My Voice Is a Trumpet by Jimmie Allen, illustrated by Cathy Ann Johnson

My Voice Is a Trumpet by Jimmie Allen, illustrated by Cathy Ann Johnson. Flamingo Books, 2021. 9780593352182

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Picture book

What did you like about the book? This book describes different types of voices and how they can all be powerful in their own ways. I appreciated how the author included sign language, saying “there’s a voice that is silent but still can be heard with hands that move to speak every word.” This book celebrates how everyone can make a difference in their words and actions. The text is lyrical and there are regular references to music at different points – the title, images of a trumpet on each end page, some characters singing or playing musical instruments in the background. The analogy that everyone’s different voice comes together beautifully to create music becomes more clear by the end of the book. The soft illustrations enhance the message of unity, courage, and doing what’s right. Characters are diverse in their gender, skin color, clothes, and activities. 

Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? Reading this book and having students respond to the last line “how will you use your voice?” would make a great classroom activity at the beginning of the year. It could also be easily used by a music teacher. I would give it to anyone who is looking for a book about courage or leadership. Read-alike with Speak Up (Paul) or Say Something (Reynolds). 

Who should buy this book?  Elementary school librarians, public librarians, teachers

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts

Date of review: July 31, 2021

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