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by Chieri Uegaki

illustrated by Qin Leng

Summary

From School Library Journal:

K-Gr 2—During a summer visit to Japan with her older brothers, Hana Hashimoto listens attentively to the music of her grandfather. Each day, Ojiichan practices classical music he performed as a violist with a symphony, and in the evening, he creates sounds like crickets chirping or raindrops falling on umbrellas. Back home, Hana starts studying violin and after only three lessons signs up for the school talent show. Despite her brothers’ teasing, she practices diligently and overcomes last-minute jitters for a unique performance of sound effects that are inspired by Ojichan’s playing but that definitely are her own creations. This low-key story melds a number of themes without didacticism. Hana’s determination, hard work, and creativity are bolstered by her connections to her grandfather and supportive parents. Even her brothers ask for after-dinner encores following her success. Leng’s illustrations incorporate musical notes that link the lives of the grandfather and granddaughter. The illustrations also capture Hana’s emotions, particularly during the talent show. First, the stage stretches endlessly before her until she spots friends and family in the audience, then she imagines Ojiichan’s encouraging presence. The quiet story would make a fine addition to most libraries.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University Library, Mankato

Topics

1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, Ages 4-8, Family, Japanese-American, Kindergarten, Music, Preschool