Listen to the Birds - An Introduction to Classical Music

Story and Songs Ana Gerhard Illustrations Cecilia Varel

BOOK Throughout history birds have caught the imagination of composers and inspired their creativity and this selection of works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, and others introduces children to classical music through the discovery of the melodious similarities between notes produced by instruments such as the flute, the organ, and the harpsichord and the birds’ songs. In addition to lovely illustrations, the book features a glossary of musical terms, a short biography of each composer, and a brief description of each bird evoked or mentioned in the composition.

MUSIC CD The accompanying CD offers excerpts of 20 different recordings—ranging from The Goldfinch, Hens and Roosters, and The Dance of the Swans to The Cuckoo and the Nightingale, Piano Concerto N, and Dance of the Firebird—performed by world-class luminaries including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Toronto Chamber Orchestra.

Ages: 7 to 9 / U.S. Release date: June 1, 2013 / Canadian Release Date: May 28, 2013


Ana Gerhard studied as a concert pianist at the Mexican National Conservatory. She has taught piano for several years and has hosted numerous radio programs dedicated to the promotion of classical music.


Cecilia Varela studied at the National School of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires. She has illustrated several children’s books and received the prestigious 2007 Conaculta Award (The National Council for Culture and Arts in Mexico) in recognition of her work.


2013 Parents' Choice Award (music)

Press Quotes

“Intriguing facts on both birds and music abound, certain to delight young trivia collectors.”
—Suzanne MacNeille, The New York Times

“This is an attractive, smart publication.
—Elizabeth Whity, Edmonton Journal

“It's a wonderfully illustrated Canadian picture book and CD that connects classical music to the bird song that inspired it. ”
—Julie Nesrallah, Tempo, CBC Radio 2

“Listen to the Birds is designed for kids, but I learned something too…”

—Katherine Duncan, In Tune, CBC Radio 2

“A lovely book for children and adults alike. And birdwatchers will enjoy the musical pairings.”
—Jeanette Kelly, Daybreak, CBC Radio One

“…the one thing, I think, that stands out about [your] music is the fact that it's good.”
—Elizabeth Roberton (interview with publisher, Roland Stringer) All in a Weekend, CBC Radio One

“I was absolutely blown away by the beauty and quality of this book.”

—Ottawa Valley Moms

“This is a gorgeous book and an ideal way to expose young learners to classical music.”
Maple Leaf Mommy

“It's a wonderful gift for kids who are learning an instrument, or anyone who enjoys classical music and wants to broaden his horizons.”
The Mama Maven

“It's a lovely book and a lively trip through nature and the classical canon that will engage readers and listeners of all ages.”

Apartment Therapy

Watch the trailer!

You are listening to featured excerpt, Papageno and Papagena from the opera, The Magic Flute, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.