Piano Piano by Davide Cali, Eric Heliot |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Piano Piano
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Piano Piano

5.0 1
by Davide Cali, Eric Heliot
     
 
Marcolino practices his scales everyday at the same time. His mom hopes he will become a grand pianist, although Marcolino wants to be anything but. With Grandpa's help Marcolino finds a way to realize his own musical dreams . . . and learns his mom's true feelings about piano lessons.

Overview

Marcolino practices his scales everyday at the same time. His mom hopes he will become a grand pianist, although Marcolino wants to be anything but. With Grandpa's help Marcolino finds a way to realize his own musical dreams . . . and learns his mom's true feelings about piano lessons.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Review
Thanks to some grandfatherly intervention, young Marcolino avoids the hated piano to practice a more agreeable instrument in this pointed import. Plinking and plunking away out of guilt over his mother's claim that she practiced for hours when she was a child, Marcolino imagines using the piano for karate practice, or turning it into a formula-one racer or a modernist work of art. Relief comes at last when he complains to Grandpa, who reminds his mother (with a box of old snapshots) that she actually hated the piano, and then takes him to a music store to make his own choice. Marcolino, seen in the final two spreads happily tooting "Poo Poo Poo" on a massive tuba, sports hair lacquered into the shape of a comet's tail, which gives Heliot's crowded cartoon-and-collage illustrations a stylish, windblown look. Though framed as a tale for emergent readers, this actually has more to say to parents with selective memory who might be disinclined to give their children's preferences sufficient weight. - June 15, 2007
Publishers Weekly

Whenever Marcolino ditches piano practice, Mom pulls out her secret weapon: guilt. "When I was your age, I played for hours," she says wistfully, adding that her own aspirations to be a grand pianist were never realized. "After you were born, I didn't have time to practice," she sighs. That's enough to send a chastened Marcolino back to the ivories "for her" even though he'd much rather be "a grand Formula One racer or a grand firefighter" or any number of other grand professions. But Marcolino's sympathetic grandfather has a secret weapon of his own: a box of old photographs that reveal Mom was hardly the pianist she claimed to be-in fact, this family drama turns out to be a case of like mother, like son. "Mom's face turns red, as if a teacher were asking her why her homework wasn't done," twits Cali (I Can't Wait). The sharp text finds a soulmate in French illustrator Heliot's offbeat, angular ink drawings, arranged in compositions that take advantage of the book's short, horizontal format. A jaunty mélange of naïf stylings and retro graphic design references (Grandfather looks like he stepped out of a vintage poster), the pictures also brim with goofy detailing, like Marcolino's extreme geometric version of a pompadour. It all adds up to a highly satisfying uncovering of a parent's feet of clay. Ages 6-8. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Sharon Oliver
Every day, young Marcolino and his mother tussle over piano practice. Mom tells Marcolino that he will never be a grand pianist without practice and that she would have been a great pianist herself, but she did not have time to practice after Marcolino was born. Grandpa learns about the problem during his and Marcolino's weekly trip to the space museum. When Mom and Marcolino join Grandpa for lunch, Grandpa reveals a surprise for Mom—a box of pictures from her youth, including a photo of a very unhappy girl practicing her piano. The next day, Grandpa takes Marcolino to the music store, where the boy chooses a grand tuba, instead. The storyline here is wonderful, with a lesson for both child and parent on making choices, but the illustrations are what make this book stand out. Heliot's drawings are full of action, movement and interesting details. One particularly good two-page spread illustrates what Marcolino sees when he imagines his dreaded piano as all the things he would rather be—a racecar driver, a firefighter and a flying acrobat among others—while Mom is blown off the page by his imagination. A couple of quirks do give the reader pause. Marcolino has bangs that appear to be two feet long and stick straight out in front of him, making him look a bit odd. While Marcolino and Grandpa have soft, rounded lines, Mom is very straight and pointy and looks like she borrowed a bra from an early 90's Madonna. Her lack of proportion to her own anatomy and the other drawings make her seem very strange and a little off-putting, but the book is strong enough to overcome this weird Mom.
School Library Journal

Gr 1-2
Marcolino hates practicing scales, but does so because his mother wants him to live out her dream of becoming a grand pianist. His grandpa rescues him from this dreaded fate by reminding Mom how much she disliked playing the piano as a child and helping Marcolino choose a more appealing instrument-the tuba. Children suffering through a similar scenario may identify with the plot, but the ultra-mod style of Heliot's crisp color illustrations tends to overpower the story. Marcolino has overlong, stiff bangs and his mother is a tall, skinny woman with pointy breasts. Young children can more easily identify with Sharon Jennings's turtle in Franklin's Music Lessons (Kids Can, 2004). Beginning readers will find that Claudia Mills's Gus and Grandpa and the Piano Lesson (Farrar, 2004) is a more loving and realistic story.
—Martha SimpsonCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Thanks to some grandfatherly intervention, young Marcolino avoids the hated piano to practice a more agreeable instrument in this pointed import. Plinking and plunking away out of guilt over his mother's claim that she practiced for hours when she was a child, Marcolino imagines using the piano for karate practice, or turning it into a formula-one racer or a modernist work of art. Relief comes at last when he complains to Grandpa, who reminds his mother (with a box of old snapshots) that she actually hated the piano, and then takes him to a music store to make his own choice. Marcolino, seen in the final two spreads happily tooting "Poo Poo Poo" on a massive tuba, sports hair lacquered into the shape of a comet's tail, which gives Heliot's crowded cartoon-and-collage illustrations a stylish, windblown look. Though framed as a tale for emergent readers, this actually has more to say to parents with selective memory who might be disinclined to give their children's preferences sufficient weight. (Picture book. 6-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781580891912
Publisher:
Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
07/28/2007
Edition description:
New
Pages:
28
Product dimensions:
10.40(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
AD590L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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