Happy Book Birthday: CLARINET AND TRUMPET Plus Giveaway

Please put away the scale…it’s time for CAKE and Candles and a big


Written by Melanie Ellsworth – Illustrated by John Herzog – Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

First of all…just look at that cover! Doesn’t it make you smile? And want to dance and move?

Plus, it’s a special type of picture book…it’s a SHAKER BOOK! Yes, kids can actually shake it and interact with it.

And the author, Melanie Ellsworth, stopped by to share a few words with us also about her path to publication with this book.

ME: Welcome, Melanie. I’m so happy you were able to swing by to chat!:

MELANIE: Thanks for having me on your blog, Vivian! I’m glad to celebrate CLARINET AND TRUMPET’s book birthday with you and your readers. CLARINET AND TRUMPET is one of those books that comes from “writing what you know.” I often lean towards “write what interests you” or “write what brings you joy/makes you laugh out loud,” and luckily, this book hit all those notes for me!  I have vivid childhood memories from band days in elementary school. As a clarinetist, I sat right in front of the trumpet section, which I strongly suspect enjoyed out-blasting the woodwinds. That friendly rivalry between brass and woodwinds carried on through high school, but eventually we changed our tune. We all came to understand that we were there for the music. Sure, it was fun to have a solo in our section, but it was even better when the music swelled from all the sections in the band. In CLARINET AND TRUMPET, I wanted to highlight the beauty and importance of each instrument (and individual!) but also the joy of coming together as a community for a purpose. There’s a special instrument – who shall remain secret – who helps bring Clarinet and Trumpet back to the music and to friendship. (And here’s another secret – that instrument was not part of my original manuscript.) Illustrator John Herzog did an amazing job breathing life into the instruments; you can feel all their emotions as you read the story.

ME: Truly…I can feel it just from the cover…there’s a lot of joy that emanates from that illustration!

Synopsis:  Clarinet and Trumpet have a pitch perfect friendship. But when Oboe convinces Clarinet that woodwinds should stick together, Clarinet and Trumpet’s harmonious relationship falls flat. Woodwinds and Brass face off – until music brings them back together. With pun-filled text and emotive illustrations, CLARINET AND TRUMPET honors the important role music plays in creating community.


Starred review from School Library Journal:

  • “K-Gr 4–A lyrical tour de force about individuality, friendship, and community, this humorous picture book highlights such values through musical instruments, showing how even small fractures can become deep divisions… A timely book that gently explores issues of similarity and difference, of holding on to one’s individuality while also recognizing the importance of others, this is a first purchase for all libraries.” (https://www.slj.com/?reviewDetail=clarinet-and-trumpet)

“Music aficionados and pun aficionados alike will appreciate the many musical puns interspersed throughout the text.”—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

WOW…those are awesome reviews! And we are so fortunate because Melanie and her publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, are offering a copy of the book as a giveaway. All you need to do is leave a comment…and of course, sharing the post on social media to spread the word is always appreciated – and rewarded by extra tickets in the giveaway hat.

If you don’t want to wait to see if you will be the lucky winner, CLARINET AND TRUMPET launched TODAY…so you can purchase it, review it, put it on your Goodreads Want-to-Read list, ask your local library to buy copies for their shelves, and tell friends about it.

And please come back tomorrow – that’s when I will be posting the #50PreciousWords Winners.

54 thoughts on “Happy Book Birthday: CLARINET AND TRUMPET Plus Giveaway

  1. Melanie-I love everything you shared about this book and will share this post with my school librarian tomorrow❣️ Music and friendship, that’s an awesome combo!
    And Vivian- congratulations on reaching the end of 50PW! What a journey that was this year. I’m so looking forward to seeing who all the winners are and to see if any of the entries I picked made the final list. 😁 I just hope we don’t break your blog again…😂❤️


  2. A tune of friendship and community is always music to my ears! Played by adorable illustrations, the song is even sweeter. Congratulations on this charming new picture book!


  3. Even a trumpet couldn’t mask my terrible clarinet playing in elementary school 😁This book looks so cute & I love the image with the cleaning rag!! Happy Book Birthday!


  4. I can’t wait to read your book! The music puns sound hilarious and the illustrations look great. Congratulations and best of luck!


  5. This looks like such a cute book! Reading this post brought back many fond memories of my band days. I can’t wait to read it!


  6. Melanie, I cannot wait to get my hands on this book! With a whole family of musicians, it will be well loved (and 2 are trumpet players! LOL!) Congratulations!


  7. Melanie, I LOVE the idea of introducing kids to musical instruments! We need more of the arts in our lives. I also played the clarinet through high school and into college and loved it! And the theme of all playing together is just what the doctor ordered! This reminds me of the 45-speed record I had as a child of “Peter and the Wolf” which introduced instruments of the orchestra!


    • “Peter and the Wolf” was my introduction to the instruments as well; if I’m remembering right, the cat was the clarinet! I also enjoyed Benjamin Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.” I hope playing together in musical groups can happen again soon!


    • Thanks! It is fun and fortunately more like a rainstick than a loud rattle, so fairly soothing for parents, too. 🙂


  8. What a precious book! I will be sharing it with the music teacher at my old school. I can’t wait to read it. Thank you for sharing.


  9. I didn’t inherit the musical genes that run in my family, but sometimes I think that writing is a little like making music. Picture books need rhythm and musicality, even if they’re written in prose. I’m looking forward to reading Clarinet & Trumpet.


  10. Pingback: Perfect Picture Book Friday: HIP, HIP, BERET Plus Giveaway | VIVIAN KIRKFIELD – Writer for Children

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