Musical City: Ruby Sings the Blues

Ruby Sings the BluesIf you live in the city, your get used to hearing all sorts of loud noises and if your windows face a busy street you might think twice about keeping them open. Consequently, there are lots of books about city noises (see my review of Clang! Clang! Beep! Beep! or Night Cars, for example).

Rather than focusing on all the annoying machine-generated noises, Niki Daly's Ruby Sings the Blues focuses on one very annoying human noise... and how that noise transforms into something beautiful. Ruby is one loud little girl. Everyone knows when she's home. Her parents, teacher and friends all tell her to quiet down, but Ruby takes this rejection to heart and develops a case of the blues. Fortunately, Ruby has some musical neighbors who see the diamond in the rough. With a little encouragement, Ruby learns how to control her volume, and sing the Blues.

As parent of a 6 year old who always seems to have the volume on his own voice dialed up, I liked this book. One of the reviewers at Amazon felt Ruby's loud voice to be a contrived element. Clearly that reviewer doesn't spend much time around children, who have naturally loud voices for no apparent reason. In any case, the message of "finding your voice," is delivered in an uplifting story. Daly's appealing urban neighborhood is filled with interesting characters, people hanging out their windows and dancing on the sidewalks.

Want More?
Watch the book on You Tube (from the PBS show Between the Lions).
Read the professional review blurbs at the publisher's page.

Big Kid: You tell me I'm loud, too.


Alex said...

This is a very sweet story. I watched the YouTube version, too. Thanks for the review. Ruby reminded me of my daughter when she was young - a little girl with a big voice.

Brimful Curiosities said...

I'm constantly reminding my kids when our windows are open that the neighbors can hear them.

You don't just get annoying noises when you live in the city. For the past week, we've had to listen to a very loud, unhappy juvenile hawk wailing. Not a pleasant sound.

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