A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Itâ€™s the birth date of Willa Cather (1873â€“1947), O Pioneers!, My Antonia. Read Willa Cather: Author and Critic by Bettina Ling.
- In 1941, Japanese pilots attack Pearl Harbor. Thus, itâ€™s National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Read Boy at War by Harry Mazer, and Pearl Harbor is Burning by Kathleen Kudlinksi.
- The microwave oven is patented in 1945. Read Kingdom: Micro Monsters by Nam Nguyen and Pieâ€™s in the Oven by Betty Birney, illustrated by Holly Meade.
- Itâ€™s one of two annual National Cotton Candy Days. The other is July 31. Cotton candy became popular at the 1904 St. Louis Worldâ€™s Fair.
On December 7, 1842, the first concert of theNew York Philharmonic, the first symphony orchestra founded in America, was performed. Over the years, the Philharmonic has performed more than 15,000 times and tonight will play a program of Beethoven and Mahler in Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. Since many families attend formal events involving singing and the orchestra during the holiday season, letâ€™s look at two books that will immediately make a child think that musicians would be a lot of fun to hang out with.
Karla Kuskin tackles the question of how musicians prepare themselves for a concert in her hilarious The Philharmonic Gets Dressed. Presenting the 105 players of the symphony, Kuskin talks about their activities before the performanceâ€”bathing, drying themselves off, and putting on underwear and over wear. Then fully dressed in black and white they head out to take cabs, cars, subways, and buses that will deliver them to the concert hall. Finally assembled in Philharmonic Hall, the symphony waits for the conductor; after he steps on to the stand, they get to work, playing beautifully. Kuskinâ€™s text is just right, a balance of information and whimsy. ButMarc Simont really steals the show in his virtuoso performance as illustrator in this book. He brings these orchestra players to lifeâ€”showing them as human beings, fat and skinny, strange and beautiful, in various stages of undress. Every page causes a chuckle from two- to eight-year-olds, as readers watch these musicians getting ready for a big event. Because the book brings preparation for a concert to a childâ€™s eye view, it makes the concert hall seem more friendly and approachable. Some savvy parents even use this book as a bedtime story.
Members of the New York Philharmonic own Stradivari and Guarneri violins, and Lloyd Mossâ€™s Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin shows how that instrument mixes with othersâ€”trombones, trumpets, cellos, flutes, even a harpâ€”to create different chamber groups. In the end a conductor with a batonâ€”and his dog accompliceâ€”lead the musicians. â€śItâ€™s music that we all adore. Itâ€™s what we go to concerts for.â€ť In this Caldecott Honor Book, illustrator Marjorie Priceman shows the players moving with frenzyâ€”they float, play, and sway to the musicâ€”as do two cats, a mouse, and a dog. Teaching both counting and vocabulary to preschool to eight-year-olds, the spirited text often gets cries for an encore.
Both books make readers want to run, not walk, to the nearest concert hall so they can soak up the music. Happy birthday to the New York Philharmonicâ€”and happy listening to concertgoers everywhere. However you listen to the music of the season, these two books will make it more enjoyable for all members of the family.
Here’s a page from The Philharmonic Gets Dressed:
Originally posted December 7, 2010. Updated for .