The composer is dead!


Today we listened to an audio reading of Lemony Snicket’s picture book, The composer is dead, with music by Nathaniel Stookey, and illustrations by Carson Ellis. You can read about it on Wikipedia.

It’s a brilliant, witty and hysterical story narrated by Lemony Snicket himself. The entire production is fun – the story with its personified musical instruments presented as murder suspects (boisterous trumpets proclaiming loudly and with a certain arrogant rudeness), its alliteration (‘we conquered the concert’; ‘battered the band’), and its playful use of language (the percussion instruments ‘percussed’, and ’employed xylophoniness and cymbalism’).

Similar to Peter and the wolf, the story skilfully weaves plot around descriptive information about the orchestra. The boys seemed transfixed by the story, although the musical interludes may have been a bit much for some.

As a creative writing exercise, the boys will be writing their own story –

The … is dead

based on a group of inanimate objects who are suspects in a murder mystery.

For example, in a pencil case, the rubber has been murdered, and the red pencil is a suspect because it’s such a show-off, and the others are envious, or perhaps the compass is a suspect for obvious reasons. It could be the capsicum on the pizza which is murdered – you get the picture. Silly but it might be fun.

I’ve asked the brilliant and witty author, Michael Gerard Bauer, to join us in this little creative interlude, and I hope he’ll grace us with his presence. I would love to see what kind of personified inanimate objects he’d come up with for a silly story such as this one.


3 responses to “The composer is dead!

  1. Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for The composer is dead! « English@wfc [] on

  2. Pingback: Michael Gerard Bauer joins our writing project « Brave new world

  3. Pingback: Fiction is like a box of chocolates…

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