Books by Phyllis Fiarotta

CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 1994

A grab bag of 80+ craft projects related to sound and music, with mini-lessons about early instruments, musical notation, famous musicians, etc. A third of the projects are purely decorative (e.g., a mobile incorporating musical symbols); most of the rest are sound-producing, can be made quickly with inexpensive materials (a juice-can drum; a double-reed instrument from a drinking straw), and are surprisingly functional. A few are ill-conceived: It takes a gale to produce sound from the screws and nails in the wind chime; the hole in the knot popper soon enlarges, making it unplayable. One or two projects are more labor than they're worth: The limbo pole requires messing about with plaster of Paris, when two people and a broom handle are all that's really needed. The b&w drawings and diagrams are adequate, but several examples are incorrectly notated or captioned (e.g., on page 57, joined eighth notes are mislabeled as quarter notes). There are enough other editorial lapses and inaccuracies (a meaningless explanation of sharp and flat signs; an ``Irish harp'' shaped like a Greek lyre; etc.) to make the book unsuitable for its target audience, though it may have some use as a source for adults. But see Helen Drew's My First Music Book (Dorling Kindersley, 1993) for more detailed, better illustrated instructions for making instruments. Index. (Nonfiction. 5-10) Read full book review >