Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Piano Piano

Piano Piano

Davide Cali
Illustrator:  Eric Heliot 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Charlesbridge Publishing, 2007   ISBN: 978-1580891912

Every day at 3:00, except on Fridays, Marcolino sits in front of the piano and he practices his scales. By 3:13 Marcolino has had enough, and he switches on the TV to watch cartoons, which is when his mother comes in and tells him to “Get back to the piano now!” Marcolino hates to practice the piano, but he does it to please his mother. She wanted to be a “grand pianist,” and now she wants Marcolino to practice so that he can be a “grand pianist.” The problem is that Marcolino does not want to be a grand pianist at all.

On Fridays, Marcolino’s grandfather takes him to the science museum, and on this Friday Grandpa asks Marcolino why he likes going to the same museum week after week. Marcolino explains the museum is better than being at home because at home he has to practice so that he can become a “grand pianist.” Marcolino explains that he has to fulfill his mother’s dream, which is when Grandpa decides that he needs to set the record straight once and for all.

This picture book is the kind of title that speaks to both children and adults. Young readers will love the way Marcolino’s piano problem is solved, and parents will receive a gentle reminder of the danger of forcing their children to do something they hate doing. Wonderfully quirky multimedia illustrations compliment the meaningful and often amusing story.