Monday, January 2, 2017

88 Instruments

88 Instruments
written by Chris Barton; illustrated by Louis Thomas
2016 (Alfred A. Knopf)
Source: Orange County Public Library

How am I supposed to pick just one?

Gazing into a music shop, a young boy counts 88 instruments. Mom and Dad tell him to pick one for now. Similar to getting a taste spoon at an ice cream shop, the boy tries out several instruments while unleashing a string of adjectives to describe each one. The accordion seems to be the squeeziest.  Blow into bagpipes and you'll get the wheeziest. After finishing with the rowdiest, an electric guitar, he walks over to a piano. Like Goldilocks with Baby Bear's porridge, this instrument is just right.  Initially overwhelmed by 88 keys, he rolls up his sleeves and takes on the keys one at a time. This is music to his parents' ears.

There are several applications that I can see making with 88 Instruments. Do you incorporate choice boards in your classroom? This would be a good book to read while you discuss how to make choices. Think about choosing books in your classroom library. I appreciate that the parents allow him plenty of room to find his muse. Incorporating literacy in a music classroom? I have just the book for you. And the adjectives! 88 Instruments has them like sprinkles on a doughnut. This will spruce up a writing mini-lesson. Finally, I love how the boy sees the piano as a challenge instead of something insurmountable. 88 Instruments will be a harmonious read-aloud in your classroom.

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