Before the first page gets turned, one is inclined to spend time running their fingers against the front cover of The Story Orchestra’s Four Seasons in One Day. Little golden particles glimmer, the textured paper adding even more details to an already rich and colorful illustration. Four trees in each corner represent each of the seasons and a little girl, Isabelle, is about to take you on a journey of those seasons in the span of one day. Don’t forget to remove the tab on the back that connects to the battery. You won’t want to miss the music!

STORY ORCHESTRA: THE FOUR SEASONS gives us picture visuals in our mind’s eye

Antonio Vivaldi lived about 400 years ago and he composed a lot of music in his career, but what was quite popular in his time, was composing music that would allow the listener to close their eyes and see imagery for which the music would be a fitting soundtrack. When enjoying this book through a child’s perspective, you can allow their imagination to sweep you as they connect the music to flowers blooming, leaves rustling, storms brewing. This particular writer’s child wanted to hear more of the music than allotted in the book. The short phrases of melody tease you into listening to the entire composition. Perhaps that’s intentional. Perhaps, young curious minds are meant to explore the music outside of this book. As an added bonus, the book challenges the reader to see if they can whistle or hum along to the melodies. This mother and son certainly did with delightful results.

The illustrations beg to be examined more closely

Every inch of every page of The Story Orchestra is covered in color, energy and detail. There are parts of these paintings that seem to glow from the inside. Each season is appropriately represented by its unique palette. From a child’s perspective, it was easy to spot the protagonist, Isabelle, as she donned a yellow jacket amongst the burst of colors and detail.. It then proved to be an unexpected challenge to find her dog, Pickle, among the bustling of the pages. Other fun games can come out of it as well: count how many birds are flying south in the autumn pages, or how many festive lights adorn the pages of the winter season. Each page is a feast that tells its own story.

Educational undertones

It would appear that the book leaves the reader wanting more, so,  in what strikes this reviewer as a smart move, The Story Orchestra provides an extra bonus at the end of the book. The is where the reader can read a short bio of Vivaldi, the composer, and a glossary of musical terms, to expand musical knowledge.  The last page is home to each note that could be pressed within the book, with a short blurb explaining how the music is related to the imagery. This is where a child’s excitement grows as they approvingly nod at understanding how fast short notes sound like teeth chattering, or how an orchestra playing in unison translates to a group of people collecting the harvest and celebrating together. As a special challenge, you can ask your child if the musical phrase was written in a major key to denote happiness, or a minor key to express sadness. Before they know it, music composition begins to spread its tentacles inside their brains. Now that’s a multi-pronged reward packaged in a shiny colorful children’s book!

Highly Recommended

Nominate this for The Picture This Post BEST OF 2020???
Click Readers' Choice

Vote Securely! Vote Privately! And Make Your Vote Count-- as all voting should be!!

Yes!! Please note my vote to add this to the Picture This Post BEST OF 2020

Visit the Quarto Kids webpage for THE STORY ORCHESTRA: FOUR SEASONS to purchase a copy.


Tonika Todorova and her son Jaxon DuFloth
Co-Authors: Tonika Todorova and her son Jaxon

About the Authors: Tonika Todorova and her son Jaxon DuFloth:

Tonika Todorova is a freelance writer and director that goes by the self imposed title of Adventure Architect. She experiences a lot of performance with her eight year old son, Jaxon, by her side, and his reflections on Chicago theatre offer a refreshingly new perspective for her, and hopefully, others. Jaxon practices autonomous learning and is proud to be an Albany Park Chicago Children's Choir singer. Tonika and Jaxon also enjoy reviewing children's books together. You can learn more about them and their experience writing for Picture This Post by watching this Picture This Post YouTube video:

Share this:

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *