The Song for Everyone
Music has the power to move us emotionally and to connect us with others; it has a language that we are able to understand, to feel and to engage with even without a musical background or education. This charming and rather beautiful picture book captures that power in words and pictures.
The cover depicts a young boy standing in an open window, a small bird upon his shoulder, surrounded by a swirl of delicate floral designs making a path to the far corners of the cover. These images flow onto the endpapers encouraging the reader to stop and look at this restful design in muted colours.
The narrative follows this young boy as he walks sadly on his way to school. From an open window above him, the beautiful sound of music lifts his head and his spirits. Gradually throughout the quiet town, this happy sound spreads joy to the people who live there, the old, the young, the parents, everyone. Soon the joyful music has made them all care for one another, they share in peace and happiness. Then one day the music stops and the town falls silent and returns to its former gloom. Led by the young boy the people work together to put things right again and to ensure that the music returns to their homes and their streets.
This is an excellent example of words and pictures working together to tell a story. The visual depiction of music is cleverly done and the use of white space, vignettes and switches in perspective have the effect of encouraging the reader to slow down and engage further with the story.
This is a wonderful celebration of the healing that music can bring but it also highlights the way in which a community can, with cooperation and goodwill, work together for the greater good and well being of individuals. This would be a lovely book to share in the classroom to prompt discussion and it has a soothing quality of its own, much like that of music. It could also be used within a music lesson or assembly and its themes make it suitable for a wide age group.
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