Thanks for stopping by A Family Place. I enjoy working with families, and sharing the power of music with them. Kindermusik provides this outlet for me. This blog will allow me to share thoughts and ideas that can help families in their journey.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Review: Martin the Guitar

There is a fictitious music store in New York City called Benninato's, and the shop is full of instruments waiting for someone to take them home.  One small guitar named Martin was a favorite of Mr. Benninato, but no one ever looked twice at Martin. People who came in the store favored the larger instruments.  This story was written by Harry Musselwhite, director of choral activities at Berry College. Mr. M wears many hats: choral director, basso profondo, film writer, and now adds children's author to his list of abilities. 

What do I love about this book:

  • The characters. Their names are fun to say, and create images as you read.
  • The lessons it teaches.  Martin is small, and over looked among the other instruments, but Mr. Benninato is encouraging to Martin.  This teaches patience, good things come to those who wait. The seasoned violin, Strada also gives Martin inspiration to step up.  This helps kids realize their elders do offer wisdom and encouragement.
  • The way the music store comes to life.  All children love to imagine what happens when the store is dark, and the people have gone. The instruments in this story to come life with a concert each evening, and the same guy always wins (is he the store bully?), until one night....
  • The artwork.  It is colorful, playful and delightful. The illustrator, Brian Barr, teaches at Georgia Highlands in Rome!
  • The accompanying CD.  The music doesn't go with the story page by page like many children's books, but it takes the listener into the world of Martin.  
  • Berry students were involved in the process of putting this book together.  Liz Robbins and Wes Scheidt are music education majors, and have been assistants in the Kindermusik classroom! Berry College educates the head, heart, and hands!
The book is a bit lengthy for the younger child, but children ages 6 - 10 will be engaged from beginning to end.  Children of all ages (2 - 92), will be enchanted with the compositions that are played so masterfully.  Did I mention that Mr. M wrote the songs, and played them too?? What a talent!!

If you would like a copy of this book, they will be available at Kindermusik of Berry College in mid-September.  Look for additional information about a special SIGNING day with Mr. Musselwhite.  Meet Mr. M, hear the music LIVE, and get your book autographed too!

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