Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Do Re Mi - If You Can Read Music, Thank Guido d'Arezzo by Susan L. Roth in association with Angelo Mafucci 2006 picture book

Until I picked up this book, I hadn't given any thought to how people learned music before music was written down. Now I have a good idea. I say "idea" because Do Re Mi is a picture book with author Susan L. Roth's watered down version of history about some real people and real events. Guido d'Arezzo, justly known as "the Father of Music", was responsible for creating a way to write down music. No simple task. His thoughts about written music were not popular during his time (he was born in 990) and he faced a lot of criticism and discouragement. His is a story of perserverance. It's an interesting, small piece of important history. Even if you're not a music lover, though, give this book a good look. The illustrations are wonderful! Roth uses a collage style of art with paper from all over the world to bring d'Arezzo's story to life. Each page incorporates music lines within the picture. Backgrounds are musical notes, staff lines, and pieces of music. Different textured paper and objects give the illustrations a 3-dimensional look. It's high time Caldecott recognized a picture book with this kind of art! One more thing . . . the vocabulary word you'll find in this book - epiphany - it's a great one! Go look it up!

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