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

Tuesday 12 March 2019

Review: The Trouble in Tune Town

Music should be a joy for kids, but the pressure of music practice and performance can make some children lose the pleasure that music brings.

In this delightful picture book, Meg is Tune Town’s best performer. She’s practising for the big concert, but nothing is going right. The notes sound wrong, her fingers are tense, and the tune comes out ‘sluggish and sticky’.

In fact, Meg is so upset by her terrible practice that she tells the notes that if they can’t behave, they should just go away…

But you can’t have a concert without notes, can you?

The engaging story cleverly integrates musical concepts, whilst bringing children on a fun musical journey towards Tune Town’s big concert. The book bounces along with an upbeat rhythm and rhyme, exploring different instruments such as flute, piano to tuba as well as musical styles, beats and terminology.

Norsa’s expressive illustrations clearly show us Meg’s frustration as she tries to blow, toot and play. As Meg’s despondent notes fly off her music sheet in search of a new home, they try out different styles such as jazz and rock ‘n’ roll but none of them feel right. What will it take for the notes to come home?

The story engages kids in the joy of music to show them that you don’t have to stress and worry about the perfect practice. If you relax and smile, the notes will come together and make a great song, even if it’s not the perfect one.

I love the positive theme and subtle educational components interspersed through the book. Key musical terminology is highlighted in different fonts and colours, with a glossary at the back for those who want to further explore their meanings. Teaching notes are also available to support discussions in the classroom.

This is a great book for reading with lower primary students, many of whom are embarking on their first music lessons and concerts. It reminds them that there is pleasure and fun in the music itself, it's not all about the outcome.

Title: The Trouble in Tune Town
Author: Maura Pierlot
Illustrator: Sophie Norsa
Publisher: Little Steps, $24.95
Publication Date: May 2018
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781925545333
For ages: 4 - 8
Type: Picture Book