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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Everyone has a talent. For some people, their talent is in music. Marilyn the Mongoose had the bright idea that she’d like to start a band. The only problem was that she couldn’t play any instrument. She tried the piano, but the keys were too high. Then she tried the drums but she only managed to trash the instruments. She tried other instruments too, all with very disappointing results. Then she decided to sing and discovered that she had a beautiful voice and her voice was her musical instrument. So auditions began and she made up a band. She found other young musicians with talents for the instruments she couldn’t play and each took their turn in stealing the show. But when Marilyn the Mongoose stood up to sing, she really captured everyone’s attention.
Johnny Oddsocks’s picture book story, What’s My Instrument?, is a real treasure. Told in rhyming verse, the words have a musical tone of their own and the young reader will instantly be charmed into learning about different musical instruments and what they can do. But, most importantly, the young reader will learn the importance of understanding and appreciating their own unique skills and talents. The power of music speaks to us all and through us all in many different ways. The illustrations, with their bold colors, add a flavor all their own and certainly complement the lyrics (or, I should say, the words that formulate the plot). This is a wonderful way to teach young people about music, musical instruments, and about our own individually unique talents.