Out and about at the Orchestraby Barbara J. Turner, Anne McMullen
Examines the instruments that make up an orchestra, their arrangement on the stage, the role of the conductor, and the need of the musicians to practice.
Children's LiteratureKids love field trips but they are not always possible or practical. This book offers a colorfully illustrated alternative beginning with a list of "things to find out" that helps to focus readers before the fictional field trip begins. Once at the theater, Anna, the tour guide, shows the children the concert hall itself and explains acoustics in very simple terms. Then it is off to rehearsal to meet the musicians and explore the many instruments including strings, woodwinds, horns and percussion. Anna explains very generally how the instruments in each section work and what kinds of sound they produce. Finally, readers are introduced to the conductor, explained his duties and asked to find their seats and prepare for a magical, musical journey. Written for the pre-K to first grade audience, this is a very simple introduction to what a student might expect to experience on an actual field trip. The only negative aspect to this otherwise well-written book is the addition of information in italic type on every two-page spread. The information, while relevant, could have just as easily been incorporated into the main body of text and therefore been less distracting to young readers. Adding to the overall usefulness of this book is a related activity (making a rain stick), a Learn More list including books and Web sites, Fun Facts, an index and a Words to Know list. This is part of the "Out and About" series and of all the books in the series, this is the easiest to provide enrichment or extension activities for a classroom setting. 2003, Picture Window Books,
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