Skeleanor the Decomposer

Penguin Workshop. Aug. 2023. 64p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780593519448.
Gr 2 Up–Skeleanor is a living skeleton who loves music more than anything. She’s inspired to play her own music when she hears the town band rehearsing for the Little Casketon Summershine Festival, and she discovers that they are missing a member. Maybe she can join them? Unfortunately, no matter which instrument she tries to play, her music scares the people of Little Casketon so much that they all run away from her. With the help of her friend, a bat named Batima, Skeleanor makes a few adjustments, like not playing music in the middle of the night when people are sleeping, and not playing an instrument that sounds a lot like bones. But it isn’t until she actually stops and listens to the music teacher that she learns how she can join the band, after all. This is a heartfelt, sweet, and uplifting story, with a positive message about creativity and compromise. Readers will love how Skeleanor finds acceptance in creating music that people will enjoy, and they’ll love how she realizes her dreams. This book is illustrated in colorful painterly earth tones, with bright and funny pictures that will make readers smile.
VERDICT For young readers who enjoy gently spooky stories, and for kids who love music as much as Skeleanor does.

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