Sonata for Fish and Boy

Groundwood. May 2021. 32p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781773061610. K-Gr 2
K-Gr 2–Music has the power to transform life into a vibrant and magical wonderland. A young boy plays his violin on a bench beside a canal, his tune reaching the ears of a fish swimming nearby. When the boy lies down to take a rest, the fish launches itself out of the water, inviting the boy to join him in a whimsical dreamscape. Together, the unlikely pair soars through the air, exploring the far reaches of the universe. Time seems to have no bounds, and their friendship lasts long after their adventure ends. Watercolor and pencil illustrations are the focal points of this wordless picture book. Muted colors give way to richly pigmented hues as the story shifts from reality to reverie, coming full circle by the end. The boy has light skin and lives in a community that includes people presenting many different skin tones. As the title suggests, the progression of this story feels as though it could be depicting a true musical score, encompassing joy and exploration in a beautiful arc. Musical notes appear on nearly every page, emphasizing the sounds emanating from instruments all along the journey. Colorful endpapers set the tone for this visual adventure, juxtaposing the soft lines within the book while emphasizing the many colors seen throughout the story.
VERDICT This enjoyable, wordless story is a delightfully accessible tale for readers of all ages.

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