This smart board book uses contrasts to introduce musical vocabulary to potential prodigies.
Children of a variety of skin tones and ethnicities are shown playing, and playing with, music of all types. Stosuy respects the abilities of his young audience, matter-of-factly introducing sophisticated terminology. Each page is devoted to just one concept, with words, color, and retro-style images concisely illustrating its meaning, and is juxtaposed against its opposite on the facing page. For example, the opening line, “music is quiet,” has a pale blue background and a brown-skinned child wearing earbuds while three birds fly overhead. The opposite page proclaims, “Music is LOUD,” with a lighter-skinned brown child in marching-band regalia pounding a white bass drum against a bright red background. On the sad/happy pages, a small boom box placed off to one side suggests that recorded music is just as valid as live, performed music, a concept underscored later on with pictures of a cassette tape and an LP. “Music is hard” (illustrated with a shirtless, orange-haired white toddler pounding kitchen-pot drums with ladles) is opposite an olive-skinned man blissfully playing a harp with a cat on his lap. An “acoustic” banjo is paired with an aggressively wired “electric” guitar. A glossary on the final pages offers more-technical definitions.
Altogether, a jazzy modern romp through musical styles that really is for everyone. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)