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The Walkabout Orchestra: Postcards from Around the World

Authored by Chloe Perarnau
Published by Wide Eyed

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The Walkabout Orchestra: Postcards from Around the World

This is a ‘Where’ s-Wally-like’ experience exploring musical instruments and cultures from across the world.

As you turn the pages, you are led on a tour of different locations around the world as the Maestro, and his assistant try to find their missing orchestra before their forthcoming concert.

Each detailed double-page spread presents a busy and colourful landscape in which different instrumental players are hidden among crowds of local people. A short postcard addressed to the orchestra maestro from specific instrumentalists introduces the reader to the object(s) of their search.

As your eyes roam the page seeking the missing instrumentalists, your attention is caught by all the people, activities, and items on the page, which give a powerful sense of each different place that is introduced. You can’t help but get drawn into a delicious exploration of everyone and everything on the page.

An ‘index’ of instrumentalists at the front of the book helps readers identify (and learn) the different instruments of the orchestra. As well as the Maestro and his assistant, a little birdie also appears in each location, presenting the reader with another hide and seek challenge, highlighting specific cultural artefacts for you to find.

This would be a wonderful book to have in a classroom reading corner, to be poured over and explored in detail a page at a time. It would also make an excellent model text. Children could choose locations from around the world, create their own ‘cultural crowd’ illustrations and write postcards from those locations, either as musical instruments or as another ‘dispersed’ group, such as a football team before a big game or teachers before the start of term.

Teamed with a quality atlas such as Big City Atlas, The Walkabout Orchestra could support locational knowledge in Geography.