Book Review: Hector Berlioz (First Discovery: Music)

Hector Berlioz: First Discovery - Music l LadyD Books

  • Title: Hector Berlioz
  • Author: Christian Wasselin
  • Illustrator: Charlotte Voake
  • Narrator: Michael Cantwell
  • Age Range: 7 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 6
  • Series: First Discovery: Music
  • Hardcover: 28 pages
  • Publisher: Moonlight Publishing; Har/Com edition (September 1, 2013)

    • Amazon Snippet

    Young music fans will learn in this brief biography that Berlioz was influenced all his life by the music and singing he heard at his first communion, and that his father was a doctor and wanted him to become one too. Children who have ever sung in a choir, or tried to make strange sounds by blowing into an empty bottle, will find much to enjoy in Berlioz's life and music.

    • Book Review
     Hector Berlioz was a great French Romantic composer who used orchestra, choral and opera to create fresh and exciting sounds. Use of the orchestra was ahead of his time, as seen in the composition "Symphonie Fantastique," which was his most popular work. Berlioz believed that music should grab your emotions and imagination by creating pictures and dramatic action. His music is full of unexpected turns, exciting rhythms, and unusual harmonies. Berlioz was home schooled by his father and secretly studied books about harmony and writing compositions. He never gave up hope of becoming a musician. Today Hector Berlioz is known as a great composer, but during his lifetime, audiences did not understand his music. This is a great read for music students who have an appreciation for the arts and want to become a better musician.

    5/5 stars. Recommend it.

    • Excerpt
    Later on, Hector will become a great traveller and will explore Europe from one end to the other, from London to Russia. But while he is a boy, he can only travel in his dreams.
      • History
      Hector Berlioz
      1803 - 1869

      Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic composer, best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts (Requiem). Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra with his Treatise on Instrumentation. He specified huge orchestral forces for some of his works, and conducted several concerts with more than 1,000 musicians. He also composed around 50 songs. His influence was critical for the further development of Romanticism, especially in composers like Richard Wagner, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Franz Liszt, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler and many others.

      For more information, visit and you might also want to spend some time at the website,

      • Music by Henry Berlioz
      The Trojans
      Fantastic Symphony
      Harold in Italy
      The Childhood of Christ
      The Damnation of Faust
      Les Nuits d'ete

      Perhaps you would like to listen to some music by Hector Berlioz

      Hector Berlioz Photo

      • CD Recordings
      1. One fine December day- Bienvenuto Cellini, Op.23, Overture
      2. First feelings for music - L'Enfance du Christ, Op. 25, 'LAdieu des Bergers'
      3. Playing music with friends - L'Enfance du Christ, Op. 25, Trio des Ismaelites
      4. In love at twelve - Symphonic fantastique, Op. 14, 2nd movement, Un bal
      5. Setting off on his travels - Harold in Italie, Op. 16, 3rd movement, Serenade d'un montagnard des Abruzzes a sa maitresse
      6. The love of singing - La Captive, Op. 12
      7. Night and nightmares - Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14, 5th movement, Songe d'une nuit de sabbat'
      8. Opera - Les Troyens, Act 5, Dido: 'Je vais mourir'
      9. Symphonic music - Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14, 4th movement, Marche au supplice'
      10. Sacred music - L'Enfance du Christ, Op. 25, "La Fuite en Egypte,' Overture Orchestre de l'Opera de Lyon
      11. Strange works - La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24, 'La Course a l' abime': 'Dans mon coeur retentit sa voix desesperee'
      • More about this Romantic Composer
      Berlioz was born in a small French toen. He was the oldest of a doctor. His parents wanted him to become a doctor like his father, and they did not want him to be a musician. At eighteen Berlioz moved to Paris to study medicine, following his parents' wishes. He hated it, and started to take private theory lessons at the Paris Conservatory. When he quit medical school, his parents got very upset with him and stopped giving him money to live on. 

      After a few years of struggling, he won an important composition contest, in which the prize was a three-year scholarship to study at a French school in Rome, Italy. The gorgeous landscape of Italy inspired Berlioz to compose beautiful pieces of music.

