Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Music in Our Schools Month

Did you know that March is National Music in Our Schools Month? I've got a few music related reviews today... originally I had planned on posting reviews for three books, but after reading The Music Teacher from the Black Lagoon, I just couldn't bring myself to spend time writing up a review of it - I just didn't care for it.

McPhail, David.
Mole Music.
Henry Holt and Company.
Guided Reading Level: K
Mole, who has always led a simple life, suddenly has the urge to try something different. After hearing a man on television playing the violin, Mole sends away to order a violin of his own and goes on to teach himself to play. Sometimes he plays alone, sometimes he imagines playing the violin for the whole world, all the while, he's playing in his underground burrow. What mole doesn't realize though, is that he's not just imagining playing for the whole world, for the illustrations show us just how much the whole world really is enjoying his music! This is a cute, simple story that would be a hit in an early elementary classroom or in a music classroom.

Seskin, Steve and Allen Shamblin.
Don't Laugh at Me.
Tricycle Press.
Anyone educator or parent will find this story close to their heart, as they hate to see children who are teased or picked on because they are "different." Isn't that what makes us individuals? Our differences? This book definitely holds a place in any home or classroom! The CD that's included with the book closely resembles Mark Wills' country song, Don't Laugh at Me, which you can listen to here.
The story reminds children very simply that every child needs and deserves friends. That we shouldn't take pleasure in causing pain to others and that we need to respect the differences among ourselves. I truly loved this one and the fact that there's music that matches the text is just an added bonus!
If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to Amazon.com.