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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Bedtime, sleep time, a time to dream all kinds of wonderful things. Music may also be a powerful tool in one’s dreams. I know it is in mine. And what a powerful dreamscape music evokes. For one child, a dreamscape evolves from a playful trip through the forest. And what does this child discover? An entire orchestra, playing all kinds of instruments, creating beautiful music. The beauty is not just in the music but in the performers themselves. You see, they are all colorful and cleverly folded origami musicians, “an orchestra of paper weaves”. There is a metaphoric parallel here between the music and the origami music makers.
Ammie Elliott’s picture book story, Origami Orchestra (The Dreamscape Series), is a delightful introduction to dreams and music and the art of origami. The story is mostly told in the first person, from the child’s point of view. And it’s mostly told in rhyming verse. The plot develops cleverly like the delicate and precise folds of an origami creation, the story itself being synonymous with origami. The lilting characteristics of the verses have a sing-song feeling that flows with the “paper weaves” musicians and the music they create. As well as the dreamy quality to this story, the author also introduces the young reader to the various instruments of the orchestra: “The tranquil harps begin their part, plaiting notes in flat and sharp that resonate within my heart.” And “The tuba croons a groovy tune. Its notes drift into creased festoon, encircling the far-off moon.” There are a number of big words for a young reader to understand, but with the author’s gift for cleverly making everything into a work of origami art, these words will be folded eloquently into the young reader’s verbal repertoire in no time. This is a dreamy type of story, one that will lull a young reader into a deep, magic-filled dreamscape of their own. A lovely, lyrical story.