PPBF (Perfect Picture Book Friday) looks at Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin.
One afternoon, back when I was nine, I wandered up to the loft where my parents stored magazines, stacks of books, old toys, and furniture. While I rooted through an old trunk, I came across a long, peculiar-shaped case. I unlatched it and found an old violin. One of the four strings lay broken, countless frayed hairs on the bow made it unplayable, and a musty smell filled the case. But the violin…that elegant violin captivated me.
For those of you thinking it was a priceless Stradavarius, I’m sorry to disenchant you. However, the violin had merit being made by the German violin maker, Heinrich Theodore Heberlein Jr. (1843-1910)
My father had purchased the violin many years ago when he was in his early twenties with the dream that one day he would learn to play the instrument. After my father brought the beautiful instrument to a violin maker for repairs, I took over my father’s dream. With lessons over many years, I practiced until I was ready to join an orchestra. I loved wearing a long black skirt for concerts. I loved sitting, not in the audience facing the music, but on stage surrounded by the music. Bows gliding together across the strings. The conductor leading us with his baton, pulling from us the best music we were capable of playing. At the end of the concert, I stood with the orchestra as we bowed in appreciation to the warm applause.
My love of the violin leads me to today’s PPBF (Perfect Picture Book Friday) selection.
Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin by Lloyd Moss. Of course, when I saw the vibrant cover illustration of the violinist and read the title, I had to peek inside. And…one peek lead to in instant love and purchase.
Title – Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin – view on Amazon Here.
Written by – Lloyd Moss (1926-2013)
Illustrated by – Marjorie Priceman
Published by – Aladdin Paperbacks edition 2000 (text and illustration copyright 1995)
Suitable for ages – 3-7
Topics/Theme – music and learning about the instruments in an orchestra
With mournful moan and silken tone,
Itself alone comes ONE TROMBONE.
gliding, sliding, high notes go low;
ONE TROMBONE is playing SOLO.
Amazon Review – The Caldecott Honor book, now in paperback!
With mournful moan and silken tone,
itself alone comes ONE TROMBONE…
Then a trumpet joins in to become a duet; add a French horn and voila! you have a trio — and on it goes until an entire orchestra is assembled on stage. Lloyd Moss’s irresistible rhymes and Marjorie Pricemans’s energetic illustrations make beautiful music together — a masterpiece that is the perfect introduction to musical instruments and musical groups, and a counting book that redefines the genre.
Why do I like this book? Musical instruments each have their own distinctive voice. Describing an instrument’s voice through words often falls flat to the actual sound. But when I read each stanza dedicated to a musical instrument, I found that Lloyd Moss demonstrates a “fine tuned” understanding of the particular sound each instrument produces and found perfect words to bring each one to life. And…offering the absolute, hands down, perfect accompaniment to the text, one of my very favorite illustrators, Marjorie Priceman, was chosen to create the art. Her style is expressive. Her illustrations burst with intense colors and freedom. Her lines are more fluid than cursive handwriting.
Learn about Lloyd Moss HERE. This is an incredible post about the author that includes the story of how this special book came to be.
Learn about Marjorie Priceman HERE.
Discussion with children – watch videos on your computer or check them out at the library of music performed by various solo instruments. Then, play a piece of classical music performed by an orchestra and see how many instruments children can recognize. And…
…ask if they can describe the sound each instrument makes in words.
DANCE TIME! – While listening to various musical pieces, make space in a room for a little creative “dance” time. Let children explore with their hands, arms, feet, legs, and bodies what direction the music takes them.
DRAWING TIME! -Spread out large sheets of paper, markers, and colored pencils or crayons. This time, while listening to expressive pieces of music, encourage children to show with lines, shapes, and squiggles how the music ‘looks’ to them if it were a picture.
If you know of other picture books that explore music, I hope you’ll share them in the comments.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post. See you back here soon!