HOSEA PLAYS ON by Kathleen M. Blasi


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 8
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A fictional tribute to a local musician whose dedication to music has a long-lasting effect on his community.

Blasi’s narrative centers on a Rochester, New York, local who plays his saxophone in an outdoor market for passersby every day. Told through simple sentences and sound effects, the story immerses young readers in the busy city life. There is a lot to unpack in this book around socio-economic status as Hosea, a white-bearded black man, passes a light-skinned neighbor kid, Nate, who plays pretend trumpet to him. Hosea’s only stated goal is to make “enough” money, but the text leaves readers wondering what he needs money for. Locals flock to Hosea as he plays through the sunshine and rain. When Hosea has “enough” money he heads back to present readers with a pleasant surprise ending and a sweet reminder of the kindness that seemed to embody Hosea Missouri Taylor Jr., who died in 2016. An author’s note closes the book, offering a brief biography and sharing the immense impact he had on those around him. Evans employs a bright color palette and leaves that whoosh with swirls of faint color through the pages to connect readers to Hosea’s music.

Both a heartfelt eulogy and a musical inspiration for a whole new generation of young readers. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 7th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-4549-2683-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Sterling
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2019


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