Last night after I went for a movie (which I would recommend you to see if you like a movie that speaks life – “Learning To Drive” with Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley), I stopped by this lovely bookstore nearby the theatre (note: I would definitely write about the bookstore here or in another blog). There were all these beautiful creative books on the bookshelves placed right next to the entrance, by which I was completely mesmerised and tempted to buy quite a few of them, yet I suppressed my urge to only buy a couple – and one more when I laid my eyes on this music book.
I must say I am biased whenever I see anything related to Christmas, my favorite festive season of all time (yes, I celebrate it more fervently than Valentine’s Day and my own birthday), and of course also anything related to music/piano. So imagine how I felt when I saw My First Christmas Keyboard Book with my two favorite things at the same time!
My First Christmas Keyboard Book: Cover
In this lovely music book, there are nine Christmas songs including the most familiar ones such as Jingle Bells, We Wish You A Merry Christmas and Silent Light. It comes with a little paper keyboard at the bottom of the book so that children (or anyone really, like me!) can switch it on and play along. In each song, there are two pages. The top page is filled with beautiful illustration of different Christmas settings with little lovely mouse characters (I generally am disgusted by mice yet somehow these look very adorable to me), while the other page is a “music score” to show how the song is to be played. The music score is not a conventional score, rather, it is a very simple illustration with dots and stars of different colors to show which keys (color-coded) on the keyboard you should press. For the white keys they use dots, and the black keys stars. I find it a very smart way to differentiate the white and black keys, and easy to find the relevant keys on the keyboard. There is also a simple organization of rhythm (putting dots/stars closer meaning faster notes and vice versa) that helps kids to follow and play the tunes in a recognisable way. And if you want to show the kids how the songs should really sound like, the book provides links on their website to hear all the tunes in the book, which I reckon is a pretty cool feature.
My First Christmas Keyboard Book: Jingle Bells
One other great thing about this book is that you can actually follow the scores to play the same songs on a real piano. So even when the little paper keyboard is out of battery, you can still enjoy the book and play the lovely Christmas songs for many years to come.
“Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la, la la la la…”
*Source: My First Christmas Keyboard Book : Illustrated by Rachel Stubbs, Written by Sam Taplin and Designed by Matt Durber