What happens when musical instruments can't make the sounds we expect them to make? Is music still possible? An uplifting picture book based on a true story.
The schools of Philadelphia were filling up with broken violins, drums, pianos, and more, making it difficult for students to learn to play. This sparked an idea for a symphony, played entirely with the broken instruments, that would raise funds to repair the instruments themselves. Musicians young and old volunteered, and their captivating performance showed that even something broken can sing--and that great music is always possible with a bit of inventiveness and improvisation. Based on real events, this inspiring story introduces young readers to a range of instruments as it celebrates a community coming together to make a joyful, meaningful noise. More information about the nonprofit organization Broken Orchestra can be found in the back matter, including a link to an audio recording of the symphony performance.
The music-filled city of Philadelphia resounds with "sharp noises and dull noises and funny noises and sad noises," some of them made by the musical instruments of school children. But when instruments are damaged and abandoned, "away they go"--until a local artist decides to play the broken objects "in new and creative ways" ("Just because something is broken doesn't mean that it can't also be beautiful"). The figures in Millward's digitally rendered illustrations reflect contemporary Philadelphia's racial and ethnic diversity, while bold yellow highlights pop from the saturated palette, emphasizing musical instruments and onomatopoeia. Ignatow's reiterative, sound-focused text builds toward the final symphony, which readers can view at a provided video link. Back matter also includes a note from the person behind the symphony. Ages 6-9. (Oct.)Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.