Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin




by Lloyd Moss
illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

A lively tribute to classical music and the musicians who play it with such passion. Jazzy verse, amusing characters, and alliterative sounds guide readers through ten different instruments in an orchestra. Try this one with your kids and open them up to the world of orchestra music.

Moss and Priceman have accomplished a very challenging task: they've made orchestra music fun and accessible to young children.

The jazzy verse is bouncy and fun, but can be tricky, so be sure to read this book once through before a read aloud. Priceman's whimsical, vibrantly colored illustrations are fantastic. In fact, PW called Priceman "a master of whimsy" and we agree! This is obviously great for introducing kids to the different orchestra instruments and the musicians who play them with passion. And, it would be a lot of fun during units on poetry.


Awards Won
  - Caldecott Honor Book 1996
  - American Library Association Notable Children's Books List
  - New York Times Best Illustrated Books List
  - School Library Journal Best Children's Books List

Reading Levels
Interest Level: Gr. 1-5         Grade Equivalent:  3.5          Lexile Measure:  730L 

See inside
Below are sample pages.  Publisher's Weekly called illustrator Marjorie Priceman "a master of whimsy". So true! Her stylish, vibrant illustrations are full of energy and are truly the definition of whimsy. The fun color choice, the zany movements of the musicians, and the overall playful presentation help make orchestras more accessible for kids.  We especially love the spread on the right. It depicts the last instrument to join the orchestra---the harp. The text on this page reads, "The HARP descends with angel's wings, /  A heaven's belend through magic strings, / And when it joins the others, then / Behold! A CHAMBER GROUP of TEN."




To learn more about this book, click the link below.  Please note that if you purchase an item from Amazon, they give us a small referral fee.




Lesson Idea for Zin Zin Zin

If you have a laptop with a good sound system, you could play small clips of the instruments being introduced in each page. This would be especially helpful if you are teaching music and orchestra instruments. The website Sound Junction makes this very easy (and it's a great site to explore!)

Click the link above and you will see a page with the following graphic on it.  When you mouse over certain instruments, your computer will play a short sample.  We have created a cheat-sheet for you so that as you read the book, you can quickly locate the instrument to play a sample for (they are listed in the order that they appear in the book.)

*Note: Just put your mouse on top of the instrument to get the sound. Don't click!  Clicking will take you to a page about that specific instrument. For this activity you want to stay on this page.

It would be ideal if you had an aide or classroom helper cued to add in the sound effects for you, as doing both might be a bit hard.

We especially like that these clips are short and to the point...giving an idea of the unique sound that the instrument makes WITHOUT causing too much of a break in the book's text.  It's perfect for this application! (Special thanks to Sound Junction for their great website. Highly recommended!)


To learn more about this book, click the link below.  Please note that if you purchase an item from Amazon, they give us a small referral fee. (This helps pay for site hosting costs, thus allowing us to keep everything free for site visitors!)






We love Marjorie Priceman's illustrations. Everyone does!  In fact, several have won Caldecott Awards (the most prestigious award in children's literature). If you enjoy this book, be sure to check our other books by Marjorie Priceman.