Publisher: Hal Leonard
ISBN: 978-1-4950-6479-1

You can play the drum like Moana, but first you must feel the beat,” it states in the children’s book, Moana – The Beat of Your Heart: A Musical Exploration Activity Book.

Part of the Disney Learning series, this numbered thirty-two-page oversized hardbound targets children ages four to eight years old who enjoy books regarding stories about Moana and making music. With no scary scenes, it may be best read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated wording.

In this short book that does not contain the entire story of Moana but a tribute to the girl who feels the musical beat, there are more than a dozen activities to make or do regarding music. The reader learns a little about Moana and her family and friends as they feel the traditional rhythms of their island. The reader can experience the beat through clapping and movements. Instructions on how to make and play a lali, fala, pahu, fa’atete, and drums are included. The ending has a recap of what is learned and a song as well as a note to parents and online read and sing-along links.

This is a thoughtful book that blends the Disney character Moana with the element of playing musical instruments. By following directions, our four-year-old granddaughter can create and make sounds with everyday household items such as boxes, newspaper, placemats, buckets, and wooden spoons. Older children will appreciate designing the instruments and experimenting with them.

Those who do not care about making music may not appreciate this read that encourages it. Others may find there are too many two and three syllable words that young readers may have trouble deciphering. Some may not like the commercialism the themed book promotes or the repetitive symbols.

I found this book a little too complicated for the younger children and perhaps sophomoric for the older ones. I wish the book included a CD instead so one does not have to go online to read or sing along. Having a QSR code for a smartphone might be helpful.

If you are looking for a fun gift to give a child who loves Moana and music, this may be a viable option that teaches how to feel the musical beat.

Thanks to Bookpleasures for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.