Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

Music review by
Common Sense Media Editors, Common Sense Media
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel Music Poster Image
Favorite tale retold with an original score.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this interesting exploration of how the "Mike Mulligan" story was written over 60 years ago and how the music was written today promotes good listening skills.

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What's the story?

MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL is an inspiring tale of how determination, hard work, belief in oneself, and some creativity from a young mind can lead to success. The colorful music written by Stephen Simon and performed by the London Philharmonic is tinted with Irish Harp and Uilleann pipes. Yadu narrates with the help of guest performers James Shaffran, Paul Brennan, and Sebastion Simon. The CD begins with a narrator and expressive orchestral instruments telling the story of Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, Mary Anne. You can imagine the cars weaving, airplanes diving, and other action unfolding as the French horns, trumpets, and trombones play their parts.

Is it any good?

The CD helps kids better understand music. For example, Stephen Simon details the differences between Scottish and Irish pipes and presents numerous techniques a composer uses to create an original musical score. Then the story repeats for the newly educated listener, who is guaranteed to hear it differently the second time. Turns out the CD is a well-oiled musical machine encouraging educational fun. Families will dig it!

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  • Families can talk about how the music helps the imagination and sets a mood.

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