MY FRIEND THE PIANO by Catherine Cowan

MY FRIEND THE PIANO

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A girl discovers the piano and starts composing in this entry from Cowan (My Life With the Wave), a very loose adaptation of a story by An°bal Menterio Machado. Although the piano and the girl are clearly soul mates, what is music to the girl’s ears is poison to her mother’s: “That is not playing. It’s noise.” The mother orders lessons, but both girl and piano balk at the routine and the stifling of their creativity. The practice sessions are flat or sharp or atonal, never fun or successful. When it looks as if a grandmother is going to come to live with them, the mother puts the piano up for sale, but it misbehaves for prospective buyers. Indeed, the piano, as a piano, can’t be given away; the woman who claims it plans to turn it into stripped and painted storage. The piano literally bristles at this outrage; Hawkes has ably and elegantly shaped the artwork for this book, in perfect concord with Cowan’s words. In the process of delivering the piano—the girl and her father are rolling it to its fate—the instrument, with the girl on top, makes its escape into the wide blue sea (she jumps off at the last minute). The piano serenades the girl with symphonies carried to the shore on breezes from distant climes while she composes “for pots and pans,” a musical undertaking that serves those wretched parents right. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-688-13239-1
Page count: 32pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1998




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