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by Jan Brett & illustrated by Jan Brett

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 1991
ISBN: 0-399-22248-0
Publisher: Putnam

 On the way to a village ball with his orchestra (six bears), Berlioz forgets his concern about the mysterious buzz in his double bass when his bandwagon's wheel falls into a pothole--and when the mule goes on a sitdown strike from which a long series of helpful animals fails to dislodge him. At last, a bee emerges from the bass and stings the mule; the orchestra gets to the ball just in time. The rather slight story here is well contrived to serve the charming illustrations. Brett's appealing beasts are realistically portrayed but also wonderfully expressive of the comical side of human emotions; the setting, judging from the quaint village architecture and the folk-art-inspired detail, is Alpine. In addition to the drama of the main events, readers are treated to intriguing glimpses of animals assembling for the ball in border-like friezes. A book to pore over for its wealth of visual pleasures. (Picture book. 4-8)