Jake the Philharmonic Dog

Bravos for Jake the Philharmonic Dog

An appealing dog named Jake learns all about the orchestra in this cheery story illustrated in crayon-bright colors using an oversized format. When Jake is adopted by the principal stagehand of a major orchestra, they both spend lots of time backstage at rehearsals. Jake is introduced to the different instruments and sections of the orchestra, with the appropriate terms integrated as labels into the illustrations. Jake finds an interesting "stick" backstage, thereby saving a performance when he returns the baton to the conductor at the beginning of the concert—starting a new tradition for the orchestra. Two final pages of notes define the musical terms used in the text. Teachers will find this story useful for introducing the orchestra to students, and children will enjoy Jake's charming personality and his unusual looks (two white feet and two black ones). (Picture book. 4-9)

“Karen LeFrak has written an enchanting story for children that is also an outstanding introduction to the world of the orchestra.”
—Lorin Maazel

“Dear Karen — your greatest gift is your passion for all that you do. Here you have created a masterpiece!”
—Kurt Masur

“Bravo! And a standing ovation for Jake The Philharmonic Dog.” —Zubin Mehta

“Nothing would please me more than to record this book with the full Orchestra. It’s simply marvelous!”
F. Murray Abraham

JakeSchool Library Journal:
Gr 1-2–Jake, canine friend to Richie, the principal stagehand of the Philharmonic Orchestra, answers the birds, the cars, and the clap of thunder with a distinct bark, a wagging tail, or flattened ears and a whine. Jake simply loves sound. His first trip to Richie’s workplace confounds him as he confuses car horns with the brass section and the rumble of thunder with the boom of the percussion section. It also results in his false identification of the conductor’s wand as a new toy and eventual duty as “principal stagepaw.” LeFrak introduces musical terms within the story, including identification of the instruments. Illustrations, done in acrylic and tempera paint, frame the account of the pup’s activities. This straightforward, predictable story will appeal to dog lovers and may serve as a painless introduction to the orchestra as well. Pair it with Alan Madison’s Pecorino’s First Concert (S & S, 2005) or Lloyd Moss’s eye-catching Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin (S & S, 1995).
–Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX

" Karen LeFrak shares the gift of Jake’s story with music lovers, and music-lovers-to-be, well beyond the New York Philharmonic. And now all orchestras will want mascots of their own." —Polly Kahn, Vice President, American Symphony Orchestra League

“Karen LeFrak’s ‘Jake’ invites children on a joyful romp through the orchestra….a winning introduction to instruments!” —Lisa Johnson, Director of the Music Program, New York State Council on the Arts

"As fun as it is educational, this charming dog story is a delightful take on music appreciation for children. Move over, Peter and the Wolf ... here comes Jake the Philharmonic Dog!" —Dennis Sprung, President and CEO, The American Kennel Club

“Jake is one lucky dog; he loves music, and he gets to spend every day with a great symphony orchestra. Readers of this warm, jolly story will come away with a good basic understanding of what an orchestra is made up of and how it works. This is a touching tale about a touching tail and the dog who wags it!” —Peter Schickele

"I have met Jake backstage at the Philharmonic and he is a friendly dog with heroic qualities, like Snoopy, Sandy, Toto, McDuff, Nana, Jack, Jip, Old Yeller, and King of the Yukon, worthy of a book. Life at a great orchestra is much more fun with a good dog nearby." —Garrison Keillor

“My kids will love it.” —Valery Gergiev