Book Review: Zoo Orchestra by Manuel Díaz

Zoo Orchestra is a nonfiction book for children by Manuel Díaz. In this book each musical instrument is paired with an animal in a charming illustration. Then the reason behind the pairing is explained, followed by information about the instrument, including a piece of classical music to demonstrate the instruments sound and characteristics to young readers. 

Zoo Orchestra is an attempt to interest young readers with artwork and information about instruments that might appear in an orchestra. However, I rarely found any reason in the pairings, and I found it to be a little to text heavy and dense for the target audience. I did like the paintings of animals and instruments, I found myself bored with some of the explanations, and this is as an adult that is interested in the topic and loves music. I liked the concept, and think it was a great idea, but found the final execution lacking. I think I would have gone lighter with the text, or aimed for older readers.

Zoo Orchestra is a book that attempts to connect a love of animals with information about the orchestra and the instruments that can appear in one. I think the cover and description aim for a lower age group and reading level than the text would appeal to. However, I could think of some advanced readers and older readers that might enjoy the book.

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