Bound To Stay Bound

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 Mary's idea
 Author: Raschka, Christopher

 Publisher:  Greenwillow Books (2023)

 Dewey: 781.6509
 Classification: Biography
 Physical Description: [32] p., col. ill., 26 cm

 BTSB No: 739789 ISBN: 9780063210509
 Ages: 4-8 Grades: K-3

 Williams, Mary Lou, -- 1910-1981
 Women jazz musicians -- United States -- Biography
 African American jazz musicians -- Biography
 Jazz musicians -- United States -- Biography
 Pianists -- United States -- Biography
 Composers -- United States -- Biography

Price: $23.98

A picture book biography of Mary Lou Williams, an American jazz pianist and composer who wrote hundreds of compositions, recorded hundreds of songs, and wrote arrangements for Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman.

   Kirkus Reviews (02/15/23)
   School Library Journal (12/15/23)
   Booklist (07/23/23)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 07/23/2023 Once again prolific author-illustrator Raschka puts the power of music onto the page, with this poetic tribute to illustrious pianist-composer-conductor (and child prodigy) Mary Lou Williams. The two-time Caldecott Medal winner reveals the mind and heart of the artist by showing only her hands—first poised above a keyboard to play, next to compose, and then held aloft to conduct. Hands lift up and away from the flat stretch of piano keys to cradle together, alone on the page, marking the moment a grieving Williams chose to withdraw from her career; swirling colors flow for her joy-filled return to music making. On brown craft-paper backgrounds, loose scribbles of bright pastels become notes stacked into chords or pulses and waves of music flowing from creator to listener. Hand-lettered in uneven black capitals, the rhyming text is spare yet evocative as any song lyric. A final page offers biographical details, where a loose ink-line portrait of Williams illuminates hand-lettering of her own words about music’s power to open the heart and heal the soul. - Copyright 2023 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 12/15/2023 PreS-K—When she was three years old, Mary Lou Williams began to play the piano, and before long, was performing with many of the greatest musicians of her time. Despite her early success, however, Williams took a step back from her career to redirect her life. Williams happily found her way back to music, shifting her focus to reflect her personal journey, and ultimately making history once again. It is rare to discover a picture book biography that is accessible to very young children, but this is one such story. Very few words are used throughout the book; every phrase reinforces the fact that the decisions Williams made in her life were her own. The font is playful, varying in size and shape throughout the book based on what is happening on the page. Alongside the words are prominently displayed illustrations that feature images of Williams's hands at significant moments in her career. Additionally, the music Williams makes appears in colors that change and shift as they find their way to listeners' ears. Back matter includes a concise biography for greater context to the primary narrative, which is nevertheless remarkably effective at communicating a life story with very few words. VERDICT This is a widely accessible introductory biography of a lesser-known pianist from 20th-century America.—Mary R. Lanni - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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