The Animal Song

by Jonty Howley (Author)

The Animal Song
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

From musician and author/artist Jonty Howley comes a lively celebration of friendship and music, perfect for a gentle nighttime read. The story comes with a link to an original song by the author!

Snap! Poom-poom! Jingle-Jangle!

Three talented animals--a crocodile playing a snare drum, a big brown bear with a bass, and a weasel with a banjo--form a traveling band to sing and play for the other animals in the woods. From spring to fall, they always attract an eager crowd. But when winter comes, the animals in the audience go off to bed and the band searches for a new stage. Skipping their own bedtime, the musical trio parades through the forest, moving on to the next performance until--Snore! Phew! Grumble-grumble!--even the band falls asleep.

A rhythmic text interspersed with onomatopoeia make the story in The Animal Song nicely noisy until the very end when--shh!--everyone is asleep. Featuring a website with original music composed by the author/illustrator, this book is perfect for helping young readers to get their sillies out right before it's time to sleep!

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$17.09 $18.99

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1--When their animal friends hibernate for the winter, a talented trio of performers decides to keep the music going. With each Snap, Poom-Poom, and Jingle-Jangle, the crocodile-bear-weasel band discovers that they no longer have an audience. Instead of hunkering down for the winter themselves, they decide to move their music to town, where they find eager listeners. When spring comes, the three friends are exhausted and ready for a long nap, while the rest of the forest wonders where the music has gone. This simple and sweet tale is well patterned with a refrain that younger readers will adopt. The catchy tune that accompanies the story is the strongest element of this offering and will have young listeners singing along in no time. Throughout the text, the rhyme scheme often feels forced and the rhythm is also affected in a few places by awkward page layout. In addition, even students that are intrigued with the premise might be confused by the presence of a crocodile in the forest, as well as animals that play both natural and anthropomorphized roles. Themes of hibernation, friendship, and the power of music, however, could make this a solid read-aloud for younger audiences. VERDICT Despite some flaws, this will pair nicely with the original song for a music-themed story time.--Louie Lauer

Copyright 2023 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Jonty Howley
JONTY HOWLEY is a British author and illustrator. From a young age, Jonty has always loved to draw, and few things excite him more than beautiful books and the worlds you can find inside them. This is his first one.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Random House Studio
Publication date
January 20, 2023
BISAC categories
JUV029000 - Juvenile Fiction | Nature & the Natural World | General
JUV057000 - Juvenile Fiction | Stories in Verse (see also Poetry)
JUV002000 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | General
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Stories in rhyme
Bands (Music)
Animal fiction

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