Thursday, July 27, 2017

Review: Mickey's Found Sounds from Hal Leonard

A Musical Exploration Book
Published by Hal Leonard Corporation
32 pages
ages 4+

Explore Music! Learn music through creative play, including online activities.

This inventive story uses music, crafts and creative play to help children experience the fun of making music out of “found sounds.” The Main Street Parade has been rained out, but Mickey and his friends make their own parade as they discover items around the house that can be used to make musical instruments. The book includes special unique online activities including a video read-along, an audio sing-along, and activities to explore sounds and sound makers. Ages 4+.

Also available from Hal Leonard Corporation here.


One cute story, and before you know it, kids are creating instruments and making music of their own. Love it!

Mickey Mouse opens up the window and realizes that it's a great day for a parade. Mickey's friends have tons of ideas for it too. But when the weather takes a turn for the worse, the parade is cancelled. Now, the friends have to come up with something else to do.

First, comes Mickey Mouse and a simple tale, which includes all of his most familiar friends. It's a quick read, only a few lines on each page, and perfect to pull into a short adventure. The only thing that's missing is the ending. . .and that's exactly the way this should be. With finesse, the story glides into an invitation for kids to get involved and make their own music instruments. While some of the instrument ideas take a little bit of material gathering (plastic bottle, glue, construction paper, etc), others are so simple that it only takes a quick run and grab (a bucket and two spoons). There are five different projects and each one is explained in detail on a two-page spread. Although an adult needs to stand by to offer a hand, most steps are simple enough for kids ages four and up to tackle without too many problems.

The illustrations are bright and fun as is to be expected for Mickey and Co. During the instructions on building the instruments, there are 'real life' photos of the materials required as well as of each step, making it clear what needs to be done. A cheerful Disney character mentors each instrument, tying the entire thing together. And at the end of each instrument's instructions is a 'play' idea, which inspires kids to use their self-made musical toy. All of this is easy to follow and the instruments are simple enough that they are pretty fool proof and will work well in even the clumsier hands.

As an extra bonus, there are extra activities offered online which accompany this book. There's a 'sing-along' where the kids can do a type of karaoke and play their instruments, and the words for this are also found toward the end of the book. There's also a couple of extra activities and even a read-along version of the full book, so kids can watch it and listen to the story too. All of these are nicely done and offer a bit of variety.

At the very end of the book, there's a note to parents, caretakers and teachers which offers a few quick hints on homemade instruments, music and how important/easy it is to slide this into kids' lives.

In other words, this book packs a lot of fun in a few pages, encouraging not only reading but music, crafting and family fun. The different aspects enable the book to be used in many different ways so there's always something new to discover and do.

All about. . .

This book is authored by a Hal Leonard team of artists, designers, writers, music educators, songwriters and music producers, and based on an early childhood music curriculum commissioned by Disney Learning. Each of these hardcover picture books includes not only a charming, colorfully illustrated story that's perfect for ages 4 to 8, but also an array of musical exploration activities. To add to the fun, additional online activities, including video read-alongs, audio sing-alongs, and more, are provided for each title on the Hal Leonard Explore Music website.

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