By Nicholas C. Rossi
Illustrations by Dimitris Fousekis
The little village of Musiville is occupied by either strange animals or even stranger musical instruments. The appear to be a combination of both. And loud! Oh so loud. Their favorite thing is playing their music in bands. All kinds of music all at once. Did I say music? It’s impossible to say when each musi-animal is playing a different tune or style.
The variety of musicians like the Pelicanophone and the Drumopotamus is as different as the instrumental noise–I mean music –coming from them. At first they think it’s great playing their own music with others doing the same, in spite of headaches and earaches. Soon, so many various styles and sounds become chaotic LOUD music, quite deafening even to the musicians themselves.
Imagine a Frogpipe playing soothing bagpipe songs while Cymbalape clangs away on cymbals. it’s just too much for Maracerus who is considering moving away before the whole town literally falls apart from the vibrations. Already parts of many of the houses are losing shingles and creaking as if haunted by ghosts. It takes an earthquake, a real one, to make Maracerus realize that the whole village is dissonant–playing out of tune. Frogpipe agrees and exclaims over the racket that what they need is a conductor. And that’s when all of Musiville decides to hold a competition to select the one best suited to be a conductor. It’s an easy solution to a big problem–or is it?
Nicholas C. Rossi, author of the widely acclaimed award winning ‘Runaway Smile,’ has once again written a quirky, lovable story guaranteed to make children of all ages laugh out loud over the absurdity of his characters. While engaged in figuring out which combo of animal and musical instrument is which, they are also learning through his storyline that all problems can be solved when everyone agrees to work together in harmony.
The illustrations are comical and unique, and the author puts a glossary at the end of the book describing each music maker and showing it’s picture. This would be much more helpful if placed at the front of the story. This most unusual story can be read to little ones, while appealing to older children who can read for themselves, and many childlike adults, of which I am one. Young readers tired of the old well-used fairy tales, will especially enjoy the funny, often clamorous works of this talented, multi-genre writer.
Micki Peluso, author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang