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An exuberant and fascinating introduction to instruments, melodies and composers alike – Handel, Brahms, Stravinsky, John Adams are all included – and comes with a CD, the carefully chosen tracks dovetailing nicely with the text. – Judith Woods, The Daily Telegraph ‘For younger listeners, My First Classical Music Book by Genevieve Helsby combines a picture book and a 69-minute CD in a venture that gives the project of introducing children to proper music its biggest boost since Peter and the Woolf. Dotted among Jason Chapman’s lively illustrations are some facts even grown-ups won’t know…and there is even a game attempt to evoke the special quality of minimalist music: ‘Listening to it is like staring at a fire, or at the sea; you find yourself stuck there, just watching, listening…’. Helsby does an excellent job of making classical msuic accessible and entertaining, with well-chosen CD tracks that kick off with the theme music from the Harry Potter films (by Carl Davis) and follow up with a rousing greatest-hits selection from Offenbach’s Can-Can to Saint-Saens’s animals, and just a small sample of the dread minimalism thrown in. A sticker on the cover recommends it for ages five to seven, though it would entertain anyone with a few gaps in their knowledge to plug and a few hours of summer leisure time to while away.’ – Karen Robinson, The Sunday Times

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