Picture Book Review: Welcome to the Symphony

Welcome to the Symphony by Carolyn Sloan

Welcome to the Symphony: A Musical Exploration of the Orchestra Using Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5
by Carolyn Sloan
5 out of 5 stars

Three little mice attend an orchestral concert and learn about how the different instruments work together to create beautiful music as they play Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (That’s the famous one that goes da-da-da-duh). The mice learn about the concertmaster, the conductor, and all the sections in the orchestra. They learn about tempo and dynamics and themes in music.

As each instrument is introduced, the reader can push the button to hear music played by that instrument. What makes this really special is that the recording plays the exact music that is in the illustrations next to that instrument. If there is a staff drawn next to the oboe playing G, F, E, D in the Treble Clef, then we hear the oboe play those exact notes in the recording. This kind of attention to detail is what makes this book truly special!
(The only instrument recording that does not follow the music written in the book is the trombone, but you know how trombonists are. They rarely follow the rules! haha!)

The illustrations are really lovely, with a crayon art style that manages to feel cute and elegant at the same time. The little mice are so adorable! They are always doing something funny in the background. I also appreciated that the musicians in the orchestra are a diverse group of people.

Favorite line in the entire book, “Music is like a conversation. … Sometimes the brass have something to say.” haha! Cracks me up. Yeah, they do, and they love shouting it in everyone’s ears. Love me some brass humor.

There is a small biography of Beethoven in the back of the book. There is also a section of the book that encourages parents to “make great music the language of your house”, and there are many ideas and tips for teaching your child to love classical music.

I just love the way this book makes classical music fun and interesting for children, introducing them to a whole world of beautiful music.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher/author in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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