We love reading in our house, especially now that one of the twins is independently reading books. So this month the twins were delighted when Steiny’s Rhapsody by Tamara Alireza arrived. It is a children’s story about bullying and the importance of embracing diversity.
Steiny is a Grand Piano and he lives in a music shop with lots of other instruments including some smaller pianos. During the shops opening hours Steiny is very happy, this is because customers come into the shop and play with him, making music. But at night, once the shop has closed, it’s a different story. Steiny is different from the other pianos in the shop, he is bigger and looks different, so the smaller pianos bully him.
One night, Steiny decides to ignore the smaller pianos, finds a smaller room where he finds his own voice. Not only can he make music, he can also 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 aimed at children aged between 3 and 7 years old. It 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 highlights the issues of bullying, 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 engaging with 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 it 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.