We Light Up the Sky with Music!

Peachtree. Jan. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781682636077.
PreS-Gr 2–Maland shares the experience of budding musicians around the world: learning a new instrument. Old Bear and Little Bear are tired of being cooped up in their city apartment, so they brave the blustery weather for a walk. Along the way, they find a saxophone in the trash. They take it home, fix it up, and Old Bear slowly learns to play. After Old Bear’s eventual success, they gift Little Bear a horn and the learning process begins anew (much to the neighbors’ chagrin). With the exception of Old Bear managing to clean and mend a saxophone but unable to play a single note, the plot is crisp and comforting. Maland’s illustrations, a combination of pen and pencil work with digital color, combine structured architectural patterns with fluid, abstract shapes depicting evolving music. The all-animal cast provides fun details and their reactions help to communicate the bears’ varying levels of musical prowess.
VERDICT A sweet story with a classic feel. A general purchase for larger collections.

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