Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 5
What did you like about the book? This picture book tells the story of composer George Gershwin from his childhood to the creation of his renowned Rhapsody in Blue. The book begins with a fitting quote by Gershwin “I frequently hear music in the very heart of noise.” The gorgeous illustrations of acrylic on paper are rendered in appropriate tones of blue and are based on period photographs. Much of the text is hand-lettered and swirls through the illustrations. The reader sees how George is immersed in the music he hears all around him from classical, to ragtime, to blues, to jazz. George also listens to the music of the city, the “Rattle-ty-Bang! Rattle-ty-Bang!” of a train and the “staccato beats” of footsteps. This is a wonderful look at the creative process and music composition. The book includes an Author’s Note that gives more biographical information as well as a Timeline of Gershwin’s life and a Selected Bibliography. Reading this will have you seeking out a recording of Rhapsody In Blue!
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? This is a book to hand to readers who love music and learning about the lives of musicians.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries and elementary school libraries
Where would you shelve it? Picture Book Biographies
Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA
Date of review: 1/22/17