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Nana Hannah's Piano
     

Nana Hannah's Piano

by Barbara Bottner, Diana Cain Bluthenthal (Illustrator)
 
What's a first baseman to do when his mom makes him practice the piano after school instead of fielding grounders? Even his piano teacher says he's hopeless. His Nana Hannah says that Sonny should do whatever he likes--just like her. But when Nana Hannah twists her ankle while doing the tango at the Rhapsody Ballroom, Sonny decides she's the one who needs cheering up.

Overview

What's a first baseman to do when his mom makes him practice the piano after school instead of fielding grounders? Even his piano teacher says he's hopeless. His Nana Hannah says that Sonny should do whatever he likes--just like her. But when Nana Hannah twists her ankle while doing the tango at the Rhapsody Ballroom, Sonny decides she's the one who needs cheering up. Full color.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-"After school, when I want to be at softball practice, I have to sit down at the piano instead." The fact that the narrator's music teacher is grouchy and critical doesn't help, and his mother won't let him quit his lessons. What helps is Nana Hannah next door: her tango lessons, her twisted ankle, and, most importantly, her relaxed, no-pressure attitude. By the end of the story, the boy has blossomed naturally into a player-of both baseball and piano-and actually enjoys both. While not universally as appealing as Bottner's Bootsie Barker Bites (Putnam, 1992, which was helped by Peggy Rathmann's superlative artwork), this fresh story is nicely told and delivers its message without a lot of preaching. Bluthenthal has a light comic touch, a controlled graceful line, and a clear eye for color. Her nana looks like a cross between Olive Oyl and a Hilary Knight character. While the look of this book is a little young for kids old enough to have a problem like this, it is nevertheless an amusing take on a fairly common predicament.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Piano practice is the bane of a boy's existence. He'd rather be playing the infield, but his mother is absolute about piano lessons: "We don't have quitters in this family." Only his tango-dancing Nana Hannah, with whom he spends a week while her sprained ankle heals, seems to know how to nudge him toward the ivories: She takes an interest in baseball, and he is inspired by her love of music. When they sit together and bang out a four-handed duet of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," the boy's diamond buddies, peeking through the window, go wild.

Sharing, caring, and a patch of common ground—Bottner (Hurricane Music, 1995, etc.) knows the ingredients, and fashions them into a minor ode to encouragement. Bluthenthal's brashly cartoonish illustrations are technically sophisticated, particularly nice in the swooping lines of Nana in tango mode.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399226564
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
08/26/1996
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.28(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Barbara Bottner is the author of more than 36 books. She lives in Los Angeles.

Michael Emberley has been writing and illustrating children’s books since 1979. He lives in Ireland.

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