Piano Fingers

Piano Fingers
Caroline Magerl
Walker Books

Adorably quirky and absolutely magical is this latest Caroline Magerl picture book.

Little Bea comes from a musical family. Her self-confident and a trifle bossy big sister, Isla, creates beautiful music on her violin (her honey fog machine) while Bea, dissatisfied with the bink, bink, bink sound she makes with her triangle, casts it aside and goes to search for something with more potential on which to express her latent talent.

What she discovers is a piano, but despite being ‘a baby mountain’ it doesn’t play the sweet music that Bea yearns for. “The world is not ready for my genius” she declares. However, up steps the encouraging Maestro Gus with his, “There are whole symphonies up those sleeves. All you have to do is …pick a key. And with a plink there comes ‘the sound of an icy tear falling from a star.”

The music swirls forth as ‘A song of winter trees spinning barley sugar clouds for springtime.’ – what a wonderfully sparkling debut. But while Maestro Gus may have helped Bea discover her talent, she subsequently sends him packing outside into the rain in the ‘moth foggy dark’.

Eventually, back indoors, the three music makers, Isla, Bea and Maestro Gus come together before the Maestro retires for the night.

Their music making will assuredly enchant young listeners to this lyrical story from a hugely talented picture book creator, whose words embody musicality and when read aloud, are as mellifluous as the sounds one imagines emanating from the sisters’ instruments.

A subtle exploration of finding one’s own talent that should act as an encouragement to children to persevere, work hard and follow their passions.

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