Guess what?’ Rosie cried. ‘I’ve been picked for the school band. I’m going to get an instrument.’ she flapped a note at her mother. She danced around the kitchen. ‘It says there’s going to be a meeting. You and Dad need to go and hear all about it. So do I!’
Rosie is very excited when she is chosen to join the junior school band. She fancies herself a flautist and dreams about being the best flautist in the world. She’s prepared to practice every day. But at band practice, Mrs Thomas hands her a tuba, because Rosie is tall and has long arms and fingers. Rosie decides she wants to be the best tuba player in the world. But there are a few details to sort out first. She needs to work out how to get the tuba to and from school for band practice. Rosie must convince her brother Michael that she doesn’t sound like a ‘sick elephant’. Then a new boy starts at school. Ryan is taller than Rosie, and he wants to join the band too. Rosie is worried that her career as a tuba player will be over before it’s even begun.
Rosie is a determined and enthusiastic character, happily adapting to learning a different instrument than she’d imagined. She works hard to discover a solution to getting the tuba to school and only falters when it seems she might not get to play it after all. Her enthusiasm, anxiety and diligence are nicely balanced in this realistic dilemma. Teachers and family, even siblings, offer to help her out, but this heroine finds her own solution. Oom Pah Pah! is realistic about the commitment required to be a band member and the challenges faced by those who play some of the larger instruments. It also sends clear and positive messages about reward-for-effort and the joy that playing in a band can bring. Recommended for lower-mid primary readers.
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Oom Pah Pah! Cecily Matthews & Mitch Vane
ABC Books 2007