The Story Orchestra: I Can Play

Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

The Story Orchestra series is back, and this time, it’s time for children to play some tunes!

Featuring a collection of refrains from ballets and operas such as Swan Lake, The Four Seasons and The Nutcracker, each double page spread begins by telling children and parents a little bit of information about the piece of music and how it’s played, followed by a sheet that shows children which notes to play on the book’s chunky keyboard to play the tune.

The notes to play are colour- and shape-coded and accompanied by the words of the tune, so little ones who can’t read yet won’t get much from the words, but an adult can help them by reading the words out as the child presses the buttons.

This would make a fun gift, either for toddlers and pre-schoolers who will like pressing the buttons to make noises (though, not necessarily in the right order) or for children in Reception or Year 1 of primary school who will be more able to follow the music directions and play little excerpts from famous classical music pieces. Jessica Courtney-Tickle’s illustrations are warm and colourful with lots of beautiful detail, which adds to the beauty and giftiness of the book.

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