“Despite beautiful illustrations and a sound concept, this primer fails to rise above the crowd”
This primer takes you on a tour of a marching band, exploring the sounds each instrument makes one at a time, and culminating in the band itself as a necessary and effective unifying element, with each instrument’s sound coming together to create an experience bigger than the sum of its parts. Some instruments may be more familiar, such as a trumpet and a drum, while others may be a new experience like the clarinet or glockenspiel, but all are beautifully illustrated in Wilson’s signature style with watercolor. While there is a touch element, the presence of only a single sandpaper texture throughout prevents this from being elevated to the level of a true touch-and-feel book, and the use of only two host shapes for the texture (notes for brass and wind instruments and lines for percussion) feels more disappointing than educational. Readers familiar with each instrument’s sound may also find themselves questioning the onomatopoeic sounds attributed to each instrument, but will feel reassured taking the time to listen to each instrument’s recording if they follow the QR code on the back of the book.
Touch, listen, and learn.
The latest addition to the Montessori –inspired Discovery Concepts series, joins the band to learn the sounds a variety of instruments make. From the “OOMPAH” of a tuba to the “CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!” of cymbals, little ones will love reciting each sound. Tactile sandpaper musical notes illustrate each instrument’s output while creative words encourage kids to make the sounds for themselves.
Innovative back matter includes a QR code on the final spread of the book, which when scanned on a smartphone, features a marching band playing all of the instruments featured in the book.
1) Do you know what each instrument is called? What it sounds like? Scanning the QR code on the back of the book will take you to a page on the publisher’s site where you can hear each instrument included in the book.
2) Did you notice that the touch and feel shapes change depending on the type of instrument? Which instruments have notes and which have lines?
Katie Wilson is an illustrator and designer based in beautiful New Zealand.
Creating for both adults and children, her illustrations are sweet and cheerful with a handmade feel.
Her work has appeared in magazines, greeting cards and books. Clients include Hallmark, Papyrus, Rotovision, Quartet and Woodmansterne.