Ages 4 -8
Walker Books for Young Readers (August 22, 2006)
Marcin Baranski - Website
Jake the Philharmonic Dog is the first of a series of books designed to teach children about the performing arts. The main character is a jaunty five-year-old terrier with silver whiskers and pointy ears who, in the first book, gets to spend time at a grand orchestral hall with his human “dad” Richie, who is the orchestra’s principal stagehand. The idea for these two characters comes from my work with the New York Philharmonic, where the principal stagehand does, indeed, have a dog named Jake, who assists him in many ways.
Richie notices that Jake always responds to music. His tail beats time to songs on the radio, he barks at car horns, he sings with the birds and spins when he hears thunder. Richie decides that it would be a wonderful idea to take this musical pup to work with him one day. The adventure is a triumph. Not only does Jake interact with the musicians and learn about the different instruments, but also, he triumphantly saves the day by recovering the conductor’s missing baton just in time for the concert to begin.
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“Karen LeFrak has written an enchanting story for children that is also an outstanding introduction to the world of the orchestra.”
Lorin Maazel, Former Music Director of the New York Philharmonic
"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."
School Library Journal
"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, Former Vice President, American Symphony Orchestra League
"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 of the American Kennel Club