It is an amazing feeling to receive a digital review copy of a book. That is to read and review a book before it reaches other readers. Hence I was elated when I received a review request from Chari Smith, author of the book The Piano. It is only recently that I seem to have developed an affinity for picture books. The reason is that behind the simple text and illustrations there is deeper meaning hidden in them.
It is Chari Smith’s first book and she nailed it. A beautifully illustrated picture book, The Piano, is written from the perspective of the Piano. The Piano is the main protagonist and the story is told from his view. It is a completely fresh idea wherein a story is narrated from the POV of an inanimate object.
The piano is an affable personality who immediately develops a strong bond with Katie, the little young girl who is his first owner. As she plays the keys for the first time, the piano is exhilarated and sounds his happiness in sweet notes. Katie practices daily on the piano and they become daily companions. Katie progresses in her musical accomplishments with her regular practice. The piano responds each time with pleasant notes as if the keys were his heartbeats matching the rhythm played by Katie. Katie grows up and moves away for college leaving behind the piano. It is covered in sheets engulfed in darkness. The piano feels extremely lonely and forlorn in her absence. There are no longer sweet notes in the air as the piano becomes silent. So what happens to the piano? Is he left behind forever never to be played again? Read the book to find out.
Chari Smith, though a first-time author has marvelously woven a story of friendship and lifelong learning. The story is written in a simple lucid language which makes it an enjoyable read. A delightful read for both children and adults. It speaks not just about the bond of friendship but also how a person grows in the right kind of friendship. There is also lifelong learning which is a never-ending process that develops character and strength.
Illustrations by Elle Smith add flair and charm as each page brings the story to life. I simply loved how the illustrator and author have shown Katie growing up with one key note at a time.
I recommend this book to everyone to add in their library and read aloud to the kids. Not just as a music lover but a lover of life and learning.