A Musical Exploration of the Orchestra Using Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5

By: Carolyn Sloan

Illustrated by: James Williamson

Published: October 27, 2015
Publisher: Workman Publishing


I am beyond thrilled to share this wonderful book with you. If you have young children, I am begging you to share this book with them. Every elementary music teacher should have this book in their back pocket (well not really because it won’t fit). Piano teachers, homeschooling families, and anyone who loves music will find so many wonderful things about this book.

Three cute little mice attend the symphony and for two of them, it is a first-time experience. Through fabulous artwork on each page and definitions of all the parts of a symphonic orchestra, children will learn along with the mice in the book.  With the tabs on the side, readers will be able to hear parts of the symphony as well as the various instruments involved in a symphony.

As various parts of the symphony are explained, a corresponding number will allow the child to press a button and hear more of the explanation, for example, including what it means to tune an instrument, the main theme of Symphony No. 5, and the harmony of the piece.  There are also buttons for each instrument that corresponds with the picture and explanation on the page.

I appreciate how the illustrator has shown the instruments proportionately according to their size. For example the above photo shows the bassoon, which is not a small instrument, and its size when in relation to being played.

This is a book I would have loved when our children were younger and one I will keep in my personal library to pull out when I watch our neighbors kids or to take along to school when I substitute teach. The very end of the book includes more information for the adults including how to raise your child to love music.

Carolyn Sloan – source

Carolyn Sloan is a songwriter and musician who writes music for theater, television, and children. She is also a music educator at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, New York, where she lives with her family.  For more information, check out her website, HERE

James Williamson is an illustrator, designer, and artist. He lives with his wife in Brooklyn, New York. 

If you would like to purchase a copy of WELCOME TO THE SYMPHONY, click the photo below:

I will be linking up this review with other bloggers on Booking Mama’s Kid Konnection. Click HERE to see other posts related to children’s and YA books.

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A post from 1 year ago today – My Year of Reading and Best Books of 2014

Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any way for this review. If you choose to purchase this book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting SincerelyStacie.com. 

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  1. bermudaonion on January 9, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    What kid doesn't love a book that makes sounds too?! This book looks and sounds wonderful!

  2. Julie P. on January 16, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    I couldn't agree more with your review. This book is fantastic and probably a music teacher's dream!

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