Orchestra members have scattered all over the world in this seek-and-find book: to a French campground, an Icelandic fishing village, a soccer field in Abidjan, the Egyptian pyramids, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and elsewhere.
The maestro and his assistant set out to find them, based on postcards sent by the musicians. Each is superimposed on the corner of a dizzyingly busy double-page spread depicting the locale. There’s also a small yellow bird in most spreads that is seeking something, giving readers extra reasons to scan the people, sights, houses, shops, signs (in different languages), sporting activities, means of transportation, local flora and fauna. The musicians (there is some diversity in the group) are shown at the beginning, and noting their clothing and instruments will aid in the search. They finally appear in a generic concert hall that’s filled with people and animals (an Egyptian camel sits complacently in the audience) from the previous pages. The illustrations are lively and filled with funny details, but, rendered in colorful saturated inks and retouched digitally, their soft contours make searching a real challenge. (An answer key will help readers whose eyes have glazed over.) More importantly, there is little to no attempt to contextualize the information, so it is at best a glancing tour.
Fun for fans of this type of puzzle, but there are better ways to learn about the instruments of the orchestra and the world. (Picture book. 5-8)