Sounds Magic by Josie Thomas
Illustrated by Riley Van Oosten
Published by Piano Arts Publishing
Sounds magic is written by a Melbourne Piano teacher Josie Thomas, who was struggling to find the right type of book about music for one of her students. It was then that she decided that she was going to write her own and Sounds Magic was born.
Sounds magic uses puppets as its main characters, and those of us that work with children know how puppets are a great addition to storytime and music programs. The book talks about rhythm, time, forte, piano pose and legato, all in language that children can understand. The puppets are led by a train driver with a whistle in hand, making rhythmic noises until all are wanting to be the… most musical “Queen Bee”. It is the train driver that puts a stop to their noise and suggests they make music together rather than trying to outdo each other.
Josie has left the story open ended and there is even a section where you can add your own ending to it. I like that Josie has also added activity page and a glossary which explains some of the terms and has links to website content. The open-ended aspect to the book is so that the children can express themselves creatively, whether this be through words, drawing or music.
Josie wants this book to inspire children to be creative with music and if you go to her website you can see how her students were inspired through their original music and you can access two different pieces of sheet music. Being able to use the book and then link into the website to explore music further is a great way to broaden the literacy experience.
Although Josie sees the ‘big’ words as a literacy opportunity, I feel that children of certain age will be limited in their understanding of such words. This may not matter to other readers but I feel like words such as audacious and cacophonic could have been replaced with words that are easier to understand the meaning of and sound out when reading.
Overall, I think this book is a lovely read, especially for those young ones that are starting out in music. The illustrations by Riley are lovely and are a good match for the story, he has brought the puppets to life and immersed them into the book well. If you want to know more about Sounds Magic or want to get yourself a copy then head to www.josiethomas.com.au
Thank you to Josie, Riley and Maria for the copy of this book to read and honestly review.