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Meet the
Author & Illustrator

Author & Composer

Dan Brown

Dan Brown is the author of numerous #1 bestselling novels, including The Da Vinci Code, which has become one of the bestselling novels of all time as well as the subject of intellectual debate among readers and scholars. Brown’s novels are published in 56 languages around the world with over 200 million copies in print.

In 2005, Brown was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME Magazine, whose editors credited him with “keeping the publishing industry afloat; renewed interest in Leonardo da Vinci and early Christian history; spiking tourism to Paris and Rome; a growing membership in secret societies; the ire of Cardinals in Rome; eight books denying the claims of the novel and seven guides to read along with it; a flood of historical thrillers; and a major motion picture franchise.”

The son of a mathematics teacher and a church organist, Brown was raised on a prep school campus where he developed a fascination with the paradoxical interplay between science and religion. These themes eventually formed the backdrop for his books. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he later returned to teach English before focusing his attention full time to writing. He lives in New England with his yellow lab Winston.

Susan Batori, Illustrator

Susan Batori

Susan Batori lives in Budapest, Hungary, with her soulmate, Robert, and her cat, Kamilla. She studied graphic design at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts. Since 2013, Susan has been a freelance children’s book illustrator.

Q & A with Dan Brown

As a child, I loved the picture books of Dr. Seuss, with their zany creatures and silly poetry. With Wild Symphony, I wanted to create a similar magical world of pictures and poetry aimed at a new generation of young people, and I also hoped to take it one step further. Wild Symphony is very much a read-aloud picture book, but it also contains a surprising musical twist. For each of the animals in the story, I composed a unique piece of modern classical music—a short, fun composition that reflects that animal’s special personality—and through an exciting new technology, each animal’s music accompanies the illustrations and poems to create a fully immersive storytelling experience.

I grew up with classical music. My parents were trained musicians who chose not to have a TV, so instead I played piano, sang in choirs, and went to lots of concerts. Music was a secret sanctuary for me as a child. It calmed me when I felt frustrated, was a trusted friend when I felt lonely, helped me express my joy when I was happy, and, best of all, sparked my creativity and imagination. Even now, I play piano every day—usually after I finish a long day of writing.

I wanted to create a book that encourages young people to experience the power (and fun!) of listening to classical music. Using image recognition, the Wild Symphony book is able to “magically” perform the specific piece associated with each animal—whether that piece is upbeat and fun like “Bouncing Kangaroo,” reflective and calm like “Wondrous Whale,” or zany and silly like “Dancing Boars” or “Busy Beetles.” The music is also easily accessible through various streaming services so young people can listen anywhere and anytime. Ideally, the book will help spawn a new generation of people who appreciate classical music.

I love layered storytelling, and my novels always attempt to weave together varied themes. With Wild Symphony, I was excited to create a truly layered experience by using three different languages simultaneously—art, music, and poetry. In the same way that an opera captivates its audience by presenting beautiful sets, dramatic music, and lyrical drama, Wild Symphony strives to be an immersive feast for eyes, ears, and mind, all at the same time. And, of course, a HUGE part of that feast is the magical artwork of Susan Batori, whose illustrations seem to leap off the page with an irresistible sense of humor. I’m an enormous fan of Susan’s work, and I imagine a lot of young people will feel the same way very soon.

I have always enjoyed playing and composing music. Some years ago, I was out walking near a marsh and heard many different kinds of frogs all singing together—croakers, peepers, bullfrogs—and it sounded like a classical fugue to me. When I got home, I composed a little piece called “Happy Frogs,” and wrote a poem to go with it. I loved that creative process so much that I just kept going. Twenty animals later, Wild Symphony was born!

Absolutely! Please find the key below:

Woodbird Welcome – Flute
Bouncing Kangaroo – Timpani
Clumsy Kittens – Piano
The Ray – Triangle
Happy Hippos – Bass
Frogs in a Bog – Clarinet
Anxious Ostrich – Bassoon
The Armadillo’s Shell – Guiro
Dancing Boar – Tuba
Impatient Ponies – Tambourine
Wondrous Whale – Cymbals
Cheetah Chase – Cello
Eager Elephant – Trombone
Rat Attack! – Maracas
Busy Beetles – Marimba
Spider On A Web – Harp
Brilliant Bat – Bells
Swan In The Mist – French Horn
Cricket Lullaby – Violin