Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

In this beautifully written picture book, Hana Hashimoto has signed up to play her violin at her school’s talent show. The trouble is, she’s only a beginner, and she’s had only three lessons. Her brothers insist she isn’t good enough. “It’s a talent show, Hana,” they tell her. “You’ll be a disaster!” Hana remembers how wonderfully her talented grandfather, or Ojiichan, played his violin when she was visiting him in Japan. So, just like Ojiichan, Hana practices every day. She is determined to play her best. When Hana’s confidence wavers on the night of the show, however, she begins to wonder if her brothers were right.

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Summoning The Phoenix

Every musician knows that learning to play an instrument has its challenges and its rewards. There’s the embarrassing first day of rehearsal, but also the joy of making friends in the orchestra. There’s dealing with slippery concert dress, or simply getting swept up in the music. The twelve children in this book are just like any other musicians practicing their instruments and preparing for a concert. But what sets these music lovers apart is that they all play traditional Chinese musical instruments in a Chinese orchestra.

The Little Golden Lamb

In this joyfully retold Hungarian version of “The Golden Goose,” a shepherd lad befriends a lamb whose fleece is the color of gold. The lad and the lamb set off on a journey, with the lamb dancing and frolicking as the boy plays his flute. Along the way they meet one person after another who tries to put an end to their merriment, but soon enough each has no choice but to join the cheerful procession and help the shepherd boy win his fortune and fulfill his destiny. Whimsically illustrated in delicious colors, this lively tale about the magic of music and the infectiousness of a light heart will have young children ready to join in the celebration.