Music Is… (Stephen T. Johnson)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Music Is… by Stephen T. Johnson, an introduction and exploration of ten different music genres in visuals, prose, and lyrics.

Music is… so many things. It can be the “poignant stories” of country, the “boom box beats” of hip-hop, the “rainbow of emotions” in rhythm and blues. It’s the sophisticated yet scattered sounds of jazz, the mix of soft and thunderous intensities in classical, or the catchy, evergreen melodies of pop. But most of all, music is… you! Your sound, your interpretation, your style. If it speaks to you, it’s music – and from there, the possibilities are endless.

Fun. While comprehensive by no means (the genres represented are almost entirely western, as are the suggested-listening example songs in the backmatter), this is a cute crash course in some of the most popular genres of music. Johnson does a great job of marrying the scrapbook-style artwork to the wonderfully expressive, imagistic text (“Heavy Metal is… roughened steel blazing a trail of light out of the darkness of an abyss” has to be one of the best sentences I’ve EVER read in a children’s book). A wealth of backmatter further explains the history, subgenres and common instruments of each genre as well, making the length great for either a quick storytime or a lengthier perusal, depending on how in-depth one wants to go. My one complaint, from a purely practical standpoint, is the unusual concertina binding, which makes the heavy book difficult to hold and balance for small hands or adults hoping to share with groups of little bookworms. Otherwise, we enjoyed this one, and would definitely recommend it for music lovers. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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