      When Berlioz returned to Paris from Italy, he did not have as much success as he had hoped. He continued writing music and organizing concerts and became a very good orchestra conductor. Audiences in France still did not like his unusual music very much. Berlioz also wrote books about music and became  a respected music critic.

      In the 1840s Berlioz traveled around Europe as a conductor. Audiences in other countries were much more welcoming, and he soon became one of the most popular conductors in Europe. His concerts in Russia, England, Austria and Germany were very successful and made up for his misfortunes at home. Many great composers including Franz Liszt, appreciated his new ideas and became fans of his music. Berlioz considered moving out of France, but in the end he always returned to Paris, where he lived for the test of his life.

      • My Favorite Line
      Hector loves to listen to country people singing as they walk in processions or celebrate harvest festival. When he is seventeen, he begins to compose songs to express his feelings of love and sadness.

      Hector Berlioz (First Discovery: Music)

      Thanks for visiting LadyD Books
       “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis

      Tears Of The Giraffe: Alexander McCall Smith

      Safari Park San Diego: LadyD Books
      Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the huge international phenomenon, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, and the Sunday Philosophy Club series. He is a professor of medical law at Edinburgh University. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and he was a law professor at the University of Botswana. He lives in Scotland.

      waterhole and trail towards outskirts of park: LadyD Books

      Chapter Four

      "He parked his truck under the shady boughs of a money-bread tree. several children had already appeared, and skipped along beside him as he made his way to the office block."

      blue skies and palm trees seen at the park: LadyD Books

      Chapter Six

      Mma Tsbago directed her to a house on the edge of the village. It is a well-kept place, slightly larger than its immediate neighbors, and had been painted in the style of the traditional Botswana house, in reds, and browns and with a bold, diamond pattern etched out in white.

      Nairobi Village at the Safari Park: LadyD Books

      Chapter Twenty

      This was a dry land, but now, at the beginning of the rainy season, it was beginning to change. The early rains had been good. Great purple clouds had stacked up to the north and east, and the rain had fallen in white torrents, like a waterfall covering the land. The land parched by months of dryness, created, and within hours, a green tinge had spread over the brown.

      These photos are for Skywatch Friday. They are not from the wonderful paperback book but rather one of my many trips to the San Diego Safari Park. How I love the vast open space, especially seeing the colorful mother and baby giraffe eating together.

      many giraffe surrounded by a camp truck: LadyD Books

      mother and baby giraffe on the plains: LadyD Books

      two giraffe's eating by a tree stump: LadyD Books

      Tears Of The Giraffe Cover Art

      • Amazon Description


      Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, the basis of the HBO TV show, and its proprietor Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective.  In this charming series, Mma  Ramotswe navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, and good humor—not to mention help from her loyal assistant, Grace Makutsi, and the occasional cup of tea.

      Precious Ramotswe is the eminently sensible and cunning proprietor of the only ladies’ detective agency in Botswana. In Tears of the Giraffe she tracks a wayward wife, uncovers an unscrupulous maid, and searches for an American man who disappeared into the plains many years ago. In the midst of resolving uncertainties, pondering her impending marriage to a good, kind man, Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni, and the promotion of her talented secretary (a graduate of the Botswana Secretarial College, with a mark of 97 per cent), she also finds her family suddenly and unexpectedly increased by two.

      From the Trade Paperback edition.

      The Friday 56

      "You are a fortunate man," said the jeweler. "Not every man can find such a cheerful, fat woman to marry. There are many thin, hectoring women around today. This one will make you very happy."

      -- Alexander McCall Smith

      I read Book #1 and absolutely loved it! I'm really enjoying Book #2 and can't put it down. I love the writing because it makes me feel like I am in Africa, along with all the characters in the book. How about you... do you like your book choice this week?

      Tears of the Giraffe was selected as one of  The Guardian's top ten Fiction Paperbacks of the Year.

      Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Book 2)

      -- LadyD

      Thanks for visiting LadyD Books
      “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis

      Sweet Potato Skies

      cloud formation looks like sweet potatoes

      clouds forming near overhead power lines

      Sometimes our Autumn skies reflect cloud swirls that remind me of various shapes of sweet potatoes. Perhaps I just have this kind of potatoes on my mind because it's the season to enjoy. Plus, we just finished harvesting a plethora of our own delicious homegrown sweet potatoes! Do you see them in the sky? Are you thinking of pumpkins, cranberry bread, biscotti, and scones? Maybe you've started decorating your home and front porch for Fall. It's a great season, for sure!

