The Story Orchestra: Carnival of the Animals

Discover the world of Carnival of the Animals in this musical reimagining of this celebrated suite for children – push the button in each scene to hear the sounds of an orchestra playing from Camille Saint-Saëns’ score.

About The Story Orchestra: Carnival of the Animals

One day, two brothers discover a magical animal kingdom behind their bookcase. They are greeted by the royal lion with his shaggy mane; ask for directions from an old lonely tortoise; take a ride on some lumbering elephants; topple a skeleton of dinosaur bones; and swim among a school of shimmering fish. If only they could take them all home!

The book includes extracts from ‘The Swan’, ‘Aquarium’, ‘Fossils’, and ‘Finale’ (From Disney’s Fantasia) along with a new story to link the pieces together.

As you journey through the magical scenes, you will press the buttons to hear 10 excerpts from the suite’s music. At the back of the book, find a short biography of the composer, Camille Saint-Saëns, with details about his composition of Carnival of the Animals. You can replay the musical excerpts and read a discussion of the instruments, rhythms and musical techniques that make them so powerful. A glossary defines the musical terms.

The Story Orchestra series brings classical music to life for children through illustrated retellings of classic ballet and program music stories paired with 10-second sound clips of orchestras.

Our Thoughts

When you first glance at this book, you have a strong suspicion it is going to be a treasured keepsake, a special journey for you and your child. Carnival of the Animals does not disappoint.

It has been a long time since I have read a book with my child that has accompanying sounds and music. I forgot how important this sense is when it comes to bringing to life a story. Each sound clip that is associated with a two page spread is a perfect representation of the story – from the Swan (the two pianos sounding like the swans feet paddling along) to the Aviary (with the flute that brings to life a little bird). The back of the book explains each sound that we are hearing in each part of the story.

The story itself is an amazing journey that two brothers take – one that you can easily imagine a child coming up with. They explore the wonders of the animal kingdom – meeting lions, tortoises, elephants, coral reef inhabitants, birds and so much more. The illustrations are rich and colourful, complimenting the story perfectly.

This is a spectacular book that will easily become a family treasure. It is visually stunning (you can’t help but run your hands over the illustrations and cover), the sound clips are a great introduction to classical music and the story will entertain.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

About the Author

Jessica Courtney Tickle​ is an illustrator who graduated from Kingston University in July 2014. Her absolute favorite thing to draw or paint is nature, finding a focus on foliage of any kind as well as children’s stories about adventure and exploration. She also has a penchant for drawing theater from music makers to dancers and even singing animals. Jessica is most influenced by vintage picture books, travel posters, and folk art as well as numerous painters and printmakers.

Katy Flint is an author, editor, and musician, based in London. She studied violin at the University of Southampton, before moving into children’s books. She is the author of the best-selling sound book The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker, and has worked on many other non-fiction titles—from human bodies to dinosaurs. 

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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