Sunday 1 May 2022

Piano Fingers

Piano Fingers by Caroline Magerl (Walker Books) HB RRP $26.99 ISBN: 9781760652616

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

Bea comes from a ‘big musical family’. Her sister, Isla, plays the ‘honey fog’ violin, but Bea can only ‘bink’ on a triangle. When will her music start? Wandering the house, she discovers a piano that smells ‘gently of mouse’. She tries to play, and a ‘crashtinkle’ erupts from the instrument. Maestro Gus the cat promises Bea whole symphonies are hiding up her sleeves – she simply must ‘pick a key’. Suddenly, a ballad ‘of winter trees spinning barley sugar clouds’ blooms from Bea’s piano fingers.

Caroline Magerl’s words are nothing short of a textual melody. Dynamic descriptions dance and sing, spiralling from page to ear as the story is read aloud. Clever vocab choices and a lyrical rhythm ensure that readers aged three and older tune in to the sweet theme: everyone has their own special song to strum, but sometimes you need a little help to find the right notes.

Muted watercolours and pen-and-ink details harmonise beautifully in Caroline’s evocative illustrations. Small eyes will be mesmerised by the movement across the spreads and delight in delicate elements such as the feathery confetti and the crotchets that fall to the ground like tears. Kids are sure to adore the change in Bea’s confidence when she fashions a crown from sheet music and places it on her head.

A feast for the senses, Piano Fingers boasts a ‘sound more delicious than mulberries between your toes’. It serenades readers and listeners with a timeless tale that plucks at the heartstrings of youngsters who yearn to find their forte.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.