Christmas Countdown: Day 7 - Music


Is there a young somebody under your roof with a passion for reality? Then I recommend you scoop up this little non-fiction wonder, Music. Released by What on Earth Publishing, this resplendent encyclopedia of music is just one of the many non-fiction titles this company specialises in all designed to engage (a child’s) natural curiosity and passion for learning. And they are simply astounding.

Music is a fold-out graphic history of music which means it can be read from cover to cover as a normal book, but each page is actually a concertina fold which when unfolded spreads out into an engrossing timeline 2.5 metres long!

This musical odyssey begins with an overview of the world allowing readers to gain a sense of time and place that is all encompassing. Time is measured in the religiously neutral but same timeframe as BC, BCE and CE (AD) and begins with ancient music from prehistoric times. It’s a fascinating journey and one I am certain adults will want to experience as enthusiastically as children. Each snippet of history reveals an historical fact that explains and enlightens.

The earliest composer, oldest surviving piece of music, music in art and evolution of instruments is presented in numbered sequenced text boxes that gradually lengthen in detail the further in you travel. The diversity of information is phenomenal, almost as infinite as the qualities of music itself. We learn how music influences, reflects attitudes and emotions, is used to protect and motivate and of course entertain. Through the ever evolving spirit of music and its composers and performers, the history of mankind unravels so that without even realising it, the reader is swept through a marvellous voyage of discovery.

The journey is as fast or relaxed as you wish it to be as each page holds just enough entries to maintain interest without overwhelming the reader; The Beatles scored one whole page to themselves. How the author managed to include so much material is miraculous but of course incomplete; where would one end! This naturally invites the curious mind to explore further which makes this book not just appealing to curl up with but also an invaluable resource attractive enough to take pride of place on any bookshelf thanks to Ruby Taylor’s eye-catching illustrations.

Eventually we make it to the present day, arriving at the Royal Albert Hall of Fame in London, one of the busiest musical venues in the world. An orchestra is belting out a tune only the reader can here and now feel in their heart as well having experienced this wondrous epic event, this story about music. 

The medium of music is one of the most powerful ways to relay stories and this book serves to remind us all of that in beautiful fortississimo tones! Bravo!

Title:  Music
Author:  Nicholas O’Neill and Susan Hayes
Illustrator:  Ruby Taylor
Publisher: What On Earth Books, $34.99
Publication Date:  November 2020
Format: Hardback – Fold Out
: 9781999967932
For ages:  8+
Type:  Non Fiction Picture Book

Buy the Book: What On Earth Books, Boomerang Books


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