CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Irene C. Eugen
Illustrated by Vlasta van Kampen Richmond Hill (Ont.), Scholastic Canada, 1991. 38pp, cloth, $13.95
ISBN 0-59073660-4. CIP

Subject Heading:
Musical instruments-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 3-8

Reviewed by Joan M. Payzant

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

Every author of a picture-book for children dreams of seeing his/her book appear in its final form looking like Rockanimals. Can this be a Canadian picture-book? It's perfect--in hardcover, with a lively, colourfully illustrated dust jacket, and action-filled, humorous pictures on every page to complement the unusual but fascinating story. Author and illustrator have combined their artistic and musical talents to produce what is sure to be an award-winning classic.

The story tells how the musical instruments of the touring Orchestranimals (who give classical music concerts) are accidently interchanged with the instruments belonging to a rock group. Faced with a concert performance the very next day, the Orchestranimals are forced to adapt to the rock instruments. The illustrations showing the octopus's eight arms tackling the eight-keyboard synthesizer, while the pelican, flamingo, duck and fox learn to play saxophones, are hilarious. Meanwhile, the bear, hippo, anteater, bat and monkey, clutching microphones in the best rock style, practise songs.

Children will be intrigued by the perky grasshopper that turns up on every page, reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock's signature appearance in his movies.

The surprised animal audience soon accommodates itself to the rock music, participating with tapping feet, flapping wings, wagging tails, and smiles. The Orchestranimals have done it. They become "the hottest new rock group around"--the Rockanimals.

Don't miss ordering this book for your library shelves. Children will love it and so will you.

Joan M. Payzant, Dartmouth, N.S.
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