Winter is nearing and we have pulled out all our Christmas/Winter books. In that box was Peter and the Wolf--2 versions and a Disney movie (click to watch). The two authors we have are Ian Beck and Carin and Joan Dewhirst. After talking to a neighbor and a friend that didn't know the story, I thought this would be a good story to highlight. Maybe it is just that I am a music teacher that I know the story, but it is a good one, especially when you put it with the music.
The tale and music were written and composed by Sergei Prokofiev. This Russian born composer wanted to help children appreciate music and introduce instrument of the orchestra to them. There are 7 characters in Peter and the Wolf, each with its own melody played by a different instrument or family of instruments. Each instrument and melody personifies its character perfectly.
The story begins with Grandfather telling Peter not to go outside their yard to play, because there are wolves. Peter befriends several animals--the bird, the duck, the cat. Eventually, curiosity gets the best of Peter and he disobeys his Grandfather. Peter is able to catch the wolf with the help of the bird, but not before the wolf swallowed the duck whole. Following the wolf's tracks, hunters come along and end up taking the wolf to the zoo. Of course, the Grandfather retorts, "Ah, it's all very well, but what if Peter hadn't caught the wolf? What then?"
Some of the books come with CD recordings as in the Dewhirst book (narrated by Leonard Bernstein and also includes a recording of the Nutcracker), but if not, you should be able to find it to download. The genius of the story is to hear it told with the music. Prokofiev actually wrote in the narration in the musical score. Your quiz: See if you can identify the instruments that represent the characters. Answers will be posted tomorrow.
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Brought to you by: Jennifer @ if you're happy and you know it