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Despite playful illustrations featuring an engaging animal cast, this well-intentioned picture book is flawed by poor textual layout and awkward prose. Fed up with an overload of noise, Gustav Mole takes his recalcitrant children on a world tour--"to warn the world and to rediscover the music they had lost." From Budapest to Bali, Gustav drums up support for his cause, and is in turn serenaded by such creatures as cimbalom-playing badgers (Hungary), a sitar-playing tiger (India) and a kangaroo on the didgeridoo (Australia). The visual information on wildlife and ethnic music is the highlight of the book--Meyrick's detailed watercolors are splendidly merry--but unfortunately, her prose is not as sleek. (Older readers and young listeners alike may have trouble with such convoluted verbiage as "The moles' mood mellowed as they savoured slow food, to the cordial piano accordion of a busking boulevard badger.") Coupled with the seemingly random layout of text--some pages so crowded with chunks of print that the story line is almost impossible to follow--this makes for a difficult read-aloud, effectively eliminating a major portion of the intended audience. Ages 3-10.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.