Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

Hana Hashimoto9781894786331_p0_v1_s260x420Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

Chieri Uegaki, Author

Qin Leng, Illustrator

Kids Can Press, Fiction, Aug. 1, 2014

Winner: Asian/Pacific American Award Picture Book Winner 2015

Suitable for Ages: 5-8

Themes: Violin, Talent Show, Practice, Teasing,  Self-confidence, Courage, Individuality

Opening: “When Hana Hashimoto announced that she had signed up for the talent show and that she would be playing the violin, her brothers nearly fell out of a tree.”

Book Jacket Synopsis: When Hana announces that she’ll be playing violin in the school talent show, her brothers laugh so hard they nearly fall out of a tree. But Hana doesn’t let that stop her — she practices and practices, inspired by memories of the time she spent in Japan with her ojiichan, a professional violinist. But when the day of the performance arrives, will she be able to overcome a sudden case of nerves?

Why I like this book: This is a charming and creative story from author Cheri Uegaki. Hana is a sensitive, yet spunky and determined character. Many children will easily relate to the teasing from siblings, the jitters of performing in a talent show, and the courage to try anyway. No matter how much Hana’s brothers think she is “loopy,” she practices and perseveres despite everyone’s doubts.  She remembers listening to her ojiichan (grandfather) play the sounds of chirping crickets, squawking crows, plucking rain, and squeaking mice. These memories help Hana to find her own way of playing her violin and making the performance her very own. Kids will cheer for Hana. Quin Leng’s illustrations are warm, whimsical, playful and capture the personality of each character and the tone of the story.  Her pencil and digitally colored illustrations include details of both Hana’s Japanese and American life.

Resources: Introduce your child to music, take them to a children’s symphony so they can hear the various instruments. Encourage them to try an instrument in their school music program. Let them decide what instrument they would like to play. Encourage young children to play a harmonica, drums, a kazoo, or a marimba.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

38 thoughts on “Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

  1. Music+kids = natural pairing. And I’ve read studies that say this helps them in school work. Now I have to go look up what a marimba is.


    • Yes, children who play an instrument develop more of their brain. My husband’s uncle was a well-known composer of opera and instrumental music. He talked about this with us. Sadly, I saw on TV last night that fewer children are playing the piano and other instruments. That saddens me since I was a pianist. Music is so important for kids.


  2. Ooh, this looks wonderful, Pat! I love your description of Hana as sensitive yet spunky, and I think you’re right that so many kids can relate to being teased by siblings. I love that Hana finds her own way to play. Thanks so much for adding this one to our list 🙂


  3. What a great story for parents to read to children, sending a message to both. It’s a bit like that writing and drawing when everyone thinks you should go get a job.


  4. Yay for Hana!!!!! This looks like such a lovely, spunky story! Music is BIG around these parts! It’s so important for developing good strong brains. I’m going to be looking for this one Ms Tilton!!


    • It is a beautifully illustrated story with priceless expressions. It is a story all kids and adults can relate too. That’s great you took lessons. I almost majored in music in college, but changed to journalism my first year.


  5. I need to get this book and will put in a request from my library. Sounds like one for the everyday experience of children every where. Reminds me of yesterday at a recital for my neice where she sang for the firsst time in public. She sang Back to the piano. It was great. she also played piano. she is professor of music at Westminster Consevatory and is active in songfest of California this summer. I am very proud of her.

    Reading this post makes sme wonder how she got so good. What in her childhood made her turn to music? her sister as well is musically inclined and plays in plays and sings opera in Italy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you will enjoy this lovely story about believing in yourself. Regarding your nieces, they have a gift and have grown up knowing that. To not express themselves musically would be like denying them air. What a gift to share with others. My husband’s uncle was a famous American opera composer who won a Pulitzer in 1962 and the National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honor in 2011 for his lifetime work.


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