I have been lucky to see a copy of this book before it is released in Australia in September. It is an amazing book in both its content and illustration. First published in France, the story by Andre Leblanc and illustrated by Barroux is inspired by the true story of Zhu Xiao-Mei who is now an internationally acclaimed concert pianist. The picture book follows a young girl during the time of China’s Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976). She is taken from her family and sent to a far-off labour camp. Forbidden to play the piano, which she loves, she bravely finds a way of smuggling hand-written music into the camp and sneaks away at night to practice a piano in a secret location.
I really love books with strong female characters and believe that it is so important that children are exposed to these sorts of stories about people, especially children, who follow their dreams and stand up for what they believe.