The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket
I'm a fan of Lemony Snicket. I really liked the Series of Unfortunate Events books and had no idea that he did a children's picture book. A good Blogging friend of mine, Angie at Angela's Anxious Life, did a post called the Top Ten Most Unique Books and this was on it. I just got this from the library, CD and all and we loved this.
The story is about a dead composer and the very handsome inspector is on the case. The CD that comes with this has accompanying classical music that goes along with the story as it takes place. The Music is arranged by Nathaniel Stookey and performed by the amazing San Francisco Symphony, I think they are almost as good as our very own St Louis Symphony, but I'm a bit biased. The first 9 tracks are narrated by "Lemony Snicket" himself, and then the rest of them are purely instrumental. Now being the Dad that I am, I decided I was going to read this to my son with just the music as background. Let me warn you in advance, either listen to the narrated version with your kids, or listen to it yourself first so you know when to read and when to just enjoy the music. I was way off and half way through the story before the opening music was even over.
We decided to start over and let it be read to us. My son, wife, and I really enjoyed this story and the music. Some of the music is really intense and kind of sacred him at first, but when we said it sounded like something that would play while Batman was running across rooftops he was all for it. The story breaks down each section of a symphony and has some funny explanations for what their different rolls are. Fun and slightly educational all in one book.
I've been wanting to read this to my kids for some time but haven't had evenings at home since recently. It was after my daughter's bed time but my son seemed to like it. He asked for it to be read to him again right as we finished. I may have gotten this from the library but I will be buying my own copy of this soon. We really liked this one. 5 out of 5 stars for this picture book. This was wonderful exposure to classical music in a fun way that my 4 year old really enjoyed. If you have kids or just like picture books then this needs to be on your to-read list.