cover image Wild Symphony

Wild Symphony

Dan Brown, illus. by Susan Batori. Rodale Kids, $18.99 (44p) ISBN 978-0-593-12384-3

Bestselling adult author Brown shares a menagerie of lighthearted animal poems, each composed of four sets of couplets, as Maestro Mouse introduces readers to musical animal friends, who gather at the end for a “big surprise.” Nearly every page introduces an animal through whimsical, nonsensical, and occasionally onomatopoeic lines (“Bounce and eat—Ka-chew! Ka-chew!/ Bounce asleep—Ka-snooze! Ka-snooze!” reads the kangaroo’s entry). Kittens, stingrays, hippos, and frogs are all present, with little organizational transition between habits or habitats. Batori’s assortment of digitally rendered, cartoonishly expressive animals and colorful landscapes complement the text; the creators further supplement with an aphorism beneath each poem, “a hidden game” to be played, and accompanying music via QR code. Though the busy volume feels unfocused, its interactive format allows for various levels of entertainment. An author’s note shares Brown’s musical background and a last coded message. Ages 3–7. [em](Sept.) [/em]