Because
Because

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Annotation: A series of events, some seemingly very insignificant, lead to a young girl attending a life-changing concert.
Catalog Number: #182467
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Hyperion
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Ren, Amber,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-368-01901-3 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-4523-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-368-01901-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-4523-9
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2017046403
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
Willems departs from his usual comic fare in this ode to the many people that inspire and contribute to the creation of art in young people.Each spread in the first half of the book states a causal effect: "Because a man named Ludwig wrote beautiful music— / a man named Franz was inspired to create his own. // Because many years later, people wanted to hear Franz's beautiful music— / they formed an orchestra." Musicians who have practiced diligently are invited to participate, workers make sure the concert hall is ready, and ushers open the doors. This chain continues as each person contributes to the culmination of a present-day grand orchestral performance at which a little tawny-brown-skinned girl is present, "because" her uncle has caught a cold and given her his ticket. This little girl is changed by this experience, and in the second half of the book, she grows up to create her own music that then inspires another child, who listens outside. Debut illustrator Ren's delicate cartoon art depicts both a realistic multicultural community and magical representations of music and inspiration. Both the protagonist and the child who hears her are depicted borne aloft by tendrils of colored music.While many books celebrate the arts and creativity, this one stands out for recognizing the importance of community support; from the orchestra librarian to the music lovers who purchase tickets, everyone contributes to the culture of creativity. (Picture book. 4-8)
Publishers Weekly
A quiet Willems book traces a child-s path to her musical vocation as the consequence of a string of events and contributions: -Because a man named Ludwig wrote beautiful music-/ a man named Franz was inspired to create his own.- For the love of Schubert, present-day musicians form an orchestra. They practice and schedule a concert, and because -someone-s uncle caught a cold,- a brown-skinned girl in a red sweatshirt gets a ticket, and the experience changes her. She floats out of the concert hall; vignettes show her practicing multiple instruments diligently. Because -she worked very hard--and because -she was also very lucky--she becomes a composer, and the performance of her work joins the chain of events that change lives. Willems-s story celebrates making music while acknowledging those whom celebrations of high culture sometimes ignore: -Because workers checked the lights and the seats....- Debut illustrator Ren takes the sprightly energy of The Philharmonic Gets Dressed and adds depth, with distinctive expressions for each diverse face and a wonderful vision of the powerful emotions that music evokes-building on the idea that it takes multiple players to create something wonderful. Ages 3-5. Author-s agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt Agency. Illustrator-s agent: Jen Rofé, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*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.
Word Count: 320
Reading Level: 3.4
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.4 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 501729 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD820L

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.


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