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Press Release Fun: The Secret Mountain Announces Fall Picture Books with Audio

The Secret Mountain Announces Fall Picture Books with Audio, 
Including Ana Gerhard’s Little Creatures: An Introduction to Classical Music in September

The Secret Mountain, a Montreal-based publisher known for award-winning children’s books that include audio recordings, will release three new titles this fall.

Coming September 1st are two books inspired by the natural world: Little Creatures: An Introduction to Classical Music, and Animal Musicians. In October, a new book-with-music in The Secret Mountain’s acclaimed World Music series will be Songs in the Shade of the Cashew Coconut Trees: Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes from West Africa and the Caribbean.

The fourth book in The Secret Mountain’s classical music series, Little Creatures: An Introduction to Classical Music is a 72-page picture book by noted concert pianist and music educator Ana Gerhard. The book pairs five centuries of music history with stunning illustrations of fascinating little creatures—insects, arachnids, and amphibians; wasps, butterflies, frogs, and snakes. Like the award-winning and New York times acclaimed Listen to the Birds, this book-with-music offers an original and exciting way for young listeners to discover awe-inspiring classical music and how animals and insects have inspired composers.

A glossary of musical terms and a short biography of each composer are included along with a CD (plus a unique code for the digital download) of 20 musical excerpts performed by the likes of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Liverpool Philharmonic and the Nashville Symphony.

Author Ana Gerhard studied piano at the Mexican National Conservatory. In addition to Listen to the Birds, her previous works for The Secret Mountain include Simply Fantastic and Amazing Water. All have won Parents’ Choice and NAPPA Awards and acclaim from public radio hosts and literary critics. Illustrator Mauricio Gómez Morín has created several award-winning picture books and was the official spokesperson for the 36th International Children’s and Youth Book Fair in Mexico City.

A variety of creatures, from whales to wolves, cicadas to canaries, and even exotic animals like the sac-winged bat and the club-winged manakin, inspired Pedro Alcalde, the author of Animal Musicians. This 64-page “Audio Picture Book” includes information about the characteristics, habitats, and behaviors of 14 animal virtuosos, featuring humorous illustrations by Julio Antonio Blasco. Alcalde, a noted orchestra conductor, invites readers to travel across the globe to discover nature’s best musicians.

The colorful hard cover book includes information about each animal’s characteristics, habitat and behavior, along with a link hear them making their signature sounds in the wild. Alcalde is known for his soundtrack work for John Malkovich’s The Dancer. The book was originally published in Spanish and is available in this new English edition for the first time.

In October, The Secret Mountain will add to a growing collection of World Music titles with Songs in the Shade of the Cashew and Coconut TreesThis enchanting collection of 23 traditional songs and rhymes, collected by Nathalie Soussana, pays homage to the rich cultural heritage and multilingual communities of West Africa and the Caribbean. Jean-Christophe Hoarau arranged the 23 musical selections on the enclosed CD, hailing from many countries and cultures, including Gabon, Cape Verde, the Congo and Jamaica. Julie Gueyfier’s vibrant illustrations depict people and musical instruments.

Song lyrics appear transcribed in their original language and translated into English followed by extensive notes describing the cultural background of each song and a world map. The Secret Mountain’s World Music collection continues to be popular, with Songs of the Baobob (2011) one of the publisher’s best-selling titles that received a Children’s Africana Book Award.

The Secret Mountain is celebrating 19 years of publishing music-forward children’s storybooks, with a full catalog of English, French and Spanish books, e-books, and music distributed by Independent Publishers Group (IPG). Visit for the latest news.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Thank you for the post!