Monday, July 8, 2019

Review - Tallulah Plays the Tuba

Tallulah Plays the Tuba
by Tiffany Stone
illustrated by Sandy Nichols
Date: 2019
Publisher: Annick Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Tallulah is tiny, but the TUBA is not!

Tallulah isn’t big, but the instrument she dreams of playing sure is. Try as she might, tiny Tallulah keeps coming up short on how she can play the tuba in her school band. But with some perseverance and a lot of creativity, Tallulah hatches a plan that she hopes will turn her musical dream into reality.

Children will laugh along with this fun and engaging story featuring a diverse protagonist who takes matters into her own hands to solve a problem.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a cute book about a little girl who cleverly solves a problem. Just don't think about it too hard.

Many kids will be able to relate to Tallulah's dilemma. She really wants to do something, but she's just too small. In this case, she wants to play the tuba, but the thing is massive, so her music teacher tries to persuade her to play the piccolo instead. But the piccolo doesn't make that "oom-pah" sound, which is what Tallulah really loves. After trying all sorts of ways to make herself taller, Tallulah finally comes up with a solution... but first, she has to look at the problem in a new way.

I think what I'm struggling with here is the way the tuba is presented. It's not a normal tuba, which is only about three-and-a-half feet tall (which would be a struggle for a child to handle, but not downright impossible). The tuba in the book appears to be Big Carl (or some other massive novelty tuba), which calls into question its presence in an elementary school. Sharp-eyed readers will quickly notice that, even though Tallulah's solved the problem of reaching the mouthpiece, she still can't reach the keys... which means she technically still can't "play" the tuba. Perhaps the exaggeration is for comic effect, but any kids who have been around real tubas will be quick to call out the questionable size and proportion's of this school's tuba.

So this book gets points for showing a kid using creativity to solve a problem. But I kind of wish it had been more realistic. There are kids who play the tuba (one of my classmates played one in band when we were twelve), and they're going to have a hard time with this premise.

Thank you to NetGalley and Annick Press for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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