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Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Miniwings. Firestorm’s Musical Muck-up by Sally Sutton, Illus. Kirsten Richards

May 19, 2018 Comments off

miniwingsMiniwings. Firestorm’s Musical Muck-up by Sally Sutton, Illus. Kirsten Richards. Pub. Scholastic, 2018.

This is the first of a new series mainly for girls who are getting more confident with reading.

It is about two sisters who play a flute and a violin and see six miniature horses that originally where given by their grandmother but come alive when adults are out of the room. Each horse has it’s own personality and this story is about Firestorm who lives up to his name.

The girls are doing a concert with their class for their parents and friends and organised by their teacher Miss Rose, who doesn’t have a boyfriend. Things start to go wrong when Firestorm pushes the fire alarm but will it get Miss Rose a boyfriend.

A good mix of fantasy and everyday hassles and problems. Written with gusto and plenty of humour and well illustrated by Kirsten Richards who captures all the moments and gives character to the Miniwings.

Categories: Fantasy, Junior Fiction Tags: ,

Lucky Button by Michael Morpurgo. Illus. Michael Foreman.

December 4, 2017 Comments off

lucky buttonLucky Button by Michael Morpurgo. Illus. Michael Foreman. pub. walker books, 2017.

There is always something gentle yet powerful about a Michael Morpurgo novel and so it is with this one. Similarly he often uses a story within a story to link a past event with a present day situation and he does it again in this novel.

Jonah looks after his mother who is house bound and has stopped playing music that Jonah loved so much. Jonah gives up much of his school life to look after his mother and is bullied at school.

After an attack he retreats to the school chapel where he finds a brass button that brought the original owner a lot of luck. The owner called Nathaniel Hogarth was a foundling at an orphanage with connections to the composer Handel.  Nathaniel appears before Jonah as a ghost and tells him an amazing story about becoming friends with Mozart and his sister.

Will the lucky button give some badly needed luck to Jonah and his mum? Read it and find out. It is fascinating and based on true events although this is not a true story.

Superbly illustrated by Michael Foreman’s colour illustrations as always.

Primary and middle school readers will devour it.

No One Here Gets out Alive by Jerry Hopkins & Danny Sugerman

December 31, 2016 Comments off

jim-morrisonNo One Here Gets out Alive by Jerry Hopkins & Danny Sugerman. Pub. Plexus Publishing, 1980.

A journalist once wrote “the Beatles and the Stones are for blowing your mind: the Doors are for afterwards, when your mind is already gone“. This biography comes under the same category.

I loved the Doors music and the image of Jim Morrison as it was revealed to us then, but I really didn’t know the truth about him and I guess most of it has gone to the grave. I visited his grave at the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris in 2004. It was hard to find and a bit of a let down, but I hummed Riders on the Storm to myself and wondered.

This book pulls no punches and much if it is based on anecdotal stories from his friends, his women and from his younger brother. Surprisingly nothing from Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger or John Densmore his fellow Doors.

The story however is gripping and riveting and is told in three parts with image of a bow being draw, the arrow flying and dropping to the ground. A full discology of the Doors songs, when they were played, how they were recorded and Morrison’s behaviour throughout.

All the major events at concerts including his arrest for lewd behaviour are recounted and the drugs and booze extravagances that Morrison put himself through. The best part for me is the analysis of the songs that evolved from his poetry and the extraordinary imagery  that Morrison gave to his writing. The title is a line from the anti war song Unknown Soldier. Morrison wanted to be taken seriously but his destructive behaviour prevented him being bigger and better than he was.

In the end Jim Morrison was a poet but lived a rock star life. It destroyed him. Read for yourself. He was the third member of the 27 club after Hendrix and Joplin. He knew them both.His death was controversial but if anybody could have faked it, it was Jim Morrison.

Alveridgea and the Legend of the Lonely Dog by Ivan Clarke and Stu Duval

August 13, 2012 Comments off

Alveridgea and the Story of the Lonely Dog by Ivan Clarke and Stu Duval. Pub. Atlantic Books, 2012.

This is an outstanding novel for a wide range of school years and even for adults. It is a classic and will become as legendary as Lonely Dog himself.

Lonely dog lives in the port of Alveridge which is divided into two sections. The hound dogs who are carefree and casual live in one half and the cats who are conniving and grasping live in the better half of town. The hounds and the cats do not mix but things begin to change.

Lonely Dog as he is to become was born Arthur Snout and was left in a box at the door of the orphanage and grows up as a loner. He is bullied but has a friend in old Rolph Flannegan and a girl dog with pigtails, long legs and limpid eyes called Kelzie. The sketch of her is amazing.

One day while asleep in a motorcycle sidecar Lonely Dog  is taken  to the village green where they are playing blues music. It is a life changing experience and he begins to learn guitar and to write songs. These songs are going to elevate him into the poet of protest and revolution as the hounds try to shake off the control by cats.

Brilliantly illustrated by creator Ivan Clarke and told by master story teller Stu Duval whose command of language will have you laughing out loud. His imagery and metaphor are brilliant. He describes bagpipes as sounding like ten cats in a cement mixer.

Central to the story is music which unifies enemies and gives the book a feel good ambience. The song lyrics and history of music are as interesting as the story of Lonely Dog. In fact they are inseparable.

If you miss this one you will kick yourself.