Sunday, February 21, 2010

Zeezok Publishing/The Book Peddler: A Review

 I love music, especially classical music! So having the opportunity to review Franz Schubert and his Merry Friends and The Young Brahms collection (includes study guides and a companion CD) was a delight.
It has also been a source of inspiration to get my act together and share my musical talents with my children.
I used to say 'If I ever have kids they will be playing violin before they are walking'. Well, 5 kids later I have not been too diligent in this area.  We are starting to head in the right direction however, Thank the Lord!

I really enjoyed reading these books and was challenged by the way the authors showed that even though these great musicians were obviously gifted they also had to work hard to become great!  The books are written in such a way that they are enjoyable to be read as well as reading out loud to younger children.  They include pleasant illustrations as well as several examples of music mentioned.

The Young Brahms by Sybil Deucher takes you through year 15 of Johannes Brahms life. He was the son of poor parents and his musician father many times kept him out way too late playing in taverns to help earn income for the family.  However, his love for music and composing were rewarded in time with invaluable lessons that led him to be successful in composing, teaching, and playing.  You will recognize several of the pieces mentioned which include the Waltz that many Suzuki students play out of their second book and of course Cradle Song.

 Franz Schubert and his Merry Friends by Opal Wheeler and Sybil Deucher gives the reader a lighthearted account of Schuberts friends, and their pranks and escapades.  You will discover the real reason why the Unfinished Symphony is unfinished and be astonished at the rate Schubert composed music.

 In this package I received were a study guide for Schubert and Brahms and a companion CD.  The study guides provide you with the following: a map of major cities visited, a time line that includes other significant history, reading comprehension questions for each chapter, character qualities exhibited, and a few puzzles for fun. The CD includes audio files of all the music, coloring pages for each chapter and printable sheet music of all the music.

This softcover collection is priced at $35.80.  Zeezok Publishing was established in 2003, and they believe "It is better to build children than to repair men." To that end they strive to provide quality literature and educational books for use in training the next generation.  You can sign up for their free newsletter here.

As a member of the TOS Crew I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review.
the opinions expressed are my own!

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