The Piano is an inspirational story from the perspective of the piano. It was born from Chari’s personal experience as a piano teacher. She was taught on the same piano she later used as a teacher. She witnessed her students connecting with the piano and developing their own friendship. The story is illustrated by her daughter, Elle Smith, who is an award-winning artist. They started working together on this story when COVID-19 hit, channeling their creative energy into something positive during a difficult time. 

Book summary. The friendly piano is thrilled when a young musician named Katie first presses its keys. As Katie and the piano become daily companions, her musical skills grow and grow. Together they play beautiful music to match her every mood. But when Katie moves away for college, the piano is left behind, untouched and silent. What happens next helps the piano—and young readers—see learning as a never-ending cycle and music as a life-long source of joy. 

This lyrical story will make your heart sing!” Suzanne Barchers, EdD, Musician, Author and former Editor in Chief of LeapFrog, Chair of Advisory Board of Lingokids. 

Chari studied at Berklee College of Music and has been a writer/composer/pianist most of her life. She is also a published playwright — Extraordinary Women from U.S. History: Readers Theatre for Grades 4-8 (Teacher Ideas Press/ Libraries Unlimited, 2003) and Little Plays for Little People (Teacher Ideas Press/Libraries Unlimited, 1996). Her mini-musical “Book Club” was a part of the Portland Mini Musical Festival 2020. She is currently working on a musical, Freedom, based on the life of Moses. Elle is an award-winning artist, and enjoys writing music, cooking, and dancing. They live in Portland, Oregon, and enjoy spending time with family. 

Buy The Piano wherever books are sold. Locally, it’s available at Thinker Toys, Green Bean Books, and Annie Bloom’s Books.

Book Release Party

Join us to celebrate the release of the children’s picture book, “The Piano.” Bring readers of all ages for reading, coloring, and live music! It’ll be a celebration of music and books, and copies of “The Piano” will be available for purchase. Get them signed by the author and illustrator, too!  

Event details:

Saturday, March 5, 2 – 3pm

Portland Piano Company, 8700 NE Columbia Blvd. Portland, Oregon 97220

The event is free and open to the public. 

All guests are required to wear masks.

More information here.