Piano Recital
by Miyakoshi, Akiko






Akiko Miyakoshi was born in Saitama, on the island of Honshu in Japan. She began creating picture books while studying visual communication design at Musashino Art University. Her first picture book, The Storm, won the Nissan Children's Storybook and Picture Book Grand Prix.

Akiko Miyakoshi was born in Saitama, on the island of Honshu in Japan. She began creating picture books while studying visual communication design at Musashino Art University. Her first picture book, The Storm, won the Nissan Children's Storybook and Picture Book Grand Prix.





Momo is apprehensive as she prepares backstage for her first piano recital. Then she meets a tiny mouseling who is nervously readying for her own recital. Momo follows the mouse through a hole in the wall, emerging into a miniature version of the theater-with an audience full of anthropomorphic mice. There she forgets her fear in order to aid her little friend with her performance. It's not until the pair take their bows to a rousing ovation that Momo realizes she's in front of her human crowd. Miyakoshi (The Way Home in the Night, 2017) conjures an edgy magic through dense charcoal spreads. Momo's world is achromatic-color comes through only in the red of her dress and cheeks-until the mouse world introduces yellows and blues, as a series of circus performers lighten Momo's heart. The mice, anatomically realistic despite being dressed in human formalwear, capture a potentially unnerving duality of weird and wondrous, but their friendly role in helping Momo through her relatable fears will win over less-skittish readers. Grades K-2. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.





In this Japanese import, a child imagines a fantastical mouse theater as a means of overcoming her piano-recital anxiety. A glowering girl walks grimly forward on the title page, sheet music tucked under arm. Her red velvet dress, both celebratory and somber, reflects the duality of the occasion. As she repeats a calming mantra, she spies a "mouseling" doing the same. The latter invites the pixie-haired Momo—a young Japanese girl—to her mouse theater, where acrobats, dancers, and an orchestra perform. When it is the mouseling's turn to go on stage, Momo graciously offers to accompany her on piano. As they fill the hall with music and joy, Momo realizes she has actually played at her own piano recital, and she stands to the audience's applause. Using pencil, charcoal, and gouache, the artist uses a monochromatic palette to skillfully capture theatrical light and staging. Red and other, more-muted colors easily identify the protagonist and act as accents. As the fantasy world of mice and their performances is introduced, Miyakoshi's artwork opens up into a lavish rendering of an exquis ite mouse theater. Unfortunately, the visual density of the mouse world and the simplified interpretation of the human world—in particular the styling of Momo's face—are not seamlessly merged. However, the beauty of the mice and their environment is a feast for the eyes. A soothing, fanciful adventure for those fretting about an upcoming performance. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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