The Late Movies: Children's Book Trailers

Last month, I shared 10 wonderful book trailers. Tonight, I have 10 more great book trailers to share, but this time, they're all for younger readers: picture books, middle grade books, and young adult books. Enjoy!

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Published by Scholastic, September 2011

Anne Frank: The Graphic Biography by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón

Published by Hill & Wang, July 2010

Blackout by John Rocco

Published by Disney Hyperion, May 2011

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Published by Feiwel & Friends, May 2011

The Insomniacs by Karina Wolf and The Brothers Hilts

Published by Putnam, August 2012

1000 Times No! by Mr. Warburton

Published by HarperCollins, May 2009

Perfect Square by Michael Hall

Published by Greenwillow Books, March 2011

NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue & Defense Society by Michael Buckley

Published by Amulet Books, September 2009

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Published by Simon & Schuster, October 2009

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Published by Scholastic, October 2011

Stradivarius Violins Get Their Distinctive Sound By Mimicking the Human Voice

Italian violinist Francesco Geminiani once wrote that a violin's tone should "rival the most perfect human voice." Nearly three centuries later, scientists have confirmed that some of the world's oldest violins do in fact mimic aspects of the human singing voice, a finding which scientists believe proves "the characteristic brilliance of Stradivari violins."

Using speech analysis software, scientists in Taiwan compared the sound produced by 15 antique instruments with recordings of 16 male and female vocalists singing English vowel sounds, The Guardian reports. They discovered that violins made by Andrea Amati and Antonio Stradivari, the pioneers of the instrument, produce similar "formant features" as the singers. The resonance frequencies were similar between Amati violins and bass and baritone singers, while the higher-frequency tones produced by Stradivari instruments were comparable to tenors and contraltos.

Andrea Amati, born in 1505, was the first known violin maker. His design was improved over 100 years later by Antonio Stradivari, whose instruments now sell for several million dollars. "Some Stradivari violins clearly possess female singing qualities, which may contribute to their perceived sweetness and brilliance," Hwan-Ching Tai, an author of the study, told The Guardian.

Their findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. A 2013 study by Dr. Joseph Nagyvary, a professor emeritus at Texas A&M University, also pointed to a link between the sounds produced by 250-year-old violins and those of a female soprano singer.

According to Vox, a blind test revealed that professional violinists couldn't reliably tell the difference between old violins like "Strads" and modern ones, with most even expressing a preference for the newer instruments. However, the value of these antique instruments can be chalked up to their rarity and history, and many violinists still swear by their exceptional quality.

[h/t The Guardian]

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