Looking for a book for 6- to 11-year-old readers with a cello connection? Readers of all ages will enjoy The Enchanted Cello Case by Hilary Wang, illustrated by Julian Wang.
Plus – when you buy a copy, you are supporting refugees.
The Appeal of the Cello Case
In December 2019, former Nissan CEO, Carlos Ghosn, whose escape from Japan has been described as “something from fiction,” was purported to have escaped house arrest in Japan in an instrument case.
At least two sources suggested the means of escape was a cello case, while others reported that it was a double bass case. Later reports indicate that the escape vessel was probably a large speaker or instrument flight case.
Somewhere in Japan, a travesty has occurred – a cello is without a case.
— Roosevelt Conyers (@RSConyers) December 31, 2019
Although cellists know that Ghosn would not have fit into a regular cello case, the notion that someone could be spirited out of the country in a cello case is very appealing – almost magical. Cellos – and their cases – remind us of the human form, and this is probably why they are so inviting to us.
The Enchanted Cello Case
Given the appeal of the cello case, how could we resist a book entitled The Enchanted Cello Case? Written by Hilary Wang and illustrated by her young son Julian Wang, this fictional tale is thoroughly captivating.
The main characters, Ruby and her brother Henry, have just begun what they anticipate will be a dreary summer, when they are drawn into an unexpected adventure involving a stranger, shapeshifting witches, and a magic cello case.
Without leaving their hometown, the siblings manage to defeat the forces of evil with the help of a professor of mythology, Henry’s pet lizard, a tiny fairy, and a powerful wizard.
Like many other children’s authors, Wang employs the supernatural, but there is nothing clichéd about the way in which she uses it to weave this story. She keeps the reader engaged through her well-conceived narrative, inventive plot twists, and careful attention to detail.
People of all ages will thoroughly enjoy this book, which is rated for 6- to 11-year-old readers.
Our Favorite Quotes
Henry embraces adventure in the book, not looking forward to danger, but looking forward to riding on a flying cello case:
Henry swallowed hard and said, “I’m not at all crazy about tracking bloodthirsty werebears with you, but going for a ride on a flying cello case sounds awesome!”
One of our favorite exclamations from Henry is:
“Holy cello case!”
Henry’s sister Ruby is a wonderful character, too. She and Henry face such dangers that at one point she wonders:
Would this be one of Henry’s and my last days alive? Well if it was, flying around on a cello case with a fairy in my pocket wasn’t a bad way to spend it.
Your Purchase Supports the International Rescue Committee
PLEASE NOTE: 100% of the profits from the sale of The Enchanted Cello Case are donated to the International Rescue Committee if the book is purchased through the Lulu Press website.
According to their website,
“The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future. In more than 40 countries and in 26 U.S. cities, our dedicated teams provide clean water, shelter, health care, education and empowerment support to refugees and displaced people.”
- Publication Date: 2016
- Publisher: Lulu Press.
- Suggested Readers: Ages 6 to 11, but enjoyed by people of all ages
- Number of Pages: 124
- ISBN: 978-1365606557.
Escape with a Cello Case
While hiding inside a regular cello case would be impossible for most adults, a magic, flying cello case might be useful. Imagine being able to fly to gigs and avoid both traffic and parking drama. Where is the cellist’s version of James Bond’s Q when you need him?
Enjoying the Cello Museum? Don’t miss an article or exhibition. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.
Thank you to Hilary and Julian Wang for permission to include their images and video. We love your book!