July 2010 Indie Next List
“The Carnival of the Animals is a beautiful book of poetry by Jack Prelutsky. Mary GrandPre's whimsical and vibrant illustrations are perfect visuals for Prelutsky onomatopoeic poetry. Prelutsky's inspiration for this timeless book was the music of Camille Saint-Saens' The Carnival of the Animals. As an added bonus, a CD of the music and Prelutsky reading his own verses is included in the book. All in all a great collection of new poetry in a beautiful book that comes alive before your very eyes.”
— Emily Grossenbacher, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, MS
A great way to introduce children to classical music.
America’s first Children's Poet Laureate has written all-new verses to accompany the composer Camille Saint-Saëns’s The Carnival of the Animals, and the illustrator of the Harry Potter books has turned these rollicking rhymes into a picture-book fun fest. Included is a CD of the music and of Jack Prelutsky reading the verses. A note to parents and teachers by Judith Bachleitner, head of the music department at the prestigious Rudolf Steiner School in New York City, suggests ways preschoolers can act out the music—tromp like an elephant, hop like a kangaroo, glide like a swan—or, for older children, be creatively inspired by this joyful work.
About the Author
Jack Prelutsky is the best-selling author of more than fifty books of poetry, including The New Kid on the Block, illustrated by James Stevenson, and Stardines Swim High Across the Sky, illustrated by Carin Berger. Jack Prelutsky lives in Washington State.
Newbery Medal winner Nancy Willard has written numerous beloved books for children and adults, including poetry, picture books, and novels. She teaches writing and literature at Vassar College.
Mary GrandPre is the acclaimed illustrator of many children's books, including Plum, by Tony Mitton; The Thread of Life, by Domenico Vittorini; and the bestselling Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling.
Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921) was born in Paris and learned to read and play the piano when he was two years old. Carnival of the Animals was written in 1886. Although the piece is very popular today, Saint-Saens forbade complete performances of it during his lifetime, allowing only one section. "The Swan," for cello and piano, to be performed.