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Beethoven for Kids: His Life and Music with 21 Activities    by Helen Bauer order for
Beethoven for Kids
by Helen Bauer
Order:  USA  Can
Chicago Review Press, 2011 (2011)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Here's an excellent way of introducing a young reader age eight and older to the life and work of Ludwig von Beethoven. To make the material more accessible and interesting, 21 activities are included in the text.

Helen Bauer chronicles the life, times and creative process of this innovative musician. Historic illustrations and diagrams flesh out the narrative while special highlighted boxes delve into related topics like explaining what improvisation means, what types of musical styles and eras exist, and who some of Beethoven's patrons were.

The varied list of activities range from heading into the kitchen to whip up some Austrian apple pancakes, and creating a model eardrum, to constructing an operatic diorama, and making a thumb piano.

A far ranging book that explains musical terms as well as the times in which the composer lived, this is one way to put a face to classical music and show a young person that real, interesting people not only composed this music but also enjoyed playing and listening to it.

Although the book does not come with a CD of Beethoven's music, it should not be too hard to find some inexpensive CDs that you can share with your child as he or she reads the book. A list of available resources is provided at the back.

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