      Photos for Skywatch Friday

      harvesting tons of sweet potatoes: LadyD Books

      using a pitchfork to harvest garden produce: LadyD Books

      One of my favorite snacks to munch on is sweet potato fries. So easy to make with different flavors each time, like Parmesan cheese or ginger. Have you tasted them in a pie or mashed them up? Here's a few recipes at The Foodnetwork.

      Mark Twain
      Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the latter often called "the Great American Novel." Wikipedia  Mark Twain Biography

      The Wit and Wisdom Of Mark Twain

      • Snippet from The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain
      The variety of Twain's work is staggering. He wrote novels, travel sketches, short stories, and essays. He delivered countless speeches. He even penned a play or two. Much of this work remains little read in comparison with his fantastically popular novels. 

      It is easy to find fault, if one has that disposition. There was once a man who, not being able to find any other fault with his coal, complained that there were too many prehistoric toads in it. -- Pudd'nhead Wilson

      Thanks for visiting LadyD Books

      “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis

      Book Review: Henry Purcell

      Henry Purcell: First Discovery - Music l LadyD Books

      • Title: Henry Percell
      • Author: Marielle D. Khoury 
      • Illustrator: Charlotte Voake
      • Narrator: Michael Cantwell

      • Publisher: Moonlight Publishing
      • Book Type: First Discovery - Music
      • Ages: 7-11
      • Themes: Music, Church, Opera

      Henry was interested in all kinds of music. He developed a fascination for the theatre thanks to an old family friend. 

      From Amazon Website:

      Purcell was a court musician like his father and uncle. He also wrote music for the theater—a mixture of instrumental pieces, songs, and dances. Children who have tried making up their own dance steps, or who can tell the difference between the sound of the violin and the viola, will find that they have much in common with Purcell.

      Book Review

      Wonderful information about a great English composer who was born in Westminster and lived near Westminster Abbey. Rough beginnings and some dark days ahead for the lad because his dad died young and the plague hit London which was incurable. Fortune soon comes to Purcell as he sings for the children's choir in the Royal Court. This famous composer of Baroque music began composing at the early age of nine. He learned the organ and published a book of songs when he was 16. I especially love that Purcell liked all types of music, including the theater of comedy and tragedy scenes. Court composer at 18 with the King's Violins, this will surely soothe your soul in hearing such heavenly music. Students will learn about the richness of anthems, along with Queen Mary's celebration of Purcell's odes. His operatic work is inspiring by King Arthur and all. Indeed, you will enjoy discovering the richness of Henry Purcell's music.

      Purcell was universally mourned as "a very great master of music." 

      5/5 stars. Highly recommend.

      * I was not compensated in any way for an exchange of my honest review. *

      Music by Purcell:

      Dido and Aeneas
      King Arthur
      The Fairy Queen
      Ode to Saint Cecilia

      Cd Selections

      1. A City Child
      2. Like Father, Like Son
      3. Dark Days
      4. Learn To Read As You Sing
      5. In The service Of The Royal Court
      6. First Job
      7. From Church To Theatre
      8. Royal Composer
      9. Sacred Music
      10. The Odes
      11. Music For The Theater

      Henry Purcell (First Discovery: Music)

      Thanks for visiting LadyD Books
      “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis

      Skywatch Friday: Autumn Sky

      Southern California October Sky: LadyD Books

      It's amazing how a single canvas of one October Autumn sky can evoke so much emotion! I can just hear all of the oohs and aahs. I was pleasantly surprised to find this fireball sky from our eastern view.

      For more wonderful photos, visit Skywatch Friday

      • My Haiku
      Please come back and tell me why
      What do you see now?
      Could it be another place
      Perhaps I have changed.

      Holes by Louis Sachar l LadyD Books
      For ages 8-12,  Grades 3-7

      • About The Book
      This winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award features Stanley Yelnats, a kid who is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys' detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the warden makes the boys "build character" by spending all day, every day, digging holes five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize there's more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake: the warden is looking for something. Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

      • Beginning of the Book
      There is no Lake at Camp Green Lake. There once was a very large lake here, the largest lake in Texas. That was over a hundred years ago. Now it is just a dry, flat wasteland.

