Reviewed by David Savage
Steiny is a Grand Piano. He is much bigger and grander than all the other pianos that live in the music shop with him. During the day, Steiny is extremely happy. Customers come into the shop and play with him, making music. But at night, after the shops closes, it’s a different story. The smaller pianos don’t give Steiny a chance to shine, they are mean and make fun of his size and his difference between them and him. He is very different from the smaller pianos and their bullying makes him sad.
But one night, Steiny decides to ignore the other pianos and finds a smaller room where he finds his own voice and finds out that he can make his own music, sing and dance. Steiny becomes a very happy Grand Piano.
Overall, Steiny’s Rhapsody is a great story about bullying and the importance of embracing diversity. It is a story aimed at children from 3 to 7 years old and is told in an easy to follow and understand way, with some rhyming.
The illustrations, by Nicola Anderson, are bright and vivid and really bring the story to life.
While the story is great and has a very important message, my favourite part of the book is in the back; it has a page of 6 questions (such as how many pianos, including Steiny, are there on page 5?). This involves the children in the book and helps test their understanding, observation and counting skills. Plus it also means they will be looking at the book longer and going through it more.
Also in the back is a page of definitions of musical terms that have been used in the book, which I think is a great idea as the terms are not ones that children would necessarily be aware of, so is a great way to help expand vocabulary.
While a very short story, it is easy to read (although will have some tricky words for younger independent readers), has a great message and is also fun with fantastic, expressive illustrations.
RRP: £7.99 (Paperback)
Available to buy from Amazon here.