Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin: PB #12 for 14:14

Title: Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin
Author: Chieri Uegaki
Illustrator: Qin Leng
Publisher:  Kids Can Press
Year: 2014
Word Count: 987


Hana has signed up to play the violin at the talent show, even though she’s only had three lessons. Her brothers predict disaster. But Hana practices and practices, inspired by her grandfather, or Ojiichan, who played the violin every day when she visited him in Japan. As Hana takes the stage, doubt is all she can hear, until she recalls her grandfather’s words of encouragement, and shows the audience how beautiful music can take many forms.

Story Element: Plot

Spread 1: (The main character and conflict are introduced.)
Hana tells her brothers that she signed up to play the violin at the talent show.
"That's just loopy," said Kenji. "You're still a beginner."
"Stop kidding," said Koji. "You can barely play a note."

Spread 2: (Inner conflict)
Hana leaves her brothers in the front yard and walks toward their house. She thinks about her three lessons. And about her grandfather who once played for the Imperial Family in Kyoto.

Spread 3 - 6: (Flashback)
Hana remembers visiting Ojichan, her grandfather, in Japan last summer. He played the violin every morning and evening.
Ojichan didn't just play songs. He could also make his violin chirp like the crickets . . ."

Spread 7: (Hana's plan)
Hana practices every day, just like Ojichan.
She practices in front of her parents, her dog, and a picture of grandfather. 

Spread 8: (Inner conflict)
The day of the talent show - 
Backstage, Hana waited with a walloping heart.

Spread 9: (Hana doubts herself)
Hana timidly walks on stage. Her brothers mocking voices spoke of disaster in her head. She wants to run or hide.

Spread 10: (Rising fear)
Hana stares into the cheering audience.
See could see her bothers, melting into their seats.
And there, her smiling mother, and her father, camera in hand.

Spread 11: (Building to Climax)
Hana focuses on the memory of her grandfather.
With a whoosh, the roaring in her ears receded. Then, as everyone seemed to disappear beyond the light shining down on her like a moonbeam, she remembered. 
"Gambarunoyo, Hana-chan." Do your best, her grandfather had told her. Ojichan would be cheering for her.

Spread 12: (Climax)
Hana plays the sounds of a mother crow calling her chicks, the neighbor's cat at night, and rain on a paper umbrella.

Spread 13: (Climax)
Hana plays the sounds of a lowing cows, squeaking mice, croaking frogs and more.
Finally, as the last sound effect trailed away, Hana tucked her bow and violin under her arm. "And that," she said to the audience, "is how I play the violin."
Then she took a great big bow.

Spread 14: (Ending)
Hana plays her violin in her bedroom and dreams of becoming more like her grandfather.

(Post #12 for the 14:14 Picture Book Blog Review Challenge created by Christie Wild of Write Wild.


  1. I liked the unexpected ending of this book. I was worried they were going to take the easy route and just let her suddenly be amazing. This was much more satisfying.

    1. I'm not into PBs that magically turn out perfect for the main character. So this story's realistic ending appealed to me.

  2. What a precious story. The plot is easy to follow..and definitely an unexpected ending. Thanks for sharing.

  3. The relationship between Hana and her grandfather is very precious.

  4. Oh, what a lovely story! I need to find this book, as my granddaughter got a violin for Christmas. I am going to Amazon immediately....hope it's still in print!
    The rising anticipation makes this plot perfect. Thanks for the post, Manju.

  5. Hana's story would be a great gift for your young violin player!

  6. I have a friend who's four-year-old daughter just started violin and played quite well at her first recital. I will let her know about this book.

  7. My brother played the violin. The first year sounded like one long screeeeech.


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