Adam and His Tuba

NorthSouth. Feb. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9780735844971.
K-Gr 4–A story about talent that’s all in the family, but not in the way the family expects. Adam is the youngest child of a multigenerational circus family who takes their show to audiences far and wide to great acclaim. Every member has a role, starting with Adam’s grandparents and continuing all the way down to include his siblings. Everyone but Adam, it seems. The circus just doesn’t interest Adam, a fact that befuddles his family who believe that the circus is in their blood. They try to coerce him into joining to no avail. They do not, however, ask him why he is reluctant to be part of the family business. As they discuss the problem among themselves, they hear music coming from one of the circus wagons. It’s then that they discover Adam with his tuba, and he is making beautiful music. When they realize Adam’s talent, he and his tuba join the circus after all. The striking artwork immediately pulls in readers. It is reminiscent of vintage circus troupes’ advertisements with sepia tones that capture the vision entirely. It is stylized, sharp, and completely engaging, and could give rise to a conversation about the use of posters as art, for politics, and in advertising.
VERDICT This tale from two talented Slovenian creators will make a lovely addition to libraries seeking unusual international fare in books and those needing books on kids who beat their own drum.

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