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scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source

The Story Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day was published in October 2016 by Frances Lincoln Children's Books. It is both a visual and auditory trip through all four of the seasons, accompanied by musical snippets from Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.

The first thing I noticed about this book is how vibrant the illustrations are. The color pallete changes from warm to cool to correspond with the general feel of each season. The story follows a girl named Isabelle, her small apple tree, and her dog Pickle as they journey and experience changes through all four seasons in one day. The illustrations depict spring showers and new babies, summer flowers and a thunderstorm, autumn harvest and migration, and winter's chill and snow.

In addition to the visual feast, each page has a "button" to push to hear a small snippet from the corresponding "season" of Vivaldi's music. The button is printed on the page, but when you press it (with the page lying flat), the back cover plays the music. Even though I'm not an orchestral music buff, I still recognized some of these memorable tunes. The thunderstorm one was especially fitting. And the sound quality is very good -- much better than a typical preschooler "sound book."

On the last page, there is a short biography of Vivaldi, and we get to see all the buttons together, this time with descriptions of each snippet of music that can help us to speculate on why each season's music was written the way it was. We're invited to "hear" the shivering in the cold during the winter piece, and to listen for the slower pacing in the summer piece.

Overall, this book is not only beautifully illustrated and informative, but it is a great way to introduce children to a wonderful piece of music, and the famous composer who wrote it.

Scrounged From: A Christmas present

Format: Hardcover
Author/Illustrator: Jessica Courtney-Tickle
Pages: 24
Content Advisory: None

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