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The Cardboard Piano [With DVD]

When Debbie gives Tina a cardboard piano, she is sure that Tina will love it. After all, Debbie spent a long time making it, and it looks just like a real piano. Now Tina can learn to play, too. It will be so amazing.But just because you are friends with somebody, and just because you are the same in most ways, doesn't mean that you will always see eye to eye.Friendship can be tricky. Really, really tricky. Even for true best friends. Even for Debbie and Tina.
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Gr 1-3-The course of true friendship does not always run smooth, as Debbie and Tina discover. Although the girls enjoy rolling down hills, sleepovers on the lawn, riding bikes together (no-handed), they don't always agree on how to spend their time. That predicament reaches a crisis when Debbie, who's taking piano lessons, makes a cardboard keyboard for her friend so that the two of them can play duets. Tina gives it back-citing a lack of interest-and Debbie is crushed. Ultimately, the girls make up and by story's end their ongoing companionship is back in full swing. Perkins's "cardboard piano" derives from an incident (related briefly on the copyright page) about the celebrated composer Sergei Rachmaninoff who practiced on a silent piano while crossing the Atlantic. While the connection is a bit esoteric, it is handled in a totally child-centric way. However, the introduction of a new character on the last several pages seems contrived to make things right. Still, the necessity of understanding differences between friends may hit the right chord when needed most or work well in group situations where the message can be gently absorbed. Perkins's clear-toned watercolors touched with pen lines attractively appear in varied-sized spot illustrations. And the conversation bubbles that she injects in addition to the ongoing narrative nicely carry the story forward. The book includes a DVD, animated and narrated by the author.-Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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