by Chantal Bufe
I am always delighted when I come across a meaningful and memorable item in a constant quest for unique children's gifts.
One of these gems, which our five-year-old Flori has recently fallen in love with (also because it was given to her by her beloved godmother), is Katy Flints' The Story Orchestra.
Beautifully illustrated by the talented Jessica Courtney Tickle, this series of books introduces children to famous composers' music, such as Tchaikovsky's 'The Nutcracker,' 'Swanlake' or 'Sleeping Beauty.' With a (firm!) press of a button, a small clip of perfectly selected classical music plays, bringing to life each scene as the entire story unfolds before the child's eyes. A vivid fairytale for little princes and princesses!
One of our favorite parts about the books is the last two pages, containing a short biography of the composer and a glossary of terms relevant to classical music (what is a ballet, a rhythm, a waltz, a phrase?). So much to see, so much to learn!
Also, there are short explanations of how the various instruments help tell each act's storyline (do you hear the two flutes that play a fast, fluttering melody, just like a canary singing a tune?). So much to hear, so much to learn!
In a 'plastic -fantastic' world where most toys capture the children's attention for mere hours, this series of books will have your little ones returning for its magic again and again.
More from The Story Orchestra: