'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Review: Piano Piano

Oh how I love different! Oh how I love retro! Oh how I love clever! And how I love Davide Cali – my new favourite author. Wilkins Farago publish many of this talented author’s books here in Australia, and it’s clear to see why.

You see... the author is psychic.

It’s seems Mr Cali has infiltrated my house via mental telethapy, because Piano Piano is really about my daughter. The one who begged until she was purple until we invested in a piano – and the same one WE begged until WE were purple to complete her daily practise.

Hmmm. It seems the young lad – Marcolino – in Piano Piano, is not alone when it comes to piano-commitment. But the young lad persists because, you see, his mother always wanted to be a great pianist but she didn’t have the time to practise after Marcolino was born… (cue violin).

Talk about a guilt trip. Poor Marcolino therefore continues to practise and work towards his mother’s great dream, even though he’d really rather be…

…a great fireman…

…a great pirate…

…a great aerial acrobat…

…a great magician…

…a great anything other than a great pianist.

That’s where Marcolino’s grandfather steps in. When the lad reveals his desire to avoid piano greatness at all costs, Grandfather most cleverly invites his grandson and daughter to his house for lunch, where he presents Marcolino’s mum with photos of when SHE was little and wanted to be…

...just about all the things Marcolino wanted to be. And a great pianist was not one of them.

It seems the memory of a parent is certainly distorted over time. Just like my own frustrations with my daughter flipping between wanting to be a flute-player/ballerina/horserider/pianist/gymnast/tennis ace/girl guide/roller-blader/jazz dancer/violinist… and committing to nothing… it’s easy to forget I once did the same thing.

Exploring the world and trying a variety of hobbies, sports and interests is what children inherently do – and need to do – and Cali perfectly presents this in Piano Piano. Warmly and humorously written, stunning, retro-style illustrations by Heliot superbly complement and heighten even further the cleverness of this tale.

This gorgeous and visually striking book is a must-have for children’s book collectors… and for all children who have an interest in becoming something great.

Title: Piano Piano
Author: Davide Cali
Illustrator: Eric Heliot
Publisher: Wilkins Farago, A$24.99RRP
Publication Date: August 2008
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780980416534
For ages: 3-10
Type: Picture Book

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