From music writer Brandon Stosuy and award-winning illustrator Amy Martin comes Music is…, a board book for children aged 0-3 years that pairs beautiful artwork with the building blocks of pre-literacy skills. And it’s a lot of fun to read!
This playful book has elements suitable for multiple developmental stages in early childhood. Your baby will love the bright colours and high contrast of most pages of this picture book, while the more muted tones of other pages appropriately reflect the mood and feeling described there. The hard board pages are built to withstand baby’s enthusiasm 😉
Activity and movement are highlighted throughout the book, creating a natural connection to interactive singing and dancing activities. It uses narrative rhythm and occasionally rhymes, and some playful onomatopoeia and repetition are sprinkled in, too, which the reader can embellish if desired. Children who have not yet grasped language skills will still love the pleasing sounds and rhythms.
The text is relatively simple, using descriptive and expressive language to present the concept of music alongside the concept of opposites, using both familiar terms (hard/soft, slow/fast) and more advanced ones. The images represent scenarios that might be familiar to the child (ex: banging on pots and pans) or brand new (ex: a rock band).
For children 18-24 months, the simple concept of opposites lays a foundation on which the more complex concept of music can later be learned. Complex ideas like the various moods and feelings of music are expressed in familiar terms like “happy” and “sad”, “quiet” and “loud”. Even kids older than 3 will want to read along, sparking fun conversations about what “low-fi” and “hi-fi” mean, or the difference between “a cappella” and “instrumental”.
Another wonderful element is the inclusion of multiple, diverse cultures and ethnicities. This is important because young people of colour can grow up seeing themselves and their families represented positively in the media around them, and young white kids can learn to accept and embrace difference from an early age.
I’d rate this book 5 flashlights for its beauty, playfulness, versatility, and inclusion!