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Marsh Music

Marsh Music, a frog fantasy

In Marsh Music different species of frogs convene in a marsh at night. Fireflies light up the stage and Maestro bullfrog raises his baton. The music begins, softly at first, but builds to a crescendo as the music goes on. Just before dawn, the frogs depart, but the serenade is not over---

The story is a fantasy, but the cast of characters represents a cross-section of frogs who live in marshes, while their performance is described with musical vocabulary.The book is a lesson on nature, frogs and music theory; lots of fun to read.

Grades: K-4; 8x10; 32 pages; ISBN 978-0-7613-7461-9
Lerner Publications/Millbrook Press; $6.95 paperback

"Berkes turns the night songs of all kinds of frogs into a concert, with a bullfrog, Maestro, assuming the role of conductor. As the illustrations move from twilight to dawn, Maestro supervises a symphony of frogs plunking spider webs, playing pond instruments, and making sounds...that illustrate tempo, from moderato to animato. Noreika's watercolor paintings of marsh life--plants, animals, insects, and even mist--are stunningly detailed and luminous. They perfectly complement this book about nature and music, brought together by the singing talents of frogs. An entertaining way to teach children about both nature and music." -- Booklist

"Frogs and music go together naturally, and here is a picture book to prove it. As twilight settles on the marsh, Maestro frog hops on his mound, lifts his reed baton, and starts to conduct an amphibian concert. There are chorus frogs, spring peepers, wood frogs and leopard frogs--so many different kinds! Each one is labeled and lovingly painted in watercolors. They are seen leaping like ballerinas over lily pads, playing instruments, and lining up on logs to sing their little hearts out. ...Many musical terms are mentioned, and add interest, such as tempo, three-quarter time, moderato, and animato. If you are not familiar with these words, don't worry. There is a musical glossary ini the back, as well as a thorough description of all the different forgs. There is a lot of interesting information to be found here."
-- Children's Literature

"Marsh Music" has the visual and verbal pizzazz to make it a read-it-again treat."
--School Library Journal

The e-mail below was received from the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra on February 4, 2009. What a surprise it was to hear and see this video online, and what a thrill that I can share their recording with you. See: Part 5 - Working Together in Music - A Story with Music

Hi Marianne,
We’re thrilled to hear that you enjoyed our video.
"Marsh Music" is a favorite here among our musicians and their children.
We would be honored if you would link our videos to your web site; you most definitely have our permission. I have also forwarded your message to both Andy and Carolyn.
Thank you again,
Laura Reinert, Education Programs Manager
Saint Louis Symphony