Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Gus and Grandpa and the Piano Lesson

Gus and Grandpa and the Piano Lesson

Claudia Mills
Illustrator:   Catherine Stock 
Fiction  Series
For ages 5 to 7
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004   ISBN: 978-0374328146

Gus really does not like practicing the piano and he isn?t having much luck making the piece he has to play sound the way it is supposed to. Gus is playing "The Horse Race" and it seems that his poor horse is always losing the race instead of galloping along.

Gus does his best in his recital and he only encounters one little glitch in the performance but he still doesn't seem to be able to get his heart into playing the piano. At least he doesn't until he goes to visit his Grandpa. Grandpa comes up with a great idea, bringing out his old violin and suggesting that Gus's daddy finds his old trombone so that he can also play. Soon there is a little concert going on in Grandpa's house, and Gus finds what he is looking for in the music. Best of all he gets to make the horse in his piece of music win the race.

Once again Grandpa comes to the rescue in this simple and reassuring chapter book. Claudia Mills tells a credible and sympathetic story about a boy's difficulties as he tries to learn to play the piano, and she finds a solution to his problems. With short chapters and an easy-to-read text, this is a wonderful book to read out loud and it will encourage beginner readers who are trying to read by themselves.