Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday . It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I like classical music and today is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthday!
Adapted by Kyra Teis
32 pages ages 5+
Published by Star Bright Books on April 30, 2008
Theme/Topic – Classical music / opera
Opening and Synopsis – This picture book is a re-telling of the Mozart opera “The Magic Flute”
“Once upon a time, on a day that seemed like any other, Prince Tamino was out hunting in the forest. It was such a lovely day that he didn’t hear a strange sound behind him – a sound that grew louder and louder.”
Prince Tamino is chased by a dragon while hunting in the woods and faints. The dragon is slayed by the servants of the evil Queen of the Night. The evil queen tricks Tamino into saving her daughter, Pamina from Sarastro. The queen tells Tamino he can marry the princess if he brings Pamina back to her. The queen tells Tamino that Sarastro is really a horrible sorcerer that kidnapped Pamina when really Sarastro is protecting Pamina from the evil queen. Tamino learns the truth when he finds Pamina with the help of his friend Papageno, the goofy bird catcher. Tamino and Pamina fall in love and Sarastro says that they can get married if Tamino can pass three challenges. Tamino passes the tests with the help of Pamina and they get married. The evil queen was banished into eternal darkness and Papageno even passes a test of his own and lives happily ever after too!
Why I liked this book – Well first of all, I like classical music. Second of all I am a fan of Mozart (did you know he wrote the music to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?). I have heard of the Magic Flute before but I never saw the opera or read the story. A lot of times operas are in other languages (even if it is in English it’s hard to understand sometimes) and it was cool to see the story in a book. After we read the book we went online and saw some clips of the actual opera and I could tell exactly what was going on! The story was written really well for young kids. It is a great fairy tale! The illustrations are made from paper cuttings and it makes them very unique and awesome to look at!
Activities and Resources – In the back of the book, Ms. Teis has a section called “Make your own Mozart Magic” that has activities like how to make your own stage show or do a creative writing project as one of the characters and suggests to do some research online and in the library about Mozart. There is also a link to her website (www.kyrateis.com) where there are even more activities and information about opera and teaching kids about the Magic Flute! I also found the Seattle Operas website where you can see trailers for The Magic Flute and there are interviews about the opera. You can go there by clicking HERE. Of course you can always find cds or dvds of classical music and operas to let you kids listen to!
Check out some pictures of some of the scenes from The Magic Flute opera!
To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!