What do you get when you mix pots, pans, spoons, and some creative friends? Music!
On the first page of this book, an unnamed owl brandishes a pair of spoons and a pot and declares to a friend, “I’m making music!” So begins a tale of young bird children raiding the kitchen for instruments ranging from pot lids to spatulas to colanders until they form a riotous, joyful band. Delicately rendered in watercolor and ink, Stehr’s characters are colorful, juvenile birds whose facial expressions range from delighted to startled to disappointed. While the use of repeated onomatopoeia coupled with the children’s cooperation and creativity gives the narrative a playful momentum, the insertion of an adult character, the owl’s parent, interrupts the flow, ultimately making the ending feel abrupt and disjointed. Additionally, the book is a translation from the French, and in places the English feels stilted, particularly on the final two pages when the characters suddenly adopt a more adult intonation. The onomatopoeic words are playfully scattered on the page like popcorn, but by the end, they become so dense that it is difficult to read out loud.
Overall, a visually stunning book with a lively storyline whose final pages may leave readers puzzled. (Board book. 1-4)