Thursday, November 14, 2013

Allison Flannery and Vesper Stamper Presents Superb Children's Storybook Based on Edvard Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King!

In The Hall of the Mountain King
Based on the 1867 play Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen, set to Edward
Grieg's musical masterpiece

Adapted by Allison Flannery
Illustrated by Vesper Stamper

I was almost overwhelmed by the sheer beauty and quality of the Children's Storybook created by Allison Flannery and Vesper Stamper.  There is both a paper full-colored cover guard as well as a full-cover hardcover! Truly a desired book for personal home libraries and a MUST for all libraries. Included is an adapted CD made for the book, also with artwork! I've used a video to give you the flavor of the music here, but you have GOT to visit the site to get the full effect available to readers. When I have to give this a rating of maximum stars--my words tell the truth: Deserves At Least 20!

Allison Flannery, a music teacher, was talking to children about the Peer Gynt story and music and one of the students asked for the book... it is! My personal thanks to Creed, that enthusiastic child who wanted "more"--he wanted to hold the story in his or her hands and be able to carry it, go back and pick it up to read and read, to listen to the haunting music that so perfectly goes with the words... Toned down to be suitable for children, but I'll wager YAs and adults will be just as excited as I was to see and explore this book and site!

"This book is meant to be an interactive experience between
readers and listeners, the story, and the music the story is
names after. It's a perfect tool for elementary school teachers,
music educators, and parents to use to bring a piece of classical
music to life for children, while engaging their visual, gross
motor, and listening skills. A three-step process is suggested.
"1. Read the story aloud.
"2. Listen to the music as you act out the story, walking your
fingers across your lap to represent Peer on his adventure."

Instead of providing additional excerpts from the story, I wanted to share what (above) is probably one of the most important parts of the book... Allison's musical guidance on how to merge the book, the music, and the readers in acting out the story! Provided are "simple instructions to help parents and educators use the book and music together to create a wonderful learning experience with whole-body movement." 

Please do also visit Vesper on her Site or on Facebook! I've shown you just samples from this book but her portfolio is truly outstanding! Kudos, Vesper, for your work on this book!

There are also "lesson plans and information on how the characters from the coloring page can be turned into puppets to use along with the music," again on linked site! 

I was introduced to classical music by an Aunt who often took care of me when young and I remembered
how I was so drawn in by the first notes In the Hall of The Mountain King, especially the sound of the oboe has stayed with me through the many years. I've retained my love of all classical music since that time...

Personally, I now believe it is the responsibility of parents, and all others to ensure that children are adequately exposed to the great classical musicians. This book is a delightful way to make those first steps to help them both hear the music and tie it into a story and pictures to which they can relate!

Frankly, I'm excited to just play a small part in making people aware of this. I've read other children's books that were correlated with the Classics and have found them just as rewarding. I'm hoping that these two professionals, each experts in their respective fields will find it at least profitable enough to consider producing further books merged with music! 

This page of characters is actually a downloadable coloring page from the site which I urge you to visit. I wanted to at least have you see these drawings of the characters for immediate reference. 

Check there also for discount information, including for bulk orders.

These characters are boldly created inside just as revealed on the cover and, again, the artwork has been reproduced beautifully in a multi-color format. If books can be used for decoration in your child's room, this would be perfect for a bedside table...

If you have children on your Christmas shopping list, do consider this book...I can't say it's a must read, but if your child is bouncing up and down in time with the KNOW what that means! Get This as Their First Book in their permanent home library!


Allison Flannery is a Kindergarten music teacher in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is passionate about bringing music to life for children. She sings, dances, marches, and teaches eleven classes of five to six-year-olds at two local elementary campuses, and team teaches a music and movement class for four- to seven-year-olds at the Colorado Springs Conservatory. 

Also a long-time piano instructor, Allison loves inspiring youngsters to listen and learn from the great classical composers.

Hopelessly lost among the wintry wardrobes of Pauline Baynes’ Narnia,Shaun Tan’s mysterious foreign lands, and the watery open spaces in Lisbeth Zwerger’s illustrations, Vesper Stamper’s calling as an illustrator began when she cracked open Hilary Knight’s Cinderella and spent the rest of her childhood meticulously copying each graceful page.

Vesper has a BFA degree in Illustration with Honors from Parsons School of Design. Her career has spanned fifteen years, dozens of album covers, four picture books and countless other exciting projects. Vesper brings a refined style and emotional depth to her work that pays homage to the rich illustrative tradition from which she comes.

Vesper was recently named the People’s Choice Finalist in the 2013 Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search and is the recipient of the 2012 Lincoln City Fellowship for her graphic novel, The Sea-King’s Children. She lives in Jersey City, NJ with her husband, filmmaker Ben Stamper, and their two children.

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