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Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin!

Last updated Thursday, February 24, 2011

Author: Lloyd Moss
Illustrator: Marjorie Priceman
Date of Publication: 1995
ISBN: 0671882392
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Mar. 2011

Synopsis: Amazon.com Review "The STRINGS all soar, the REEDS implore, / The BRASSES roar with notes galore. / It's music that we all adore. / It's what we go to concerts for." In this exuberant tribute to classical music and the passionate, eccentric musicians who play it, author Lloyd Moss begins with the mournful moan and silken tone of one trombone. A trumpet sings and stings along, forming a duo, then a fine French horn joins in, "TWO, now THREE-O, what a TRIO!" The mellow cello ups it to a quartet, then ZIN! ZIN! ZIN! a violin soars high and moves in to make a quintet. The flute that "sends our soul a-shiver" makes a sextet, and "with steely keys that softly click," a sleek, black, woody clarinet slips the group into a septet. We move on! A chamber group of ten! And the orchestra is ready to begin. Moss should be congratulated for creating a playful, musical stream of rhyming couplets that seamlessly, slyly teaches the names of myriad musical groups. Marjorie Priceman, the whimsical, masterful illustrator of Elsa Okon Rael's When Zaydeh Danced on Eldridge Street and Jack Prelutsky's For Laughing Out Loud, won a Caldecott Honor Award for this swirling, twirling, colorful musical world worthy of thunderous applause and a standing ovation. (Ages 4 to 8)

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What is happening?
•  What is he wearing?
•  What is he playing?

Vocabulary Words:
•  Mournful
•  Silken
•  Solo (one performer), Duo (two performers), Trio (three performers), Quartet (five performers, etc), Quintet, Sextet, Seplet, Octet, and Nonet
•  Galore
•  Soar
•  Adore
•  Encore

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What instrument do you see on the page?
•  Point out the conductor and have the students identify who he is.
•  Have the students point out which instrument is which.
•  Do you play instruments?
•  What brings the animals together? How does each animal react to the other animals?
•  Have you ever been in a play or performance?

Craft ideas:
•  Pick an instrument and draw it.
•  Draw animals playing instruments.
•  Create your own stage. Have students cut out curtains and encourage them to create and draw a performance on the stage.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!