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THE 39 APARTMENTS OF LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN by Jonah Winter

THE 39 APARTMENTS OF LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN

By Jonah Winter (Author) , Barry Blitt (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 2006
ISBN: 0-375-83602-0
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Those appreciative of Beethoven’s work can now commiserate with the difficulties of owning five legless pianos and having to move in and out of 39 apartments all because of rude neighbors who couldn’t tell a good note from a toneless bang. From this proven fact, Winter has crafted an entertaining tale that is less biography than fascinating sidebar. Children with no knowledge of Beethoven will laugh at the increasingly elaborate and far-fetched schemes to move his pianos, while perhaps gaining a rudimentary knowledge of physics. There’s also a tongue-in-cheek observance of the need to separate fact from fiction while examining the historical record. Do those water stains really “reveal that he then dumped another bowl of water on his head?” Blitt’s watercolors deftly capture Beethoven-era Vienna and his increasing frenzy brought on by deafness. Through it all, Beethoven looms larger than life, as well he should. A previously missing manuscript provides elegant endpapers. A handsome and engaging tale. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-7)