Strings quivered. Notes shimmered. Meet best friends acclaimed composer Ludwig van Beethoven and bold female entrepreneur Nannette Streicher in this lively and lyrical nonfiction picture book.
In a tall, narrow building on a wide avenue pianos plinked and plunked day and night. Everyone in quiet Augsburg knew the Stein home. What music!
In 1787, aspiring yet unknown composer Ludwig van Beethoven arrives at young Nannette Stein’s home. What follows is a decades-long friendship that persists whether life hits a low or high note. Acclaimed nonfiction writer Laurie Lawlor deftly depicts how these two fascinating friends—a composer with hearing loss and a woman who became an innovative piano maker in a time that discouraged female entrepreneurship—fought the odds and worked together in perfect harmony.
The author of picture book biography Fearless World Traveler, Lawlor masterfully uses forgotten historical letters, a glossary, and rich back matter on both friends’ lives and art to introduce readers to the man behind the music, from his loud laughter to his crushing handshake.
Complete with Fearless World Traveler collaborator Becca Stadtlander’s intricate mixed-media artwork, What Music deftly dives into musical history–and herstory–in an intimate yet expansive picture book biography that hits just the right note.
About the Author
Laurie Lawlor is a prolific and celebrated author of children's books. Her picture book biography Rachel Carson and her Book That Changed the World was named a Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year and a National Science Teachers Association Outstanding Science Trade Book and received the John Burroughs Riverby Award. Her Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World was named a NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book. She lives and teaches in the Chicago metropolitan area.
Becca Stadtlander is an award-winning illustrator and fine artist. She won the Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Illustration for Made By Hand: A Craft Sampler. She also illustrated On the Wingby David Elliott, which received two starred reviews as well as a Golden Kite Award. She attended the Maryland Institute College of Art and currently lives and works in her hometown of Covington, Kentucky.
★ "Language as strong and melodic as her subjects’ music. . . .What a friendship!"—Booklist, Starred Review "Stadtlander’s gouache and pencil illustrations not only capture the era but also use setting to accentuate character traits."—The Horn Book
"Delicate details in Stadtlander’s gouache and colored pencil artwork invite close scrutiny of intricate historical scenes, while vibrant nature imagery conveys the excitement of the pair’s work."—Publishers Weekly "Gorgeous gouache and colored-pencil illustrations bring the detailed period artworks to radiant life. Music lovers will rejoice over this worthy title."—Kirkus Reviews