Review: The Soul of Harmony – Book 1: The Promise by Craig Rex Perry

THE SOUL OF HARMONYCedar Grove Books, which published the fun Draculiza, has another kids’ book out – The Soul of Harmony. It’s the first in a series about a young girl, Harmony Walker, and her family living in New York in the jazz age. Her father, Eazy Walker, is a horn player down on his luck. His luck’s about to change, after Harmony, playing with her friend Juan Carlos, accidentally breaks Eazy’s trumpet mouthpiece. Looking for a replacement, Harmony makes an unwise deal with a mysterious woman in exchange for a magical mouthpiece. After a year of fame and fortune, the woman shows up to collect her dues…

The Soul of Harmony is a gorgeous looking book. Craig Rex Perry’s artwork is striking, full of bold colours and dynamic layouts. There’s a real sense of movement and atmosphere.

The Promise is part one of a continuing story, so it ends on a cliffhanger after dealing with the main plot. There is a sneak peak of part two, Running Away with the Rhythm, at the back of the book, which is scheduled for release later this year.

Screenshot 2016-02-10 14.26.30Through text and image, The Promise unfolds at a satisfyingly swift pace. The power of the story is very much vested in the gorgeous art. Some tense changes in the text can feel muddling, though I found that when I read it aloud, the shifts felt like a natural part of spoken storytelling – throwing in the present tense to set scenes and heighten immediacy.

It’s a lively tale – a sumptuously illustrated musical adventure, full of action and suspense.

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