Friday, January 28, 2011

For the Love Of Music

For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart. Elizabeth Rusch. Illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. 2011. February 2011. Random House. 32 pages.

When Maria Anna Mozart was a child, her life thrummed with music. Court musicians trumpeted French horns, choruses tra-la-la'ed, and countless fingers skittered up and down scales. 
"Oh father," Maria pleaded, "please teach me to play!"
And so he did.

I'm not quite sure what I liked more--the text or the illustrations. Truth is, both are wonderful! I have been a big, big fan of Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher for years! But there was something just right about the narrative of this one. I found it quite poetical, quite creative, very rich in description.

It's a picture book biography of Maria Anna Mozart, the older sister of Wolfgang Mozart. (Did you know that she was just as musical as her brother? Just as talented and charismatic? I've read novels--one adult, one young adult--on the subject. But I was pleased to see this as a subject of a picture book.)

The biography is presented in a unique way--her life is arranged into sonata movements. And the book definitely illustrates and defines many musical terms. For example, The First Movement: Where musical themes are introduced; Allegro: The fast tempo of the first movement; Development: Where the themes of the first movement are explored; Recapitulation: Where the themes of the first movement are reviewed; Coda: An Ending.

I would definitely recommend this one.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total:  7 out of 10

© 2011 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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