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FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC by Elizabeth Rusch Kirkus Star


The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart

by Elizabeth Rusch, illustrated by Steve Johnson, Lou Fancher

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Feb. 8th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-58246-326-1
Publisher: Tricycle

The older sister of the composer Mozart was a child prodigy herself and toured with her little brother to great acclaim across 18th-century Europe. She wrote down his first symphony when they were in England. But soon it was just the young Wolfgang who played before adoring crowds. Mozart died at 35, and Maria married and raised five stepchildren and several of her own, but she continued to play and teach. This is an extraordinarily constructed work: Rusch uses the form of a sonata to tell her story, dividing it into movements and indicating tempi and other musical notations. She illuminates in simple but vivid terms how important music was to Maria and how she kept learning and exploring her art based on such sources as Mozart’s own letters, as she left no music or writing behind. Johnson and Fancher echo the elegant construction of the text by making their pictures in fabric and paper as well as oil and acrylic, so every image is full of texture and heft. (notes on language and music, biographical note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)