Ask moves to a big, new house with his mum against his will. He just wants to go home to where they lived before, but in the end he falls asleep next to the only thing that the house's previous owner left behind: a black piano. The piano lid is locked, but one day, Ask finds the key and opens the lid. When he plays the piano, he doesn't notice what happens at first.
Det svarte pianoet is a new collaboration between Gaute Heivoll and illustrator Lisa Aisato. Whereas their previous picture book was about first love, this picture book is both scarier and more unpredictable, with a streak of magical surrealism.
‘Moving can be a horrible. Perhaps especially for children. Gaute Heivoll writes about this in his book, which came out just before the weekend. And it is beautiful on all counts. One thing is Heivoll’s words, which are poetic and atmospheric. But his illustrator, Lisa Aisato, is just fantastic. You could sit for a long, long time gaping at every single drawing, all of which are so captivating that they take your breath away. The text and illustrations together make this book a gem.’
‘Not only does the story describe a child’s experience of something new and strange, it also proffers the option for a new kind of happiness. Because Ask doesn’t want to move into a new house with his mother, and he doesn’t like the piano that the previous owner left behind. But the piano has its secrets that it hides well, and that will be revealed to those who can listen. And it is the magical moment when the notes flow freely that carries this wonderful picture book.’
‘Just as is the case with Heivoll’s relatively bare text, she uses few elements to visualise a rich array of emotions. She manages to give loneliness, uncertainty, fear and anger a visual expression that elicits an emotional response from this reviewer.’
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