One Sweet Song

Candlewick. Jan. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781536219814.
PreS-Gr 2–From windows, balconies, and rooftops, a neighborhood joins an impromptu symphony in Gopal’s warm, endearing picture book that begs to be read aloud. A young city girl at home hears a flute playing in a nearby building, inspiring her to join in with her triangle. Their two-person concert builds and builds until 10 different instruments from the surrounding blocks join in, using a variety of musical styles from around the world. A tender, smooth verse then counts readers back down from ten, as the day ends and the participants return to their homes. Sánchez’s illustrations give the story an additional inviting, lived-in feel, as if someone from that neighborhood has been sketching the event as it unfolds. Preschool and kindergarten teachers will find this title to be an easy fit for math lessons, and music teachers may even use One Sweet Song with students to identify the many instruments featured. This would work particularly well for a lesson on South Indian Carnatic music, elements of which appear throughout.
VERDICT A twist on the usual counting book that emphasizes community and the ways that music can bridge the distance between people.

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