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From the My First Sound series

by Marion Billet ; illustrated by Marion Billet

Pub Date: March 26th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-338-26721-1
Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

A musical board book features sound buttons that trigger clips of six classical songs.

The focus of this book is on listening to snippets (roughly 15 to 20 seconds long) from mostly well-known classical compositions. Each spread features one song and an accompanying illustration. The composer’s name and song title headline the text above a smaller line of interpretive text. The pages invite readers to interact by touching a button that activates the song. Some clips may be familiar even to younger readers, such as Mozart’s “The Turkish March,” while others, such as Paganini’s “The Campanella,” are likely to be new, for an overall nice balance. The illustrations—featuring animals and insects—are simple and relate to the song title, so Schubert’s “The Trout Quintet” depicts a trout jumping out of the water. Some of the directive text is inviting, asking readers to count ants, for example; elsewhere it’s simply descriptive. Neither the illustrations nor the text has enough depth or quality to bring much value to the book. Of note for adults: The book comes with an installed battery and an on-off switch, and the music can be started and stopped by touching the button on each page.

This book will likely become a game of starting and stopping the musical clips, and for good reason: There’s not much else to it.

(Board book. 1-3)