8th December 2000 at 00:00
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS OF THE WORLD SERIES. Modern Instruments. Sound Effects. Keyboards. Drums. By Barrie Carson Turner and John See. Belitha Press. pound;8.99 each. Did you ever want to know what a "theremin" is, or an "ondes martenot" or an "odaiko"? If so, this clever series for five to seven-year-olds is a must. It takes young readers on an exciting journey of musical instruments around the world.

The books are carefully designed with excellent, well-labelled illustrations, photographs and appropriate language. This would make ideal non-fiction reading material for the literacy hour.

Each book has an excellent glossary, and the commentaryrefers to recognised composed works in which some of these instruments are used. I was particularly pleased to see that the book on drums reminds children that this wonderful array of instruments goes far beyond the simple drum or tabour they may have on their instrument trolley.

My only criticism is the lack of rationale behind the order in which the instruments appear. It would have been more useful if they had been grouped in some way (percussion, wind, electronic) or at the very least in chronological order of development.

Leonora Davies Leonora Davies is inspector for music and music services, London borough of Haringey

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