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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Lazlo is the new student in his class. He’s nervous and shy, but Amina, who sits next to him, instantly makes him feel welcome. When they’ve finished math and reading, they are led to the music room. Lazlo is very excited about learning to play an instrument, but when Miss Marmoset, the music teacher, teaches them to play the recorder, Lazlo discovers it’s not as easy as it looks. Sad that he can’t make it sound as beautiful as when the teacher plays, he breaks down into tears. Miss Marmoset comes to the rescue and helps him solve the problem.
Vicky Weber’s picture book story, Lazlo Learns Recorder, is a great way to introduce young readers to the joy of music and to learn some musical notation and some tips on how to play the recorder. The plot develops through Lazlo’s experiences at his new school, ending with the fun of making music with his new friend, Amina. The story is mostly narrated with dialogue and inner thoughts appearing in little bubbles. Music notation is introduced and explained, including two notes on the staff that are illustrated and defined by the music teacher. The lessons on playing the recorder are clear and concise without being too complicated for a young reader to follow. This book can be read for enjoyment or used as a learn-along book to learn how to play the recorder (or a little of both). I find it a refreshing way to introduce young readers to music and the wonders of making music together. There’s also a positive note on friendship and working together to support each other. A great musical tale.