Music Is

Overview

Music is magical. Whether it is fast or slow, loud or soft, haunting or uplifting, music makes our world a richer place. Some people dance to it, some write, play or sing it, and others just listen. Music's power is that it touches everyone in different ways. It can be enjoyed by a crowd or by one person alone; it can mark grand occasions or bedtime.

We're so used to having music in our lives that we may not always notice how it affects us. In this lilting tribute, Lloyd Moss ...

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Overview

Music is magical. Whether it is fast or slow, loud or soft, haunting or uplifting, music makes our world a richer place. Some people dance to it, some write, play or sing it, and others just listen. Music's power is that it touches everyone in different ways. It can be enjoyed by a crowd or by one person alone; it can mark grand occasions or bedtime.

We're so used to having music in our lives that we may not always notice how it affects us. In this lilting tribute, Lloyd Moss and Philippe Petit-Roulet lead us to think about how different the world would be if we didn't have music.

A rhyming salute to the many ways in which people enjoy music.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At its best, this tribute to the soul-lifting power of music rings out with snappy, cleverly conceived rhymes and the playful visual rhythms of the French artist's stylized gouaches. But the tone varies considerably. Moss (Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin) delivers an uncharacteristically flat opener: "Music fills our lives with magic;/ music is a wondrous thing./ Music bright or music tragic,/ music makes you cry or sing." Elsewhere, his sophisticated, catchy rhymes casually juggle jargon into melodies of their own: "Tango, rumba, cha-cha, mambo, music with a hip-hop beat./ Any number, any combo, gets me up and on my feet." Petit-Roulet's eye-catching art depicts wiry-bodied cartoon characters who sport Pinocchio-length noses and, sometimes, yellow or blue skin. Spreads and compact vignettes (which complement the small trim size) envision diverse musical events, from operas to parades. Vivid red and cobalt clothing punctuates the more subtle lime green, peach and pale yellow backdrops, while the type dances up and down the page, visually echoing the text (e.g., when Moss writes that "Brass or strings, when played with brio,/ lift my spirits to the sky," the words in the last line stairstep up the spread). Jazzy endpapers feature graphic, color silhouettes of various instruments. Ages 5-up. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
"Music fills our lives with magic; music is a wondrous thing. Music bright or music tragic, music makes you cry or sing." Thus begins this rhyming tribute that offers numerous examples of how music fills our lives—when people marry, at birthday parties, on New Year's Eve, in an elevator, during parades, and so forth. It mentions symphonies, concertos, and opera performances, even composers' names and different styles of dances that people enjoy. The illustrations, painted in gouache watercolor, embody vibrant hues and star a boy who is enjoying all types and forms of music. At story's end, as the boy plays a piano, we read, "If there never had been music, if it never did exist, what would life be without music? Think of what we would have missed!" Music lovers will agree. The rhymes are peppy and tight and the illustrations are endearing, featuring numerous visual perspectives that add interest. Initially, the book's premise seems clever. But perhaps the concept of music's prevalence in our lives is just too difficult to put into words. Thus, it is hard to determine exactly what a child will get out of this book. It cites numerous composers, dances, and the like that young readers likely have not yet learned about, and it makes no attempt to describe them, for it is not a reference work. Perhaps the book will spawn discussions with adults and encourage kids to think of more examples of what music is. 2003, G.P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers,
— Robbin Gould
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-After singing the praises of an orchestra in Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin (S & S, 1995) and a band in Our Marching Band (Putnam, 2001), Moss now extols the joys of music itself. In rhyming text, he explains that music is important because it appears in all aspects of our lives, from the mundane "music in the elevator,/sometimes music on the phone" to the exciting "Brass or strings, when played with brio,/lift my spirits to the sky." Many different forms are mentioned, including orchestral and opera, and several of the terms and names will need some adult explanation. ("Verdi, Humperdinck, Puccini;/opera is such a thrill./Those by Bizet and Rossini please me,/and they always will.") However, the author's passion for his subject is clearly felt and expressed. The illustrations, with their elongated, cartoonlike figures and shapes, are dominated by slightly muted shades of blue, red, green, and peach. The placement of the text on the page often reinforces the mood of the message or words. The names of opera composers appear slightly larger, as if sung loudly toward an audience, and the words describing dance seem to skip along the bottom of the page with the dancing feet. This is a great read-aloud that can be paired with Moss's earlier books or with Karla Kuskin's The Philharmonic Gets Dressed (HarperCollins, 1982).-Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A lighthearted paean in verse by radio-host Moss who takes a very basic tack: "Singing, humming, chanting, rapping; fingers snapping. / Music’s grand!" Birthdays, 4th of July, even elevators are occasions for music; and every kind brings out the dance in the young narrator. Petit-Roulet’s gouaches use the simplest of forms and shapes: his round- or oval-headed people are barely more than stick figures (they resemble nothing so much as a set of clad and personified musical notes). His emphasis, however, is on their affinity for music, whether they are playing it, dancing or singing, or simply responding to the beat of a marching band. The verse ends rather abruptly: "what would life be without music? / Think of what we would have missed!" But for the rest, it bounces, it sings, and makes a great read-aloud. If it gets youngsters to ask who Gershwin is, or Ellington, or what opera or chamber music sounds like, it will have transcended its storytelling venue to reach an even higher note. (Picture book. 3-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399233364
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/12/2003
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 2 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.32 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Lloyd Moss is a host of WQXR, the classical music radio station of The New York Times.

Phillippe Petit-Roulet is an artist for The New Yorker.

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