Friday 14 April 2023

Music is in Everything

Music is in Everything by Ziggy Marley & Ag Jatkowska (Akashic Books/Tugg Gong Worldwide Books) PB HB RRP $26.99 9781617759437

 Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

Ziggy Marley is an eight-time Grammy Award winner, Emmy Award winner, author, philanthropist, and reggae icon. Music is in Everything is a picture book that is based on Marley’s popular song celebrating music’s many forms, from the sounds of ocean waves to laughter in the family kitchen.

Marley’s words get children to look, listen, make music and most of all have fun as families gather. The word efficient sentences are rhythmic and lyrical: Raindrops really locked into the groove. Laughing is a nice sound, spreading joy all around. The language is warm, inviting and child friendly. Marley lets children know that music really is everywhere if we just look, feel it, and even create it. He encourages children to explore different environments for music and he taps into different senses. Music is in everything, listen to the ocean sing.

The child reader is encouraged to get actively involved while reading. Clap your hands and you’ll know music is in everything. The repeat refrain Music is in everything has a musicality and links to the title. Music is innate in us all and has universal appeal to both a child and adult reading this story. Marley also encourages the reader to make a shaker and the backmatter includes instructions in how to make one.

Ag Jatkowska joyfully captures the joy of music with colourful and lively illustrations that dance across pages. Facial expressions capture wonder as children explore their world from the ocean to the trees. The illustrations are filled with life and movement, and I love the addition of a happy bouncy dog in some spreads. His singing birds and dancing bees bring a smile. A little bird with a cute umbrella also graces some spreads, as do frogs in a pond. And some musical instruments are included with family members playing them. I particularly loved where the family are in the kitchen making their own music and musical notes swirl and twirl just like a song in the air across the double spread.

Music is in Everything is a gorgeous picture book for children 0-8 years that is a celebration of music in our world. Children who love music and exploring will enjoy this book. Also listed in the back of the book are other books that Ziggy Marley has written, and a biography. 

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