A Reading Rainbow Feature Title Zum, zum, buzz.... zum, zum, buzz... What's that strange buzz coming from the double bass? Berlioz has time to investigate, because he and his bear orchestra are due at the gala ball in the village square at eight. But Berlioz is so worried about his buzzing bass that he steers the mule and his bandwagon full of magicians into a hole in the road and gets stuck. Time is running out, and if a rooster, a cat, a billy goat, a plow horse, and an ox can't rescue the bandwagon, who can? As the suspense mounts, intricate borders reveal the village animals making their way to the square one by one. When the clock chimes eight, the animals, ready to dance, have filled the square-but there's sign of Berlioz. Jan Brett's glorious illustrations invite the eye to linger over exquisite details and humorous nuances that enhance the story. This delightful cumulative tale is one that will be looked at again and again.
With over thirty four million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author illustrators of children's books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real. As a student at the Boston Museum School, she spent hours in the Museum of Fine Arts. It was overwhelming to see the room-size landscapes and towering stone sculptures, and then moments later to refocus on delicately embroidered kimonos and ancient porcelain, she says. I'm delighted and surprised when fragments of these beautiful images come back to me in my painting. Travel is also a constant inspiration. Together with her husband, Joe Hearne, who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jan visits many different countries where she researches the architecture and costumes that appear in her work. From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japanese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as a starting point for my children's books.