Author: Raschka, Christopher
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)
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.