Sunday, February 26, 2012

Book Review: Making Beautiful Music

Book Giveaway!
Teaching kids the importance of tolerance can be a little tricky. We are all so different and embracing our differences will allow all of us to appreciate each other. Norma Minturn Stilwell does a wonderful job of teaching kids how to get along.

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Title:Making Beautiful Music
Author:Norma Minturn Stilwell
Publisher:Peppertree Press
ISBN:978-1-936343-92-8


The orchestra is preparing for the Presidential Ball. Everyone is tuning up so the dress rehearsal can go on without a hitch. When the conductor raises his baton and the lights go dim, he bass and the cello begin to fight. The violin and viola take sides. The English horn and oboe made faces at the flute. The clarinet and piccolo don't give a toot. It wasn't until the bass drum boomed, that everyone got quiet. The conductor asked everyone to put their differences aside. Each instrument is no better than the other. The conductor calmly states that if the instruments can't get along then there will be no harmony. Will the instruments ever come to an understanding? You'll have to buy the book to see.

Making Beautiful Music is the second of the “Let's Get Along” series of books produced by Poet Norma Minturn Stilwell. Her first book “A Thought for Thanksgiving” conveys a message of looking beyond our judgments of those with differences, wrapped up in the classic tale of the first Thanksgiving. Both books lean towards tolerance. These books will teach young readers how to accept and appreciate how we are all different but yet how all of us can still work and live together in unity.

The large and bold pictures and easy rhyming verse make for a good start up book for young readers. The simplistic illustrations make it easy for any beginning reader to comprehend the emotion of each instrument. This wonderful book was dedicated to Mattie J.T. Stepanik. Mattie was a young poet with muscular dystrophy who died at the tender age of 13. His book “Heart Song” was a New York Times bestseller. His message of peace will continue on within all of these books.

Stilwell was born in Albany, N.Y., and was raised in Rutherford, N.J. After attending St. Elizabeth's College in convent Station, N.J., and the Universitaria per Stranieri in Florence, Italy, she was an administrative assistant for Tamblyn and Brown, which raised funds to build a facility for Seton Hall University's School of Medicine and Dentistry. She also perfomred administrative work for the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C. A mother of four children and grandmother of 10, Stilwell and her husband James relocated from Ocean City, N.J., to Sarasota, FL, in 2001 where she continues to write poetry, create low-fire ceramics and enjoy gardening and the arts.

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