Friday, September 8, 2017

Review: Moana: The Beat of Your Heart - A Musical Exploration Activity Book

The Beat of Your Heart
A Musical Exploration Activity Book
Hal Leonard Corporation
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 4 to 8

Feel the beat inside you when you play along with the Drums of Motunui! This beautifully illustrated book with online music, video, and drumming allows children to discover beat, rhythm, and the sounds of Motunui's drums through activities and creative play with characters and artwork they'll recognize from the Disney movie Moana. Includes online activities such as: video read-along, audio sing-along, and activities to explore sounds and sound makers. Singing and making music provide important benefits to children as they grown and learn. EXPLORE MUSIC books encourage children to be free to explore, play, and develop musical ability at their own pace which can establish a life-long love of music.


Not only does this book teach about rhythm and beats, but it explores various ways to drum the sounds while having tons of fun.

This book is about rhythm--what it is, how to make it and various ways to create new sounds. At the beginning, there's a table of contents, which makes it easy to find the topic young readers want to explore because this book is packed full of ideas. From different forms of clapping to various instruments kids can easily create, these pages contain a multitude of ideas which can be used over and over again.

Moana is the star in this book, which is very fitting with her island beats. Each chapter (two-page spread) presents a quick explanation of an aspect of rhythms and then immediately dives into a 'do-it-too' section, where kids are invited to create their own rhythms and join in. Everything starts simple, allowing readers to get accustom to the idea of beats, and then evolves into motions and instruments with different sounds so that kids can make music of their own or play along with the songs and activities offered online. This is a book which can be visited time and again, and even be varied as readers can use their self-made instruments to try the exercises in various ways.

Not only do the Moana characters come to life in the lovely illustrations, but the more simple brown and white pictures which accompany the exercises make it easy to understand what actions should be conducted and how. From clapping to tapping the floor, kids will enjoy joining in and making their own beats. But this isn't a book kids will be able to visit alone. At least, not at first (Plus, it wouldn't be as fun.) Although the directions are pretty clear, young readers will need someone older to help them keep the beats and perform the rhythms correctly until they get a hang of it on their own. Especially some of the directions in the later chapters are a little too complex for younger listeners and even slightly older ones will become frustrated without the help of someone older to help them out.

The instrument ideas are mostly simple and include things often found in many households. But even these can be improvised with a little fantasy.

The online activities which accompany this book make the entire thing a real gem and let young readers feel the beats, sing and play along. Although this book might be a bit much for the younger listeners, children ages four and up are sure to enjoy it and will be drumming, clapping and beating music of their own.

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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