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96 pages

Pub Date

Sep 8, 2021



Age 5+

Once Upon A Tune

Stories from the Orchestra

By James Mayhew

Six wonderful stories that inspired world-famous music, accompanied by brilliant illustrations

Once Upon a Tune brings you six wonderful stories from many lands, all of which inspired great music. You can battle trolls with Peer Gynt if you go In The Hall of the Mountain King; grapple with a magic broom in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, meet the evil Witch of the North in The Swan of Tuonela, sail the seven seas with Sinbad the Sailor in Scheherazade; be a prince disguised as a bee in The Flight of the Bumblebee and become a fearless hero in William Tell.

The stories are excitingly told and stunningly illustrated by James Mayhew, who is famous for bringing live classical music, art and storytelling to families across the UK.

There are also Musical Notes where you can find out more about the stories and music, plus James’s recommended recordings to download and listen to.



with free UK delivery from our shop


"A gorgeous gift book of six stories which inspired world-famous music…vibrantly illustrated in Mayhew’s own full-colour art. The book includes Musical Notes on works and composers"

Fiona Noble - The Bookseller

"A glorious, magical, lyrical book full of thrills and wonder and magic! Just look at the artwork!"

The Reading Realm (via Twitter)

"A vibrant collection...This book is a rich introduction to international fairytales and to classical music."

Nicolette Jones - Sunday Times

Explorer Notes: Once Upon A Tune


Click image to download resource

James Mayhew

Author and Illustrator

James Mayhew is an internationally acclaimed author, artist and storyteller whose books reflect his passionate advocacy of the arts for young children. His imaginative Katie series invites readers to step inside famous paintings, Ella Bella Ballerina explores classic ballets, and other works feature folk tales and stories from opera and Shakespeare. James Mayhew lives in Baldock, Hertfordshire.


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