A prolific poet, compiler of poetry books and the author of books on creative writing and its use in schools, James Carter has written a lot of poems for primary children about all kinds of popular topics: space and aliens, beasties, dinosaurs, teachers etc, and he does a lot of school visits, with his guitar. A companion book to this one, Once Upon A Star, illustrated by Mar Hernandez, was well received, and your reviewer also enjoyed and reviewed Once Upon A Raindrop, illustrated by Kasuko Nomoto.
It seems that there is now a Once upon a… series, and this will be a useful addition to the school library for the music curriculum, or just for fun. It starts with the rhythm of your feet as you walk, the rhythm of your heart, and mentions the rhythm of the seasons and the rhythm of Life. Music probably started with drums, and singing, and this is illustrated with energy and colour as some people beat out a rhythm while others dance. We see someone telling stories through song, and children learning them to sing back, then the reader has to turn the book sideways to see a double page spread of different musical instruments, all making different sounds. We see how notes can be written down, illustrated by birds on parallel wires, and how music can be very different in form, and in other countries, coming up to date with afro beat and festivals. Finally, you can be a musician…Valerio Vivaldi people of all colours and races, and some are silhouettes, so they could be anyone, playing music with enthusiasm. This will be fun to pore over and share, or to read aloud.