Saxophone Sits Alone
by Jay C. Peterson

"Together, as a duet, Saxophone and Piano started to play. It was a sound that Saxophone had never heard before. It was… different."

Saxophone is being left out. Woodwind instruments do not want to play with her because she is made of brass and looks different. The brass instruments do not want to play with her because she does not have a brass mouthpiece. In despair, she finds Piano in the corner. Piano is also having a hard time finding someone with whom to play. Although they are different, the two instruments decide to try to play together. They realize that together they make a new sound. As the other instruments hear this new sound, they start partnering with different instruments and discover they can make new sounds too. They soon all realize that each instrument is unique and different and, by joining their differences, none of them need to be alone. They can create distinct sounds together.

Peterson's simple picture book has a lot to offer. The writing is clean, and the illustrations have charm. The personification of the instruments works well, and the repetition of the story structure will make it easy for young readers and listeners to follow. The message works as a general story about how our differences make us unique, and bringing our differences together can yield wondrous results. In addition, the tale also works for educators, especially music teachers, who want to teach a little about diversity while also having a vehicle to talk about basic similarities and differences in musical instruments. Many young readers will enjoy this story and find its structure makes it easy to come back to for repeat listens and retellings. Teachers and parents will also find good material for education and discussion.

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