Review: Accordionly

Author: Michael Genhart
Illustrator: Priscilla Burris
Magination Press
Ages: 4 to 8 years old

Once the bond/friendship is formed, language stops being an impediment and harmony (pun intended) is achieved.

As a Nation of immigrants, it is not surprising that many of our families are a blend of two or more cultures.  Navigating different cultures and languages can be difficult for couples–not to mention extended family members.  Love generally takes care of the couples, but what about those other family members?  Those first few months, or years, can be rough.

Take for instance the family in Accordionly.  Two very different cultures.  Two very different sets of grandparents.  At first, with seemingly nothing in common.  Eventually, through the ingenuity of their grandchild, they are brought together by their love of the accordion!

I love how Genhart brought this family together with an appreciation for a now uncommon musical instrument. Burris does a phenomenal job in illustrating what the accordion looks like, and how it is properly held in the hands of a musician. 

Through extrapolation, Accordionly, touches upon the obstacle many children face when going to school for the first time in a new country: the inability to communicate with children who do not speak a common language.  Just like in a classroom setting, Accordionly, highlights individuals with completely different backgrounds that come together and act accordingly (the way one would be expected to act) before a common bond, connection or friendship is formed. Once the bond/friendship is formed, language stops being an impediment and harmony (pun intended) is achieved.

Many culturally blended families, and all classrooms can benefit from having this book in their collection.  Accordionly vividly illustrates how finding appreciation in something universal, in this case music, can lead to commonality and friendship; regardless of the beat you march to.

Accordionly (Support an Independent Bookstore)
Accordionly (Hardcover at Amazon)*

More books for this Age Group can be found here.

My thanks to Pajama Press for providing a Review Copy of this book. All opinions provided herein are my own.

Please, leave comments! I love a HEALTHY exchange of ideas. After all, critical thinking is essential to life.

Tyler StapletonContributor
Tyler has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, from The University of Virginia. He is currently a Second-Grade Teacher. “I have an enormous library in my classroom and am constantly searching for new additions for my collection so that my little leaders can explore the world through books.” 

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