A noteworthy review of Music Makers from Booklist on June 1, 2010
Just know what you’re getting into with the Music Makers series: months, if not years, of off-key squawking and strumming. Bringing the basics of instruments to the youngest of readers, these informational tools will likely compel kids to get their hands dirty, and while that’s not likely to be pleasant to the ear, it’s a compliment to this series’ clear and appealing package. With a horizontal format, the spacious, geometric design offers large text on the left and big color photos on the right, featuring plenty of multicultural children. Drums is perhaps too simple: ‘Sometimes armies used drums to help soldiers,’ the authors write—but how? The gleaming pictures of snares and timpanis (not to mention the kids whacking away with abandon) pick up the slack. Guitars does a fantastic job explaining how the instrument works and what a pick and chord is while picturing everything from weary mariachis to amped-up teens. Recorders details that staple of wheezy elementary-school concerts everywhere and even pictures the elusive black, blue, and pink models. A concise explanation of complexities such as valves and tubing makes Trumpets stand out, as does its historical note of how the instruments are used for announcements. A short but sweet glossary and other reading close out these admirably succinct volumes.