The Orchestra Pit

Johanna Wright. Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59643-769-2
Wright’s (Bunnies on Ice) batty sense of humor should engage readers from the start as an inquisitive green serpent finds itself in an orchestra pit. “I have a feeling I’m in the wrong pit,” it muses. The snake is seen reclining in the tuba (“quite roomy!”), as well as considering the trombone (“almost as long as I am!”) and French horn (“Bonjour, French horn!”). It can’t understand the commotion it causes, or why the players are dashing for cover (“Something must have startled them”). Readers are also introduced to the woodwinds (“That oboe is rather charming,” says the snake, coiling up instinctively and swaying to the music) and strings, and a passage in which the snake compares the various sections’ sounds to animal noises (“The percussion sounds like a gorilla”) offers a useful educational simile amid the fun. Wright’s sprightly narration and sweet temper recall picture books of the pre-irony era, and the physical comedy in her acrylic paintings will keep readers absorbed—and laughing—until the snake returns to the “right” pit. Ages 2–6. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/09/2014
Release date: 08/19/2014
Genre: Children's
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