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Because
2019
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Summary
Mo Willems, a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, composes a powerful symphony of chance, discovery, persistence, and magic in this moving tale of a young girl's journey to center stage. Illustrator Amber Ren brings Willems' music to life, conducting a stunning picture-book debut.
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2-In this celebration of the chance happenings in life that inspire us, Willems presents an artfully written dedication to the power of music and those who live for it. Ren's lively and deeply saturated cartoon illustrations delightfully capture the audacity and power of inspiration as a little girl, by chance, gets taken to a concert and enjoys a symphony orchestra performance. The experience is so transcendent that she becomes galvanized to create music of her own. In order to get to that point, however, there were other people whose passions and hard work paved the way for that little girl in row C, seat 14. VERDICT An iconic book not only for musicians and music lovers but also for anyone wishing to celebrate those who came before them and those who come after.-Amanda C. Buschmann, Carroll Elementary School, Houston © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Because a man named Ludwig wrote beautiful music, a man named Franz was inspired to create his own. Because people wanted to hear it, they formed an orchestra. Because the musicians had practiced their instruments since childhood, they could play it beautifully. Because workers checked lights and swept floors, the concert hall was ready. Because her uncle had a cold, a girl accompanied her aunt to the performance. And when the orchestra played Shubert's Unfinished Symphony, it captivated the child, transported her, changed her. As she grew up, she worked hard, learning about music, playing it, and writing it, until, one day, she conducted her own piece in the same hall. And hearing it, someone else was changed. Writing simply but powerfully about inspiration, its links from one generation to another, and the seemingly random elements that culminate in a transformative moment, Willems creates a narrative that will resonate with both children and adults. In her first picture book, Ren uses expressive line drawings and subtle washes of color to illustrate this unusual story. Her depiction of music brings a sense of enchantment to the pages, particularly in the series of pictures indicating the girl's growing ability. This radiant picture book celebrates the magical, far-reaching power of serendipity. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: If there's an award, Willems has won it. That sound you hear is this new collaboration soaring off the shelves.--Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2018 Booklist
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