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Musical Help for Sleepy New Parents

Laurie Niles

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Published: August 12, 2015 at 10:12 PM [UTC]

Ah, the art of getting a small child to go to bed. Is anyone good at it?


Baby crumpetBut we all keep trying, and here is one effort both clever and musical — an audio book called Crumpet the Trumpet, written and illustrated by violinist Kristine Papillon, narrated by Fort Wayne Philharmonic conductor Andrew Constantine and enhanced with music played by 32 musicians, and guest artist Anne Akiko Meyers.

I'm a little wary of new children's books (though not as wary as that guy who wrote Go the bleep to Sleep, heavens, please don't ever read that one to a child!) but the premise of this one is totally adorable: Mr. and Mrs. Trumpet are trying to get their baby trumpet, Crumpet, to go to sleep. But the problem is, when mama trumpet tries to sing lullabies, she's just too loud because...she's a trumpet! So she asks for help from all their musical instrument friends, including our star, Violetta the Violin, played by Anne Akiko Meyers, who also wrote the foreword to the book.

Anne and Violetta
Anne and Violetta -- both a picture of elegance!

Violetta, who is a bit of a diva, gets a little carried away with her own fab playing and doesn't actually lull our small hero to sleep. Predictably enough, nor does Mum the Drum, or Poco the (overly talkative) Piccolo. (It tickled me to see that the piccolo was played by a friend of mine from college, Hillary Feibel! Hi Hillary!) During all these failed attempts we get to hear some Vivaldi, Haydn, Purcell, Prokofiev, Brahms, Kreisler and Handel. Hailey the Harp finally succeeds, by playing Debussy's Clair de Lune, another touch that I love because this is the tune that inspired my daughter's middle name, Claire. Awww!

Kristine PapillonI was reading this book and listening to the CD in bed, and I literally fell asleep at the end, only to be awakened when the CD switched back to the beginning, to the non-narrated version with music.

Papillon, a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, plays in the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, which also premiered a children's concert based on the book. Many of the musicians who played for the soundtrack were from the symphony. What a lovely creative effort. Here is the link if you are interested in this book for a small friend or relative, or their parents. (Crumpet the Trumpet link.)

From Kathryn Woodby
Posted on August 14, 2015 at 5:48 PM
How fun! Do you think you will do a giveaway on this one?

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