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Clarinet and Trumpet

4.67  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  23 reviews
A charming and funny picture book featuring the harmonious friendship between Clarinet and Trumpet. But what happens when their friendship falls flat? Featuring a music-making shaker built into the book! Perfect for fans of Stick & Stone and Spoon.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 25th 2020 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 2020)
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Average rating 4.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  33 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Kelly Carey
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Filled with hilarious musical puns and a spit valve incident, CLARINET & TRUMPET tells the story of how a perfect friendship can get out of tune when new pals show up. CLARINET & TRUMPET are best buddies until Oboe arrives and suddenly woodwinds and brass instruments are taking sides and forgetting to harmonize. Wonderful references to music will make this a fantastic book for a music teacher’s library, but the underlying message of inclusion and community make it a perfect fit for every bookshe ...more
Anna Crowley Redding
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
The masterful lyrical writing, the punny musical vocabulary, vibrant illustrations, and the message of a friendship that celebrates differences--make this picture book a WIN!!! Perfect for every bookshelf but especially so for music rooms everywhere. This book has left me with the biggest smile on my face. A real treat - - Enjoy!
Isabella Kung
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is packed with fun musical puns and lyrical writing. Not only is this a fantastic way to introduce music vocabulary and basics, but this story is also an instrumental tale about friendships! Clarinet and Trumpet are the best of friends and were the perfect duo! That is until a new instrument comes along and disturbs their routine. Feeling hurt, abandoned, and jealous, a competition between bands AND friendship escalates! Luckily Clarinet and Trumpet are reminded at the end about the be ...more
Sam Wedelich
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Delightfully punny, this book is a musical twist on a tale of a friendship in jeopardy... When oboe interrupts Clarinet and Trumpet's duet, Trumpet is devastated. A seemingly unstoppable game of one-upmanship stalls out when Saxophone joins the scene and ends the brass/woodwinds turf war. The story resolves with all the instruments enjoying the music they can make.... together! The book has a lot of musical jokes tucked in the pages, but wasn't difficult for my 5 year old to understand (he doesn ...more
Mary Copp
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing

Clarinet and Trumpet are quite the duo, inseparable it seems – until Oboe makes an appearance. That's the start of much vying for attention, competing friendships and music-making rivalry between woodwinds and brass. Author Ellsworth and Illustrator Herzog bring a cacophony of sound to life through expressive text and colorful illustrations.
A very satisfying ending brings Clarinet and Trumpet back into harmony, along with many new and eager friends. Witty and fun and a marvelous way to introduce
Carrie Finison
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This friendship story with an orchestral setting is pitch perfect in its depiction of how friendships can go wrong, and how things can escalate. Clarinet and Trumpet are great friends until Clarinet starts paying more attention to Oboe. The woodwinds decide to stick together, which makes Trumpet sad - until he finds a new friend in Trombone. Things escalate to an all-out battle-of-the-instruments until (in a fun twist I won't give away) they discover that they can all make great music together. ...more
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Clarinet and Trumpet are best friends who make beautiful music together...until Oboe comes along and strains their pitch-perfect duet. Filled with musical wordplay and a growing rift between the woodwinds and the brass, will anything be able to remind Clarinet and Trumpet of the beautiful music they once made together? This playful story sneakily introduces readers to instrumental basics, while also demonstrating the value of recalibrating friendships as they change key, or expand to include a w ...more
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a fun twist on a friendship story! Clarinet and Trumpet handles the ups and downs of close friendships with humor and heart . . . and includes a few hilarious puns. I sincerely hope elementary music educators discover this book--- it would make for a great class read aloud for not only for exploring the differences between brass and woodwinds, but the differences in class personalities as well. And for those teachers or librarians who host an "instrument petting zoo," Clarinet and Trumpet w ...more
Joana Pastro
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Love! Love! Love! Melanie Ellsworth nailed it! This is an adorable, super fun and unique picture book filled with musical wordplay and puns. So clever! Clarinet and Trumpet are best friends until Oboe comes along, and suddenly brass and woodwind instruments find themselves at odds and must figure out how to play in perfect harmony again. It’s a great resource to introduce music instruments and for music teachers out there. John Herzog did an amazing job bringing each instrument shine with bright ...more
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: soaring-20s
This book is so fun (and punny), and it's also a terrific introduction to musical instruments--it even (secretly, so it doesn't feel like learning) covers the differences between woodwinds and brass. But the real story here is about friendship and what can happen when a third person inadvertently disrupts a happy duo. It's something every kid (and probably every parent) can understand. There is so much to enjoy here from the clever wordplay to the emotionally engaging illustrations. It's a story ...more
Lindsay Metcalf
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Love this punny introduction to the similarities and differences between woodwinds and brass. A harmonious friendship between Clarinet and Trumpet turns cacophonous with the expansion of the band. The layers of wordplay, introduction to instruments and musical terminology, and a satisfying friendship story make this picture book by author-and-illustrator team Melanie Ellsworth and John Herzog a winner.
Hope Lim
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
CLARIENT AND TRUMPET is a story of special friendship lost and found in a whirlwind of sounds created by new and old friends. Clarinet and Trumpet are the best friends until Oboe shows up and changes everything until the two remember something special about each other amid a cacophony created by a band of new friends. The expressive text has many clever musical puns and the illustrations are right on note capturing each instrument with fun personality. It’s also a great book to make young reader ...more
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is such a perfectly punny picture book sure to delight band fans of all ages. When Oboe comes between Clarinet and Trumpet, it will take practically the entire orchestra -- plus a special instrument -- to bring everyone back together again. This pun-filled friendship book will delight fans of Marcie Colleen's LOVE, TRIANGLE and Drew Daywalt's THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT. John Herzog's playful instrument illustrations are pure genius. ...more
Abi Cushman
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Love this pun-tastic friendship book filled with musical terminology! A great introduction to instruments for kids, and for the young musicians in the group, a real treat to be in on all the jokes. Love the art in the book too. John Herzog did a wonderful job bringing each instrument to life with his adorable, dynamic illustrations.

