Monday, August 20, 2007

Piano Piano

Piano Piano by Davide Cali, illustrated by Éric Heliot, Charlesbridge, 2007
First published in France in 2005

When Charlesbridge offered me a chance to see some books from their catalog I was immediately drawn to the cover of Piano Piano. Heliot's strong opening image of a kid running down a keyboard just, well, struck a chord.

Marcolino practices the piano for several minutes a day. He would rather be doing ANYTHING else than playing the piano. When his mother tells him of her own missed opportunity of becoming a grand pianist, Marcolino practices for her. A visit with his grandfather reveals an interesting truth about his mother's piano dreams and helps him find the musical instrument that really defines him.

Héliot's illustrations give the story the perfect comic touch. His seemingly simple drawings convey the character's emotions perfectly. Marcolino's face as he sits at the piano is very familiar.

This story brought back such memories of my own childhood piano lessons and adult regrets of wishing I had practiced more. It also evoked parental memories of herding my own children back to the piano bench.

This book is for kids who are looking for their own musical instrument and parents who express their own dreams through their children.

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