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Igor, the Bird Who Couldn't Sing.

Igor, the Bird Who Couldn't Sing, by Satoshi Kitamura. Farrar, Straus and Giroux (19 Union Square W., New Fork, NY 10003), 2005. 40 pp. $i6.

As a musician, teacher, a teacher of teachers and a mother of two girls, ages 5 and 2, I found this delightful children's book resonating with me on many levels. In our family, Satoshi Kitamura's work already is beloved. Titles such as Cat is Thirst, Dog is Hungry, and Duck is Dirty, were among the first board books that my children, as toddlers, carried around with them, gnawed on and forced my husband and me to read to them over and over and over again.

My 5-year-old giggled aloud at the silly premise of a tone-deaf and rhythmically challenged bird, Igor, who sets out in search of music lessons. His teacher, Madam Goose, does her very best, but concedes defeat after trying everything in her power to help Igor.

Everywhere Igor turns, he is surrounded by music in the air. His heart is broken as he would like nothing better than to join his friends in making music, but nobody will let him. In the end, he discovers a wide-open desolate space, and because he can't help himself, he begins to sing. "Igor sang and sang. And as he sang, he felt his music ripple and jolt the evening air. He felt happy. He felt free." Now THAT is a message to inspire us all!

Igor is for slightly older children, but my 2-year-old also enjoyed looking at the whimsical and hilarious pictures throughout the book. Wonderful illustrations of jamming jazz-cats, rocking-out rottweliers, a symphony of sheep and much more, are full of character and humor. This has become our household's new favorite book and while we will have to read this over and over and over again, I think my husband and I will enjoy it, at least the first hundred times or so. Reviewed by Midori Koga, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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Author:Koga, Midori
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Dec 1, 2005
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