Great writing paired with fantastic illustrations make this one a sure hit!
Saira Mir
Mar 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a fun and witty story of friendship that readers of all ages can relate to, musical or not. Children will immediately connect with Trumpet, who struggles as Clarinet drifts away with the arrival of a new instrument. Trumpet and Clarinet’s woes intensify with musical wordplay, but ultimately they return to the bond that brought them together in the first place - harmony. A beautiful and humorous take on navigating friendships and building a community.
Candy Wellins
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I love Clarinet and Trumpet. This friendship story is written in the vain of Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Spoon or Chopsticks. Clarinet and Trumpet make beautiful music together til Oboe arrives. Tuba feels left out from the woodwind fun so he leaves to join Trombone. The dueling friendships blast and blare until “the fight crescendoed.” I won’t give away the happy ending, but trust me it’s perfect. Full of music puns and heart, this debut picture book is not to be missed.
Julie Rowan-Zoch
Mar 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Having both a woodwind and a brass player in the family, I found this tale of friends out of tune had perfect pitch! And double-reeds were often the start of a problem!) Puns, alliteration, and melodic lines abound in this well-composed and cheerfully illustrated introduction to the best in the band!
Rajani LaRocca
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A sweet, punny story about the friendship between a woodwind and a brass instrument, who work in perfect harmony, until...they don't. Will they find a way to make music together again, or will we all be stuck with a cacophony? This fun story features adorable art and is a great first introduction to orchestra instruments! ...more
Vicky Fang
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is such a wonderful friendship story with tons of little details about musical instruments woven throughout! The rivalry between brass and woodwinds is cleverly portrayed, with the friends finally learning to come together in harmony. Adorable illustrations and witty writing make this a charming picture book read!
Elisa Boxer
Feb 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Don't let the clever puns and fast-paced fun fool you... This book plays an instrumental role in helping young readers navigate the ups and downs of real-life friendships. The illustrations are bold and friendly. The text is clever and relatable. Young readers will learn new music terms while getting a meaningful lesson in compassion and community. ...more
Edward Sullivan
Mar 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, picture-books
A fun, lyrical friendship story featuring bright, expressive digitally created illustrations.
Darshana Khiani
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
As a former clarinet player, I loved this! Such a pun-filled, humorous story about friendship. Sure to delight woodwind and brass-playing kids everywhere!
Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
Betty Culley
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Before becoming a children's book writer, Melanie Ellsworth worked as an ESOL teacher in Boston and later as a literacy specialist in Maine. She lives in Maine with her family. ...more

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