Accordions! Everybody loves them–at least that’s what participants and audiences at the annual International Accordion Festival in San Antonio, Texas proclaim. This instrument is beloved all over the world: German polka festivals right alongside New Orleans zydeco, Irish music, klezmer, and so much more. So it’s fitting to take the month of June to raise our awareness of this versatile instrument. At Lit For Kids, we always start with a book, and we’ve got a great read for you. Then, check out a couple of our info links below for a fun-filled month of accordion festivities.
Mendel’s Accordion by Heidi Smith Hyde, illustrated by Johanna Van Der Sterre
The joy of music is clear on all the faces of Mendel’s family, from Mendel himself as a traveling musician in “the old country,” to his great-grandson in America. Besides being a celebration of the klezmer music, the simple but lively text also tells the story of the Jewish immigrant experience, weaving in how these rich cultural experiences have been brought to our contemporary lives. The book ends with interesting historical facts about accordions–and klezmer music in particular.