Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mus Musicus by Colin Hazlehurst

I saw this while browsing the kids' books for my Sony Reader and thought the cover and title were both clever. I bought it on impulse without realizing it was self-published. But it turned out to be a charming little book.

It follows a mouse family, the Muskers, who move into an abandoned house and make their nest in a piano. But the house doesn't stay abandoned for long. A woman with purple shoes has moved in--and soon after, a man arrives to tune the piano. The mice are terrified they'll be discovered, but at the same time they're fascinated by the sounds their home is making. Before long, the mice are imitating the music the purple-shoes woman plays.

It's a simple, sweet story for younger kids. It mostly follows Mr. Albert Musker's brother Charles and two of Albert's children, shy but observant Frances and adventurous George. I liked the mouse-eye view we get of the house and its furnishings, and the mouse-ish way the mice think. When Frances discovers what the pages of music are for, she explains to her family that the lines represent the piano wires while the notes represent where the mallets should strike the wires--a remarkably clever way to explain musical notation.

There's not a lot of tension in the book and what there is is small and not very scary: George struggling to climb all the way up the piano, Frances getting trapped behind a row of books, Charles deciding to show himself to the purple-shoes woman. It's perfect for younger, musical kids.

I almost said it's perfect for younger, musical kids who like mice--but everyone likes storybook mice.

B&N link (nook book)

No comments: