The Story Orchestra: The Sleeping Beauty by Katy Flint
Illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
Published by Frances Lincoln|Allen & Unwin
Date: November 2018
This book, along with the others in the series, are something special. It brings the ballet to life in picture book form and introduces children to the delights of Tchaikovsky’s music. Each page is adorned with colour and the oversized pages have so much detail that you can spend a long time making discoveries on each page.
This is the second book that I have shared with you that includes the use of orchestral music at the push of a button. I share these because the inclusion of books and music together engages the reader and adds spirit to the book. I believe the music is more than just sound accompanying the book, but takes the reader on a complete journey that broadens the learning experience.
There are many interactive qualities to The Story Orchestra, including a statement at the end of the book that asks the reader if they can remember where each sound appears in the story. This is a fresh and creative way for children to remember aspects of the story and match them with the music. I like that books like this are introducing children to ballet and classical music through pages and words, and with the addition of information about Tchaikovsky the book the book feels complete.
I was most moved by a part of the book that explains how each of the snippets of music have been chosen to represent special moments in the music that represent feelings, character and scenes. It also mentions that if the reader listens to these snippets they may be able to recognise them if they ever got to go to the ballet. This brings the literacy experience full circle and engages with a child’s curiosity.
Overall, I think this book is special, children express themselves in so many different ways – whether it be through words, music or movement, this book encapsulates all of this and opens the mind to a world of imagination.
Thank you Francis Lincoln/Allen & Unwin for the opportunity to read and review this book.