What A Wonderful World by Bob Thiele, George David Weiss and Tim Hopgood

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What A Wonderful World by Bob Thiele, George David Weiss and Tim Hopgood

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: All the aspects of the Louis Armstrong song are beautifully shown in this book full of colour and fun, with a CD to go along with it.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: October 2014
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 978-0192736901

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What a Wonderful World is a book and accompanying CD set based on the Louis Armstrong song. In fact it is the book and CD of that song as it’s not a new story or a padded out version of the original, it’s simply an illustrated version of the lyrics.

You’ll know the song I’m sure. Remember those trees of green and red roses too? It’s a lovely portrayal of the world, peaceful and friendly and calm and happy, and the lilting rhythm of the song is complemented perfectly by the cheerful and bright illustrations in the book. Each page has a beautiful full colour background – as in the song it’s the colours of the rainbow, and then some – with an array of characters living out the words of the song.

Because it’s a song the phrasing might not be what they’re used to – skies of blue and clouds of white rather than blue skies and white clouds – but the words are clear and simple so the message comes across easily. I’ve heard the song many times but reading it like this for the first time made me think about the meaning in a different way. I can see why they’ve done it as it’s a song that really works well in this format, and allows for some personal interpretation. For example, the lyrics don’t explicitly mention fish, but there’s a whole underwater world captured between these pages.

The accompanying CD features two tracks, the song as it’s normally sung, with that awesome, familiar tune, and also a read along version of the book. Now because the book is just the lyrics written down, that may seem like you get the same thing twice, but the difference is that the read version is just that, spoken word rather than sung. It is also excruciatingly slow and takes an age to finish the short book. In standard read along format you have a magical tingly noise that signals that it’s time to turn the page, but because there’s only a few words on each page the pause before and after this really drags out the reading in a way that I found unnecessary. It also sounded odd to hear the familiar words read rather than sung.

This is a beautifully presented book and I did like the inclusion of the song on the CD, however I also definitely favoured this over the second, spoken track. That said, it’s easy enough to skip if you just want the song on repeat, so I’m not marking off for that.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

Once they've got the bug for rhythm, Higglety Pigglety Pop! And Other First Poems by Harry Horse is great fun.

Buy What A Wonderful World by Bob Thiele, George David Weiss and Tim Hopgood at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy What A Wonderful World by Bob Thiele, George David Weiss and Tim Hopgood at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy What A Wonderful World by Bob Thiele, George David Weiss and Tim Hopgood at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy What A Wonderful World by Bob Thiele, George David Weiss and Tim Hopgood at Amazon.com.


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