A musical exploration, in various styles, with a full-page listening guide for each of its 12 tunes.
Composer Gasoi describes the book as her “musical world,” and the variety of musical styles and instrumentation works to bring real diversity to the collection. Each song’s lyrics are presented on a double-page spread backgrounded by Adams’ fanciful paintings of animals and instruments. The bluegrass “Little Blue Car” preps for the trip, with animal travelers loading up the car with their instruments. “Throw a Penny in the Wishing Well” is a doo-wop tune. The sweet “Baby Blue” has a folk flavor. “Goin’ on a Trip” imagines an array of fun journeys, with a light jazz feel. “The Animal Party” bubbles with klezmer craziness. “The Bayou” uses Cajun music influences to describe a festive celebration with great food and dancing. “All Join Hands” is a peppy gospel tune. “Bright Side of Life” presents a get-happy message in a calypso style. There’s also blues, Dixieland swing, and roots music, and the final song, “Purple Man,” consciously mixes styles. Listening guide pages include a tidy explanation of the musical background of each tune as well as questions that make up a clever quiz. On the accompanying CD, Gasoi’s voice is bright and nimble, and her lyrics have an easy feel.
A solid balance of entertainment and education, with a neat beat. (Picture book. 3-5)