      There used to be a town of green Lake as well. The town shriveled and dried up along with the lake, and the people who lived there.

      "We've been discussing what we want to do with our lives," said Mr. Pendanski. "We're not going to be at Camp Green Lake forever. We need to prepare for the day we leave here and join the rest of society." -- Louis Sachar
      Have you read the book? Here's what others are saying about Holes (A Yearling Book)


      Thanks for visiting LadyD Books
       “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
      Enhanced by Zemanta

      Jake and Lily Clouds

      Clouds at dusk: LadyD Books

      twin clouds in the sky: LadyD Books

      Puffy clouds over mountains: LadyD Books

      large clouds over mountain range: LadyD Books

      Not exactly twin clouds, but at dusk and also during the day, one can see two clouds in the sky. No two are the same. Isn't creation wonderful?! Photos for Skywatch Friday

      Jake and Lily: LadyD Books

      • Jake and Lily
      Newberry Medal-Winning Author of MANIAC MAGEE

      Have you read this one?

      • About The Book

      Beloved Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli, author of Maniac Magee and Wringer, addresses issues of identity, belonging, family, and bullying in this humorous and heartfelt novel about twins.
      Jake and Lily are twins. Despite their slightly different interests and temperaments, they feel exactly the same—like two halves of one person. But the year they turn eleven, everything changes. Their parents announce it’s time for separate bedrooms. Jake starts hanging out with a pack of boys on the block. And Lily is devastated, not to mention angry. Who is she without Jake? And as her brother falls under the influence of the neighborhood bully, he also must ask himself—who is the real Jake?

      This is an often funny, poignant, and profound story of growing up, growing apart, and the difficult process of figuring out who you really are.

      • Intro
      I'm Jake Wambold

      I'm Lily Wambold

      This is the story of our lives.


      Whatever. We're taking turns.

      For this intro, we're taking turns on lines.

      Like, this line is me (Jake).

      And this line is me (Lily).

      Then we thought, Let's make two forts and we can bomb each other. So that's what we did. --Jerry Spinelli

      Jake and Lily

      Thanks for visiting LadyD Books
       “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis

      Book Review: Billy Graham in Quotes

      Billy Graham Quotes: LadyD Books

      Book Description

      A note from Franklin Graham: "My father, Billy Graham, is known for speaking out about the one and only thing that matters in this world: the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. He remembers the call of God seven decades ago to preach the Word of God to all those who would listen about salvation that comes only through Christ. He took this high calling with seriousness and boldness in obedience to God and once said, 'I will travel anywhere in the world to preach if there are no strings on what I am to say.'

      "My father has always prayed that his words would reflect God’s standard of truth as the basis to claim, 'I have given them Your word' (John 17:14). In this book, I believe you will see that he has faithfully spoken God’s Word that quenches the thirst of those seeking to draw from the wellsprings of Life. It is highly meaningful to see these statements now collected in one volume."
      Drawn from an unparelleled collection of both personal and published works, Billy Graham provides input on more than one hundred topics, such as suffering, joy, money, addictions, peace, and many more.

      My Review

      I have read many of Billy Graham's books and have loved them all. This one is life-changing. It's not so much a devotional, although you can use it as such, but rather a plethora of spoken messages that cause you to think deeply. It's the best counseling tool to have under your belt because the chapters are organized by subject matter. If you like helping and encouraging someone in need, the many references will provide great hope in their time of need. For instance, abortion, addiction, and anxiety grabbed my attention right away because it's so relevant for today. In fact, just reading the word of God has a calming effect and knowing this great evangelist's personality, he provides comfort and reassurance throughout the passages. A great book for home and church library, as well as a beautiful gift for someone special. I especially like that the book ends with a section on young people. It's the real deal with a practical application for all to enjoy. Be refreshed and renewed.

      5/5 stars. Highly recommend.

      Billy Graham in Quotes

      I received this lovely book from Thomas Nelson and was not compensated in any way in exchange for my honest review.

      Thank you,

       “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
      © copyright 2013 – All rights reserved
      LadyD Books