Piano Wants to Play

by Colleen Kong-Savage (Author)

Piano Wants to Play
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Lyrical text and whimsical collage illustrations evoke the magic and joy of music in this story about the enduring bond between a piano and a young musician.

Piano and Amy share a special bond. Piano loves to play music with Amy. And Amy loves Piano, too.

“Play me, Amy! Play me!” Piano calls. And they do. Every day they play and practice, testing notes and strengthening fingers. From notes to scales to warm, rippling melodies, together they make a joyful noise.

Making beautiful music takes time, and as Amy grows she has less time to play with Piano, until one day, she disappears entirely, leaving Piano abandoned and lonely. Longing to sing but growing less hopeful for Amy’s return, Piano fears the worst when moved to a strange new home. But this new home, Piano finds, is a school, and Amy is now a music teacher. Following a surprise reunion that is sure to delight young readers, they share the joy of music with the next generation.

With its portrayal of the lasting connection between instrument and musician, this heartfelt story will bring joy to the huge audience of young piano players and all who have known the uplifting power of music, highlighting the ways music brings us together and composes bonds that, like timeless melodies, endure and evolve.

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Kirkus Reviews

A tender invitation to rediscover old friendships and create new melodies.

Publishers Weekly

Vibrant, meticulously constructed mixed-media collage illustrations manifest a piano's "joyful noise" as it collaborates with a determined child musician in Kong-Savage's solo debut. When young Amy Lu, portrayed with black hair and goldenrod skin, first pokes Piano's keys, it answers "plink plink plink, random as raindrops"; as child and instrument practice together, however, they begin making music that's "warm, wiggly, and wonderful." But Amy becomes busy as she matures, and her younger brother's piano-playing career is brief and "joyless." Without a player, Piano becomes "just furniture, a skeleton, silent as a secret"--until two men load it into a truck for a new adventure with an old friend. Textural collage-style artwork skews perspective via rolling curves that explode with nature imagery. Sincere text utilizes alliteration and understated humor while highlighting the bond of musician and instrument, making Piano a POV character. Background characters are portrayed with various skin tones, some fanciful. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Copyright 2024 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

The evocative text and stirring story will win over readers while the mixed-media collages dazzle throughout [...]
—Kirkus Reviews

Colleen Kong-Savage
Colleen Kong-Savage hopscotched from country to country before settling in New York City, where she earned an MFA in fiction-writing and a black belt in taekwondo. She has a passion for dance, a phobia of driving, and superior skills in gingerbread cookie art. Her illustration debut, The Turtle Ship (Lee & Low Books) by Helena Ku Rhee, garnered a Freeman honor. She is a freelance illustrator/graphic designer, as well as a teaching artist, creating murals with kids of all ages.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Page Street Kids
Publication date
March 05, 2024
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV031040 - Juvenile Fiction | Performing Arts | Music
Library of Congress categories

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