I love Jan Brett! Her storytelling ability and illustration-prowess never disappoint. She is best known for her Scandinavian, troll-themed stories like The Trouble with Trolls and The Mitten. Today we read about a musical bear named Berlioz, his band, and their wayward journey into town to perform at the village ball.
Berlioz plays double bass in his town's orchestra, and tonight, the band will play at the village ball. When he tunes up his instrument, it makes a funny sound, and he can't figure out why. He and his band load up their wagon and head into town. Along the way, the wagon breaks down. With a little help from friends, they make it to town and Berlioz gets his bass to play beautiful music.
All of Brett's stories are set in a specific country, and this one is set in Germany with intricately carved wooden furniture and wagons, traditional dress, Alpine mountains, and a storybook village. I love the way every inch of the pages are filled with artwork, and that artwork works double time to add to the storytelling. The center of each page shows the main picture of the story, and the borders of each page show what is happening in town. The villagers are setting up for the party, bringing in chairs and food. These are the kind of pictures that you can spend a long time pouring over. They're great!
recommended age: 3+