Topo’s Piano, by Harvey Stevenson | Dedicated Review
By Harvey Stevenson
iBook & App: 23 pages & 138 MB
Age Range: 2-6
Publisher: Gyophare Editions (September 28. 2014)
What to expect: Mice, Music, Friendships, Multi-Lingual Options, Interactive Technology, Vivid Images
Music is a beautiful form of artistic expression that can be used to awaken, articulate and access emotions in listeners and performers. Introducing this power of music is a gift to young children as they learn self-expression and begin to discover the many ways music surrounds us. In Topo’s Piano, these virtues are beautifully shared through a heartwarming story about the magic of music and friendship.
Music takes the center stage as we meet Topo, an adorable Parisian mouse who loves to create, perform, and listen to music. Topo lives in an underground drainpipe in the famed City of Lights where, every night, he emerges to listen to a “music man” play the piano. Listening to the music man brings Topo great joy, happiness and inspiration, so much so that Topo has built his own piano out of ordinary things he has gathered, including silverware, pencils, and sticks. Topo plays his makeshift piano for his own animal friends, who enjoy, appreciate, and are transported by, Topo’s musical talent. Then one day, a terrible rainstorm floods the city, and Topo’s piano is tragically lost, silencing Topo’s ability to make music. Topo solemnly walks the streets of Paris until he once again hears the beloved melody of the music man and discovers that sometimes the lights shine brightest after darkness.
Topo’s Piano includes narration in English, French, and Italian and is accompanied by lively music at the turn of each page. In addition, Topo’s Piano offers young readers the ability to interact independently through the app while still allowing plenty of opportunities for parents to spark conversations with children about the story and features. The pages are stimulating and interesting with vivid images and various activities throughout the book, including a feature that invites users to play on Topo’s makeshift piano. These features, along with the endearing story of Topo, encourages and inspires young budding musicians to create their own melodies and discover the many joys and gifts of music.
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