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The Composer is Dead: Fantastic for all ages!


Who is Lemony Snicket, and how does he manage to write such clever books that are both educational and entertaining?  Perhaps best known for A Series of Unfortunate Events, Snicket’s writing is infused with imagination and humour. The Composer Is Dead is a short murder mystery, and all the suspects are musical instruments in the orchestra.  Yet, the composer is still dead.  As the inspector attempts to solve the case by interrogating different sections of the orchestra, readers learn about the various characteristics and quirks of the instruments.  What a clever devise for introducing readers to the orchestra and to classical music!  I enjoy the humour.  Here are some of my favourite lines:

” I swear on my own intelligence and good looks,” the inspector said, “I will solve this terrible crime against humanity and/or classical music.”

“No,” the Tuba said, “I’m a confirmed bachelor.  I was home all night playing cards with my landlady, the Harp, taking sips of warm milk from a little blue cup.”

“Don’t make us laugh!” the Flutes cried. “We’re much too wimpy and high-pitched for murder!”

Included with the book is an audio CD recording of the book narrated by Lemony Snicket, and music performed by the San Francisco Symphony.  We personally prefer reading the book, because the illustrations really enhance the story.   Highly recommended!  Suitable for ages 5 and up.

If you have any recommendations for books that are enjoyable to read aloud for both adults and kids, please send me your comments here!

As a bonus:  The CPO (in Calgary) will offering a performance of the book with live orchestra as part of their family concert series.  I will update you again as the time draws nearer.




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