Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool
Author: Elise Parsley
Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company
Magnolia ignores her mother’s warning and decides to play with a piano at the beach rather than a boat, a Frisbee or a shovel. Once the piano goes into the water, the tide sweeps it away. Instead of reeling in her piano, Magnolia catches something even better: a sea shell which serves as a boat, a Frisbee, and a shovel. Magnolia concedes that her mother is right and echoes the original advice, “If you ever want to bring a piano to the beach, DON’T!”
The narrative style of giving advice from a child in this story is reminiscent of another children’s classic If You Give A Mouse Cookie. One situation can lead to another and quickly escalate beyond a child’s control. This story does a great job of focusing on the good that can come from bad situations. The illustrations are expressive and delightful. What’s also interesting is that all the siblings appear to be from different ethnic backgrounds, thereby interweaving subtle messages of love and acceptance through a quirky children's story.