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THE BIG WOODS ORCHESTRA by Guido van Genechten


by Guido van Genechten & illustrated by Guido van Genechten

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: July 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60537-113-9
Publisher: Clavis

In the dark of night, each bird plays its unique tune, and then they collaborate.

Stars twinkle above the forest green treetops, and there’s a crescent moon. “All is still and quiet. Until...” The "tawny owl’s hoot echoes through the trees." Next comes the thrush, with its cheerful song: “TUT-TUT, OH-LAY-LEEE.” The woodpecker plays a peck-and-tap rhythm, while the wood pigeon practices "its sweet coo-coo." The sleek crow clears its throat roughly, and the red-breasted (European) robin warms up its vocal cords (sadly, misspelled "chords") with a sweeter sound. The beautiful cuckoo, flying in a straight line, flaps its large wings and calls out its own name. The backgrounds of the illustrations get lighter and lighter, going from the pitch-black of night to a pale purple as sunrise nears. Far from The Big Woods, a rooster crows, and for a second the bird calls cease, and the Woods go silent. Then suddenly, the orchestra begins; that is, the birds all do their calls in unison. Was the rooster the conductor?  It’s lovely music to greet the spring day, and all the forest animals do, in a bright three-page spread that concludes the book and should get listeners hooting, chirping and tweeting along with them. The story is slight but beautifully illustrated and informative as well, with realistic bird portraits and apt description of their cries.

Simple and sweet. (Picture book. 3-6)