Eight musical instruments sound off at the push of as many buttons in various musical settings.
The speaker, buttons (with pictorial stickers), and batteries are all packed into a plastic case attached to the side, so toddlers can push the buttons and hear snatches of tinny music without even opening the adjacent board book. That may be the best strategy, in fact, as each of Ameling’s cartoon scenes of round-headed, pop-eyed animals in action (marching in a parade, singing Christmas carols, onstage at a recital, and in like generic music-making situations) confusingly feature a printed button labeled “push here” that is placed nowhere near the plastic one and a second printed button with an instrument that is not on the sound board at all. A large majority of the instruments on view have no corresponding sound button, as it happens, and none are actually named. The brief tunes aren’t identified either, though at least some are recognizable bits of folk or other melodies. Although the board pages imply an audience of babies and toddlers, the busy compositions make it particularly ill-suited for them.
The Story Orchestra series or Magali Le Huche’s Poppy and Mozart (2018) offer far better musical experiences for budding Beethovens. (Novelty. 3-5)