz the Bear

by Jan Brett
     
 

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A "Reading Rainbow" Feature Title

Zum, zum, buzz.... zum, zum, buzz...

What's that strange buzz coming from the double bass? Berlioz has no time to investigate, because he and his bear orchestra are due at the gala ball in the village square at eight. But Berlioz is so worried about his buzzing bass that he steers the mule and his bandwagon full of magicians

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Overview

A "Reading Rainbow" Feature Title

Zum, zum, buzz.... zum, zum, buzz...

What's that strange buzz coming from the double bass? Berlioz has no time to investigate, because he and his bear orchestra are due at the gala ball in the village square at eight. But Berlioz is so worried about his buzzing bass that he steers the mule and his bandwagon full of magicians into a hole in the road and gets stuck.

Time is running out, and if a rooster, a cat, a billy goat, a plow horse, and an ox can't rescue the bandwagon, who can?

As the suspense mounts, intricate borders reveal the village animals making their way to the square one by one. When the clock chimes eight, the animals, ready to dance, have filled the square-but there's no sign of Berlioz.

Jan Brett's glorious illustrations invite the eye to linger over exquisite details and humorous nuances that enhance the story. This delightful cumulative tale is one that will be looked at again and again.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"This winning balance between high style and fun will amuse and amaze readers again and again," said PW. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Play Rimsky Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" after you read Berlioz the Bear. The buzzing in Berlioz's double bass is a worry but it isn't until he and his fellow musicians are stopped enroute to their gig in a Bavarian village square that the buzzing takes on real meaning. What an opportunity to present some of the instruments of the orchestra and the music of Hector Berlioz. Ask children if they can hear the 'zum' of the bass. Notice the foreshadowing of events in the border pictures. Find out the mule's name. Hint: Look at the mule's harness. A multi-layered book rich in art and music.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-- A wonderful blending of elements into a cohesive, thoroughly entertaining work that subtly introduces young readers to the world of music. While practicing, Berlioz the Bear detects a strange buzzing noise coming from his double bass. On the way to the concert with the rest of the bear band, he is so preoccupied with the sound that he accidently runs the wagon into a hole. The lead animal, a mule, refuses to budge, despite a series of animals who unsuccessfully try to pull the wagon out. At that moment, what should fly out of Berlioz's bass but a very angry bee that takes out its frustration on the mule's hindquarters. The sting does what the other animals failed to do; the wagonload of musicians goes careening into the village at full speed and arrives just in the nick of time. In tone, Brett's cumulative story has elements of traditional folklore, and her spare text begs to be read aloud. Her pen-and-ink, watercolor, and colored-pencil illustrations are richly, often humorously, detailed, and they sweep over each double-page spread. The brushwork is distinct, and the palette is a well-organized blend of earth tones with touches of red and blue. The artist's penchant for borders is evident, here taking the shape of a proscenium arch. The top portion of each arch shows the villagers' preparations for the performance while the side panels depict various animals enroute to the concert. The borders, manner of dress for the animals, and scenery all have a distinct flavor of traditional Austrian and Swiss culture. --Denise Anton Wright, Library Book Selection Service, Inc., Bloomington, IL

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780698113992
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
10/28/1996
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
284,139
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.15(d)
Lexile:
540L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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