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Gus and Grandpa and the Piano Lesson Hardcover – August 26, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–A strong addition to a popular series, this story will capture the imagination and interest of anyone who has ever taken music lessons. Although he'd rather shoot hoops with his friend, Gus spends the required half-hour practicing the piano. With Grandpa's gentle encouragement, the boy makes it through his recital, but only comes to truly love playing the instrument when his family puts together an impromptu band later that day. The delightful relationships among the characters add to the charm of the book. The loving bond between Gus and his grandfather is apparent through their words and actions, and also through the soft, comforting illustrations. The interaction between Gus and his mother as she monitors his practice session rings true. Mills uses amusing metaphors and clever wordplay throughout the text. In the end, Gus learns that sometimes doing your best makes family members just as proud of you, if not more so, than when you demonstrate perfection. An engaging easy-reader.–Anne L. Tormohlen, Deerfield Elementary School, Lawrence, KS
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 1-3. Gus knows that practice makes perfect, but the truth is, the half hour he has to practice piano is the longest half hour of his day. In the tenth story in Mills' Gus and Grandpa series of chapter books, beginning readers follow Gus' path from reluctant piano student to nervous recital performer to family band member. In the happy grand finale, the whole family (including Grandpa on the violin) plays a song called "The Horse Race," and Gus finally understands what it means to have "music in his fingers." Stock's lovely, expressive, watercolor and pencil artwork perfectly complement this story about the joy of playing music and the reward of hard work. Plentiful illustrations, a large font, big margins, short sentences, and simple vocabulary ensure a reader-friendly experience, especially for children who are familiar with the agony and ecstasy of music lessons. Karin Snelson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 450L (What's this?)
  • Series: Gus and Grandpa
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st edition (September 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374328145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374328146
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #754,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Claudia Mills is the author of over 50 books for young readers. To write her books she draws on childhood memories of growing up in New Jersey as well as funny stories her two sons brought home from elementary school and middle school as they grew up in Colorado. She loves to visit schools, where she is always on the prowl for material that can make its way into a chapter book or middle grade novel.

Claudia is also a professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder, specializing in ethics and political philosophy, who has published many articles on philosophical and ethical themes in children's literature, including essays on the work of Maud Hart Lovelace, Eleanor Estes, Betty MacDonald, Louisa May Alcott, and Rosamond du Jardin.

All of Claudia's books have been written between 5 and 7 in the morning, while drinking Swiss Miss hot chocolate at her cozy home near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. She likes to write for an hour every day, watching little bits of daily writing grow into big piles of published books to share with children everywhere.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By proud parent on July 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very good book. Story line is supportive and true feeling for a boy learning to play the piano unless he has a deep love for the instrument. We enjoyed reading it with our boys.
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