The Cardboard Piano

by Lynne Rae Perkins

Debbie is learning to play the piano. Her best friend Tina wishes she could learn,... read more

Debbie is learning to play the piano. Her best friend Tina wishes she could learn, but her family doesn’t have a piano or keyboard. After Debbie’s teacher tells her about a famous composer who practiced on a pretend piano, Debbie makes a cardboard piano for Tina. Debbie is meticulous, and when she’s finally done the keyboard looks just like the one on a real piano. She can’t wait for Tina to use it. But the keyboard holds no magic for Tina, and a few days later she gives it back. Lynne Rae Perkins’s thoughtful picture book avoids high drama and instead offers marvelous insight as Debbie works through her hurt feelings and doubt by assessing what she knows about Tina, their friendship, and the things they like to do. Trying out the cardboard piano herself, she realizes that the best part—the music—isn’t there. Perkins story, which feature a biracial friendship, is told through the narrative as well as dialogue bubbles that are part of the marvelous, wonderfully detailed illustrations. (Ages 5–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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