A PIANO FOR JULIE by Eleanor Schick
Kirkus Star

A PIANO FOR JULIE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Yes, just that--as simply and reverberantly managed as Schick's City in the Winter and City in the Summer, or Summer at the Sea. There is, if anything, less sense of life-on-exhibit (with one exception), along with more ""plot."" On Sundays, the littlegirl narrator and her family go to Grandma's, where ""Daddy plays the piano [he] played when he was young, like me."" ""Someday,"" he tells her, ""we'll get a piano too."" Soon her parents decide ""it's time."" A search for a used piano ensues. The movers are bringing it ""on Saturday."" Daddy gets down his old, cracked music books. ""We have our piano? Then, with no more authorial ado than before (and the same all-absorbing exactitude), Daddy shows her where to sit and how to play ""Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."" ""I play the notes till I know them by heart. I play them and play them until my fingers hurt. I want it to sound right. And then it does! It sounds like real music."" Later, Daddy will play too--with his shoulders, his arms, his back--while the moon rises over the city roofs. The soft, lightly shaded pencil drawings, on a faint, ivory-peach ground, have a like quality of hushed expectation. (The one cavil: an implicit stress on the family's Jewishness--six-pointed-star pendant, candelabrum, facial features--combined with total non-observance of the Sabbath.) An exceptional here-and-now overall--with delicacy, involvement, and depth.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1984
Publisher: Greenwillow