Gus and Grandpa and the Piano Lesson

Gus and Grandpa and the Piano Lesson

by Mills, Catherine Stock
     
 

The tenth book in Claudia Mills' beloved series

 

For Gus, the longest half hour of the day is spent practicing the piano. Why can't he be outside, shooting hoops with Ryan Mason? Even more painful are the lessons: Mrs. Moore complains about Gus's squishy fingers. But most painful of all is the piano recital. Gus has to play a piece

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Overview

The tenth book in Claudia Mills' beloved series

 

For Gus, the longest half hour of the day is spent practicing the piano. Why can't he be outside, shooting hoops with Ryan Mason? Even more painful are the lessons: Mrs. Moore complains about Gus's squishy fingers. But most painful of all is the piano recital. Gus has to play a piece called "The Horse Race," and he's not sure he will remember it.

 

As a child, Grandpa played the violin, so he knows exactly how Gus feels. Grandpa also knows about something Gus will love—making music with others—and once again he shows Gus the way in a story with pictures that "reflect the sunny warmth of loving connections passed across generations" (Booklist).

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Stock's lovely, expressive, watercolored pencil sketches perfectly complement this story about the joy of playing music...especially relevant to children who are familiar with the agony and the ecstasy of music lessons." — Booklist

"The loving bond between Gus and his grandfather is apparent through their words and actions, and also through the soft, comforting illustrations. Mills uses amusing metaphors and clever wordplay throughout the text. An engaging easy-reader." — School Library Journal

Children's Literature
This is another charming story about Gus and Grandpa, and this time it's about Gus's dreaded piano lessons and daily practices that last for a long half hour. He can't seem to get his piece right, "The Horse Race;" his horse keeps "stopping, and tripping and falling down." Grandpa sympathizes because he had to practice his violin when he was younger, too. When the recital arrives, Gus does well until he blanks out on the end, and his teacher quietly hands him his sheet music and Gus's horse limps to the finish line. But back home, his grandfather and father get out their old instruments and begin to play "The Horse Race," and by the end of several go-arounds, this family band even sounds pretty good. And the horse wins every time. The next-door neighbor, Ryan, hears the music and asks them to play it again. Stock's watercolors enhance the drama. The telling details in the text (Gus's tie is too long on the recital day), and Mills's gently humorous and metaphoric way with words make this a winner. It has both a positive message about practicing an instrument and about making music for fun, at least some of the time. It's the tenth story about Gus and his wonderful Grandpa. 2004, Farrar Straus Giroux, Ages 6 to 8.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A strong addition to a popular series, this story will capture the imagination and interest of anyone who has ever taken music lessons. Although he'd rather shoot hoops with his friend, Gus spends the required half-hour practicing the piano. With Grandpa's gentle encouragement, the boy makes it through his recital, but only comes to truly love playing the instrument when his family puts together an impromptu band later that day. The delightful relationships among the characters add to the charm of the book. The loving bond between Gus and his grandfather is apparent through their words and actions, and also through the soft, comforting illustrations. The interaction between Gus and his mother as she monitors his practice session rings true. Mills uses amusing metaphors and clever wordplay throughout the text. In the end, Gus learns that sometimes doing your best makes family members just as proud of you, if not more so, than when you demonstrate perfection. An engaging easy-reader.-Anne L. Tormohlen, Deerfield Elementary School, Lawrence, KS Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374328146
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
09/13/2004
Series:
Gus and Grandpa Series
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 8.82(h) x 0.44(d)
Lexile:
450L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Claudia Mills and Catherine Stock have collaborated on the entire Gus and Grandpa series, including the ALA Notable Book Gus and Grandpa at Basketball. The author lives in Boulder, Colorado, and the artist lives in New York City.

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