Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Becoming Bach

Becoming Bach
by Tom Leonard
Roaring Brook Press, 2017. Informational. (unpag)
In this beautifully illustrated picture book biography, Leonard gives the young reader a glimpse into the early life and musical legacy of Johann Sebastian Bach. The spare text --there are only a few lines per page-- is written in first person, as if Bach is telling his own story. He relates how he was orphaned at a young age and was raised by an older brother.  He became a professional musician quite young, and lived his whole life within 200 miles of his birthplace. The richly colored illustrations are sometimes realistic, but most often swirl with multicolored staffs of notes. Some of the people and objects are completely made out of notes. Leonard does a great job representing Bach's polyphonic and complex music visually. This is a wonderful book for music-loving parents to share with children or for young musicians to peruse on their own. Why not download some of Bach's music from Freegal (the Library's free music server) and listen along while you read?

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