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Reviewed by:
  • Clarinet and Trumpet by Melanie Ellsworth
  • Natalie Berglind
Ellsworth, Melanie Clarinet and Trumpet; illus. by John Herzog. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021 [32p]
Trade ed. ISBN 9780358107477 $14.99
E-book ed. ISBN 9780358330721 $9.99
Reviewed from digital galleys R 5–8 yrs

Clarinet and Trumpet are best friends, making music together and looking out for each other when mouthpieces go missing or reeds get split. When Oboe enters the scene, Clarinet has more in common with the new instrument, leaving Trumpet untuned in the dust: “Their friendship fell flat.” Clarinet competes with Trumpet by additionally befriending Flute and Bassoon, and French Horn and Tuba join Trumpet and Trombone until there’s a true cacophony on their hands. Finally, Saxophone enters the scene and eases tension by being both a brass and a woodwind instrument, and Clarinet and Trumpet make up in time for the instruments to all play together. Music aficionados and pun aficionados alike will appreciate the many musical puns interspersed throughout the text (“Clarinet, you’re sharp!”). The digital art is somewhat unremarkable, emulating the style of many Nick Jr. shows with the instruments given cartoonish eyes and stick-person appendages, but it still could be useful for youngsters learning to differentiate musical instruments. The final copy will come with a shaker, allowing viewers to shake the book and participate in the instruments’ cacophony.



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