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Carnival of the Animals With CD
by John Lithgow and Boris Kulikov


Overview - The award-winning actor and "New York Times" bestselling author is back with a beautifully illustrated adaptation of the New York City Ballet's production of "Carnival of the Animals." Lithgow recites the text on the accompanying CD, as members of Chamber Music Los Angeles play the complete musical composition.  Read more...

 
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More About Carnival of the Animals With CD by John Lithgow; Boris Kulikov
 
 
 
Overview

The award-winning actor and "New York Times" bestselling author is back with a beautifully illustrated adaptation of the New York City Ballet's production of "Carnival of the Animals." Lithgow recites the text on the accompanying CD, as members of Chamber Music Los Angeles play the complete musical composition. Full color.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 0689867212
  • ISBN-10: 0689867212
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
  • Publish Date: September 2004
  • Page Count: 40
  • Reading Level: Ages 5-8

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Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 61.
  • Review Date: 2004-09-06
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this story within a ballet within an orchestral suite, Lithgow (The Remarkable Farkle McBride) adapts to picture-book form a rhyming narration of composer Camille Saint-Saëns's 1886 composition Carnival of the Animals, which the author originated for the New York City Ballet last year (a music recording along with the author's ebullient narration accompanies the book). The resulting read-aloud takes a flight of fancy as well as a few leaps of logic. During a field trip to a natural history museum, Oliver Pendleton Percy the Third sneaks away from his class and hides among the taxidermic beasts in an exhibit labeled "under repairs." After closing, as Oliver sleeps with the fishes—and antelopes, bears and beavers—the boy dreams that the various people in his life take on the guise of the museum animals. His classmates morph into a pack of rule-breaking hyenas, his teacher a lion and his mother a tearful cuckoo searching for her chick. A kindly night watchman eventually facilitates Oliver's safe return home. Lithgow gleefully tackles the challenge of inventing a child-friendly story around the music's imagery. His penchant for employing often sophisticated and fun-to-pronounce words remains intact. However, as a stand-alone text, the dreamlike quality of the poem makes for some disjointed, stream-of-consciousness vignettes that may leave some readers scratching their heads. In addition, the author occasionally bends the story line to fit the rhyme scheme, with mixed success. Kulikov's (Morris the Artist) artwork acts as the glue here. He gamely stays in step, providing a fanciful plumed and furry menagerie of wild animal-human hybrids. His sophisticated yet playful treatment of size and perspective—along with copious humorous details—will have readers poring over many of the compositions. Ages 5-10. (Sept.)

 
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