Friday, March 4, 2022

Review: The Piano by Chari Smith

When I was offered the ARC for today's read, I really, truly hoped it would win me over, since I spent most of my childhood, teen years, and more than a few beyond on a piano bench. And I was not disappointed (but I'm not saying more because that's what the review is for, right?)

So, today's review is for all of those music lovers out there, or those who dream of becoming a musician themselves. 

by Chari Smith
Illustrated by Elle Smith
Black Rose Writing
Picture Book
ages 4 to 8

The friendly piano is thrilled when a young musician named Katie first presses its keys. As Katie and the piano become daily companions, her musical skills grow and grow. Together they play beautiful music to match her every mood. But when Katie moves away for college, the piano is left behind, untouched and silent. What happens next helps the piano—and young readers—see learning as a never-ending cycle and music as a life-long source of joy.


AMAZON    /    B&N


The love of music and playing radiates from every page in this heart-warming tale.

The piano is so excited when a young girl sits down to play its keys. Bit by bit, the girl learns to play until her and the piano create the most wonderful music together. Then one day, the girl disappears. The piano waits and waits but is only remembered when a cloth is draped over it, and it's transported into the back of a truck. The poor piano has no idea what will happen next.

This is a story especially for young piano players or those who dream of learning to play.. But it will inspire anyone who dreams of playing an instrument. In some ways, it reminded my a bit of The Giving Tree. The piano enjoys growing with the girl as they create music together, and yet, there comes a time when she disappears. However, that's where the similarities end as this story heads in a completely different direction and has an entirely different message. Still, the warmth and connection to the piano touches the heart just as much.

The illustrations are very well done and vibrate joy and happiness...or loneliness, when needed. The music gleams from the page as if the reader could almost here it. The text is situated well for a read-aloud and fits the age group. There are a couple messages, which fit not only to playing the piano as it shows that time and practice is necessary to the learning process as well as to the building of a strong friendship.

And here they are...

Chari studied at Berklee College of Music and has been a writer/composer/pianist most of her life. She is also a published playwright -- Extraordinary Women from U.S. History: Readers Theatre for Grades 4-8 (Teacher Ideas Press/ Libraries Unlimited, 2003) and Little Plays for Little People (Teacher Ideas Press/Libraries Unlimited, 1996).  Her mini-musical “Book Club” was a part of the Portland Mini Musical Festival 2020. She is currently working on a musical, Freedom, based on the life of Moses. 

Elle is an award-winning artist, and enjoys writing music, cooking, and dancing. They live in Portland, Oregon, and enjoy spending time with family.

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