88 Instruments
88 Instruments

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Annotation: A little boy can not choose which instrument to play, so he decides to try them all.
Catalog Number: #153140
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Illustrator: Thomas, Louis
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-553-53814-4 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-0095-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-553-53814-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-0095-5
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2015003014
Dimensions: 23 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
There's such a thing as having too many choices, a dilemma faced by the narrator of this inviting picture book. In the first scene, a boy in glasses stares through a shop window at multiple violins, saxophones, guitars, banjos, drums, and other instruments. He enters the shop with his parent to choose one of the 88 "pounding, surrounding, astounding, mound-of-sounding instruments." Knowing that he can take one home, he strikes, strums, blows, and plucks a variety of choices before he finds the one: a piano. Suddenly intimidated by the thought of 88 individual keys, he walks away. But he returns, pushes up his sleeves, and makes a good decision. Barton (The Day-Glo Brothers, 2009) writes with a flair for the sounds of words. The colorful language finds its match in Thomas' playful, free-spirited ink drawings with watercolor washes. With tiny feet and enormous heads, the stylized characters have expressive faces that are easy to read. An enjoyable encounter with musical instruments.
Horn Book
The sight of a music store's eighty-eight instruments has the effect of sugar on a child. But his parents are allowing him to select only one. How's a kid to choose? Barton's galloping rhymed text is a song unto itself that crescendos with the "plink!" of a piano, which wins the day. Thomas's loose-handed, jittery illustrations foreground the boy's attempts to play the many instruments.
Kirkus Reviews
Finding just the right instrument to play means a lively trip to the music store to try them all out.Of all the instruments that slide, squonk, blow, and honk, a young, white would-be musician must select just one. At first it's a little overwhelming to be surrounded by 88 instruments. Patient parents stand by as the child experiments with an accordion, bagpipes, triangle, saxophone, harp, and drums. The variety of musical sounds is reinforced by rhymes reminiscent of Dr. Seuss: "Do I pick the squeeziest? / The wheeziest? / The easiest and breeziest?" The rhythmic, onomatopoeic text dances across exuberant watercolors with lots of movement. Characters and instruments are lightly drawn and set against a white background to great effect. Musicians will anticipate the outcome of this exuberant adventure from the title, as the child discovers the one instrument that captures the range of musical possibilities—the piano. For a book that targets the musically inclined, it's unfortunate that design overshadows meaning in the cover art, where the title is backed by a bit of score that makes no musical sense, including two notes with ledger lines on spaces where they don't belong. The minor error can be overlooked in an otherwise delightful book.This celebration of a child's agency in choosing a means of artistic expression strikes just the right note. (Picture book. 5-8)
Publishers Weekly
It-s time to take up an instrument, and Barton-s young narrator, confronted with 88 options at the music shop, is overwhelmed. -How am I supposed to pick just one?- he asks, as his beaming parents look on. Each instrument, the boy discovers, has a distinctive, superlative quality: the accordion is -the squeeziest,- a triangle is -the easiest,- a trombone is -the slideyest.- Working in ink and watercolor, newcomer Thomas draws a young man so serious and eager that at one point he-s tackling four instruments simultaneously-it-s clear that no one will need to force him to practice. Ultimately, it-s the piano that strikes a chord, even with its 88 keys to master: -I-ll just learn it one note at a time,- he says. It-s a little disappointing that Barton (Mighty Truck) dodges why exactly the piano becomes the perfect choice for his hero, but the book is spot-on in a bigger sense: when music education works, it-s because instrument and student feel made for each other. Ages 3-7. Author-s agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator-s agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency. (Aug.)

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 A bespectacled boy is given the opportunity to learn an instrument, but when his parents bring him to a music shop, he has trouble choosing among his 88 options. What ensues is a playful exploration of sound and the vast (and cacophonous) world of musical instruments. The boy's overwhelmed parents follow him as he tries out the triangle, trombone, tuba, harp, and drums and everything else in between. Barton's use of superlatives results in a hilarious onomatopoeic romp through the shop: "Do I pick the squeeziest? The wheeziest? The easiest and breeziest? But how about the slideyestthe squonkiestthe blowiest?" The work's title might give away the child's eventual pick, but readers will have a fun time arriving at his final decision. While at first overwhelmed at having to master the 88 keys of the piano, the boy is determined to learn one note at a time. Thomas's watercolor illustrations accentuate the silly narrative, adding pizzazz and fluidity to the text. The warm browns and yellows evoke a place of comfortwhile the narrator is frazzled by his plethora of selections, he's secure in his ability to eventually choose. The illustrator's expressive line emphasizes each of the characters' reactions with humor and gusto. VERDICT A delightful offering for reading aloud, especially during music-themed storytimes. Shelley Diaz , School Library Journal
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (5/1/18)
Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (7/1/16)
Word Count: 199
Reading Level: 1.5
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 1.5 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 193021 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD410L
Guided Reading Level: N
Fountas & Pinnell: N

"The rhythmic, onomatopoeic text dances across exuberant watercolors with lots of movement. This celebration of a child’s agency in choosing a means of artistic expression strikes just the right note." --Kirkus 

"A delightful offering for reading aloud, especially during music-themed storytimes."
--School Library Journal

From New York Times bestselling author Chris Barton and new illustrator Louis Thomas comes a fun, rhythmic picture book about finding the music that is perfect for you!

A boy who loves to make noise gets to pick only one instrument (at his parents urging) in a music store, but there is too much to choose from! There’s triangles and sousaphones! There’s guitars and harpsichords! Bagpipes and cellos and trombones! How can he find the one that is just right for him out of all those options?

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