Sunday, May 22, 2016

Book Review: If You Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, DON'T! by Elise Parsley

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Creative story, fun illustrations
Cons: My logical brain just can’t wrap itself around this book
The Bottom Line:
Piano at beach?
What could possibly go wrong?
Delight for your kids

Taking a Piano to the Beach is Just a Little Ridiculous

Last year, I was completely charmed by Elise Parsley’s debut picture book, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequel, If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, DON’T!  After all, the possibilities are ridiculous, right?  Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite turn off my logical brain to fully enjoy this book.

Once again, the book features Magnolia, a young girl who thinks she has wonderful ideas that turn out to be not so great.  Her family is heading to the beach for the day, and when her mother tells her to gather something to bring, she decides to bring the family piano.  Her mom tells her that she needs to keep track of it and not lose it.  This is a piano, it’s huge!  That won’t be a problem at all.  Or will it?

While Magnolia is the main character, these books are actually narrated in the second person.  Once again, the style reminds me a bit of the still popular If You Give a Mouse a Cookie books, although these are much more outrageous.  I mean, who would even think about bringing a piano to the beach in the first place.

In fact, that’s where the logical part of my mind takes over.  You just can’t do some of what she does with this piano.  It’s too heavy to even be moved.  Then we get to the fact that Magnolia’s mom never reacts to what happens over the course of the book.  I was okay with what happens when you bring an alligator to school, in fact I loved the creativity in that book, but I couldn’t accept the absurdity humor of this book.  Go figure.

But that’s why I think it is more of a personal problem than a problem with the book.  I have a feeling that kids will laugh at some of the things Magnolia goes through in this book.

The pictures will certainly help.  They are creative and showcase just how absurd the situation is and are absolutely fun to look at.

Kids will certainly enjoy If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, DON’T!  And since they are the target audience, that’s all that truly matters, right?


  1. Sounds like a fun kids read, if you don't take it too seriously.

    1. And that's the key to enjoying the book for sure.