The Children’s Book Review
Published: October 11, 2013
By Allison Flannery, Illustrated by Vesper Stamper
Hardcover: 34 pages
Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Samizdat Publishing (2013)
What to expect: Music, Fantasy, Movement, Adventure
This book is a wonderful illustrated adaption of a classical piece of music, “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” composed by Edvard Grieg for the sixth scene of act 2 in Henrik Ibsen’s 1876 play Peer Gynt. Just as this riveting piece of music, with its dynamic changes in rhythm and sound, plays with our ears and emotions, first-time author Allison Flannery captures the reader’s attention with the ever-building adventure of a young Peer Gynt and his dog. The main character ventures “through the forest and out the other side; farther than he had ever been before.” It is there that he finds “the best treasure of all—A CASTLE!”
Paying homage to the Norwegian heritage of both the playwright and composer, Flannery has set the book in Norway, circa 1860. The watercolor illustrations by Vesper Stamper match the energy of the music and amplify Flannery’s words with gusto. There is a lot of illustrative detail that plays with Flannery’s enchanting storyline and children will enjoy seeking out the Mountain King’s daughter who can be found on almost every page. To complete the interactive experience, Flannery has provided a CD with 5 pieces of music from the Peer Gynt Suite, along with a three-step lesson plan that is easy and fun and links the story to the music.
This is a pitch-perfect book that will capture the attention of an entire classroom, while also teaching children about rhythm and whole body movement. Despite the fact that this is a perfect book for any family, teacher, or caregiver with an appreciation for music, Flannery’s retelling stands alone as a wonderful story for all picture book fans.
Add this book to your collection: In the Hall of the Mountain King
For more information, visit: http://inthehallofthemountainking.com
Discover coloring pages, puppets and additional lesson plans: http://www.allisonflannery.com/how-to-use-this-book/
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