Adam and His Tuba by Ziga X Gombac, illustrated by Maja Kastelic (translated by Olivia Hallewell, NorthSouth Books, February 2023) is a sweet story about the youngest child of the Von Trapeze family, which, as you may surmise, is a talented circus family. But Adam cannot do the highwire, be part of a human pyramid, or swallow swords. His family is concerned that he doesn’t fit in with the family’s circus act.
But Adam has a secret that he embraces: playing his tuba. He sneaks away from the busyness of the circus to practice and enjoy the calming sound he enjoys. One day the rest of his noisy and busy family hears his tuba music. They are surprised and impressed by his talent, and to Adam’s surprise, they fully support his unique talent as part of the family’s performance. I love that music is his unique talent because I too find music a valuable skill and blessing to our world!
The soft muted-color illustrations only add to the message in this picture book that we can all be ourselves, and that our unique talents have a place in the circus of life. In the final spread, the bright contrast of the circus lights, flames, and other entertainments, along with the bright brass of Adam’s tuba, nicely conclude this feel-good book.
Note: I read a digital review copy of this book.