Wednesday, March 26, 2014

In the Hall of the Mountain King by Allison Flannery and illustrated by Vesper Stamper

About the book:  This beautifully illustrated story brings to life Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg's musical masterpiece and Henrik Ibsen's timeless characters. Geared toward children 4-9, the story follows young Peer "into the forest and out the other side" where he finds the mysterious Mountain King's castle and begins a harrowing chase that mirrors the movement of the music it’s based on. The book includes a CD with orchestral performances of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" and four other pieces from the "Peer Gynt Suite."

My thoughts:  Classical music education is not complete unless you’ve ventured In the Hall of the Mountain King. The story of the young boy, Peer Gynt, begins as he wanders away from his home, through the forest, and into the very castle. With stealth he creeps into realms he is not suppose to be. The music begins softly, very softly as Peer creeps deeper and deeper into the recesses of the Castle.

The story depicted in Allison Flannery’s adaptation of Henrik Isben’s Peer Gynt is compelling and will quickly become a favorite of the young child. What young child doesn’t envision a bit of stealth and venturing into places they are not to be? This time Peer has gone too far and he is in the hall (castle) of the scary Mountain King. Such adventure! The music on the CD captures the adventure, excitement, fear.
"From passage to passage and room to room, Peer grew more confident.
Maybe he could be the King!
He walked and marched  … … … … ..
Peer had been so enchanted that he had forgotten one important thing – he was an uninvited guest! Fear of the Mountain King’s fury seized Peer… … .."
Illustrated by Vesper Stamper, the pages are filled with lively and skillfully executed art that breathes excitement and delight to the text bringing a joyful, fearful, enchanting read to children. The book has a special treat accompanying it. There is a CD with excerpts from The Peer Gynt Suite by Edvard Grieg. This will provide the non-musical family opportunity to garner a delightful taste or nibble of the classics and help the child venture into a world of music that will delight for a lifetime. For those families more musically inclined, this is a great tool to begin engaging in a little music theory education.

The lovely hardcover book will be welcome in the home, public, or school library. It is certainly a must for the music library in a home that treasures music.
Illustrator: Vesper Stamper spent most of her childhood
meticulously copying each page of Hilary Knight’s
Cinderella. She earned an honors degree in Illustration
from Parsons School of Design
Author: Allison Flannery is a Kindergarten music teacher who sings,
dances, marches, and teaches seventeen classes of five to
six-year-olds each week. With a background as a private piano
instructor, she loves inspiring youngsters to listen
and learn from some of the great classical composers. 
The author has provided wonderful "teachable moments" material and information on her website:
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I was not compensated for this review.


  1. I love this idea of a book to go along with classical music. Brilliant! Thanks for sharing this with us at Booknificent Thursdays!

  2. I also love the concept of this book. It looks like sooo much fun. We are HUGE classical music fans in this house. Thanks for including it on the Kid Lit Blog Hop - I am hopping through. :)
    ~Cool Mom
    for The Stanley & Katrina Gang

  3. Love the premise behind the story.. the art work is superb. cant wait to give it a read :)
    The bonus of the CD is really compelling..
    Thanks for sharing this week on Kidlit Bloghop!!
    -Reshama @ Stackingbooks


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment here at Chat With Vera. If you need to contact me directly, please use the "Comment Me" email associated with this blog and posted in the sidebar.