In an ode to the power of music and community, this vibrantly illustrated picture book steps out on the balcony for a shared moment of spontaneous joy and celebration.
In a quiet neighborhood, a single note trills through the air. Another note joins, and then another. One by one, curious people are drawn to their windows, doorways, and balconies to support the medley. Professional musicians play instruments from around the world, while others bang pots and pans. All are welcome as the notes swirl and dip and crescendo, coming together to make one sweet song. And when the music fades and this diverse neighborhood is once again silent, the reverberations of unity remain. Written by a kindergarten teacher and inspired by the balcony singing in Italy during the pandemic—with a countdown from one to ten and back gently woven in—this rhythmic synergy of text and art is a buoyant, global-minded celebration of how music connects us, even in the darkest of times.
Jyoti Rajan Gopal
is a kindergarten teacher and the author of American Desi
, illustrated by Supriya Kelkar, and My Paati’s Saris
, illustrated by Art Twink.
She was born in India but grew up all over the world, from Thailand to Indonesia to Myanmar to China. More than twenty-five years ago, she moved to New York City with her husband and raised her two daughters in Yonkers in a very old house with an amazing porch, where she still lives.Sonia Sánchez
the illustrator of Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away
by Meg Medina; Dog Says
, Cat Says
by Marilyn Singer; Here I Am
by Patti Kim, for which she was nominated for a Will Eisner Comic Industry Award; and many other acclaimed picture books. She lives in Barcelona, Spain.
In this tale inspired by the Italian performers who serenaded their neighbors from their balconies during the Covid-19 lockdown, a single musical note leads to a neighborhood symphony. . . . The bright illustrations show swirls of colors and musical notes weaving in and out of the homes, suggesting a sense of connection. . . . A joyful celebration of music and community.
Propulsive rhymes unite neighbors in this counting picture book featuring a collaborative musical performance that expands and contracts. . . . Driving rhythms and clear rhymes by Rajan Gopal (American Desi
) tug with a gentle beat, while energetic illustrations from Sanchez (Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away
) render a sun-washed cityscape with texture and vigorous scribbles in this work about how individuals retain the warmth and support of connection.
Gopal, a kindergarten teacher, offers a pleasant, rhyming text that features numbers counting up to 10 and then back down to 1 as night falls. The warm, colorful artwork depicts a diverse group of urban apartment dwellers, young and old, who are clearly enjoying their shared musical experience. Reminiscent of spontaneous musical happenings during the pandemic, this picture book could inspire young children to create their own.
Equally suitable for bedtime or a music-themed storytime program. Sánchez’s spirited art has an endearing hand-sketched look, and a broad range of strokes (scribbles, loops, dots, and smudges) lend a sense of energy and vibration to each exuberantly earth-toned scene. While there are subtle parallels to the balcony singing in various cities during early COVID-19 lockdown, the story itself is deeply resonant and speaks to the power of music to enhance the resilience, creativity, and unity of global communities during an exceptionally trying time.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
The rhyming, rhythmic text counts up to ten participants and back down to one, first animating readers and then bringing them back down to a quieter, peaceful state that gives this book a dual function as a bedtime story. Colorful painted and digital illustrations show individual lines, an almost scribbly texture, and imperfectly drawn shapes, all of which make the pictures buzz with energy and movement. Even if they didn’t personally experience these types of balcony performances, readers will understand the way music-making can bring people together.
—The Horn Book
From windows, balconies, and rooftops, a neighborhood joins an impromptu symphony in Gopal’s warm, endearing picture book that begs to be read aloud. . . . Preschool and kindergarten teachers will find this title to be an easy fit for math lessons, and music teachers may even use One Sweet Song with students to identify the many instruments featured. . . . A twist on the usual counting book that emphasizes community and the ways that music can bridge the distance between people.
—School Library Journal