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The Music of Life
Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano
Table of Contents
About The Book
Bartolomeo Cristofori coaxes just the right sounds from the musical instruments he makes. Some of his keyboards can play piano, light and soft; others make forte notes ring out, strong and loud, but Cristofori longs to create an instrument that can be played both soft and loud.
His talent has caught the attention of Prince Ferdinando de Medici, who wants his court to become the musical center of Italy. The prince brings Cristofori to the noisy city of Florence, where the goldsmiths’ tiny hammers whisper tink, tink and the blacksmiths’ big sledgehammers shout BANG, BANG! Could hammers be the key to the new instrument?
At last Cristofori gets his creation just right. It is called the pianoforte, for what it can do. All around the world, people young and old can play the most intricate music of their lives, thanks to Bartolomeo Cristofori’s marvelous creation: the piano.
About The Illustrator
Marjorie Priceman, illustrator of many acclaimed picture books, has won Caldecott Honors for her illustrations in Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin! by Lloyd Moss and Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the Frist Hot-Air Balloon Ride, which she also wrote. She lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
- Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (April 18, 2017)
- Length: 48 pages
- ISBN13: 9781481444842
- Grades: P - 3
- Ages: 4 - 8
- Lexile ® 980L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
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Raves and Reviews
* “Rusch playfully weaves aural imagery throughout this engaging story of how Bartolomeo Cristofori came to invent the piano . . . It’s a spirited, informative tale that will resonate with music aficionados young and old.”
– Publishers Weekly, Starred Review, February 27, 2017
* “A bright, colorful introduction to a beloved instrument . . . Priceman's signature artwork is a perfect match for the words . . . Delightfully energetic, this will inspire young pianists.”
– Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review, 2/15/17
* “Priceman’s watercolors are zesty evocations of sound unleashed . . . Rusch supplies an amazing treasure trove of back matter that extends the title’s interest beyond an expected picture-book audience . . . Kids taking music lessons or preparing for a school invention fair, teachers looking for high quality STEAM materials, and anyone with earbuds dangling from her/his head need to listen to the Cristofori story.”
– BCCB, Starred Review, April 2017
“Priceman’s gouache-and-ink illustrations exuberantly fill all available page space . . . Fast-paced, lively, and informative, this book will appeal to music lovers as well as a wider audience, who may be creatively inspired by these passionate musicians and their instruments.”
– Booklist, February 1, 2017
“A well-researched, fascinating account of the father of modern-day pianos . . . Rusch’s energetic text is paired well with Priceman’s vibrant images, rendered in gouache and ink with bold strokes . . . A strong purchase for music lovers, budding pianists, and large biography and STEAM collections.”
– School Library Journal, April 2017
“Rusch’s evocative text is underscored by Priceman’s breezy but detailed gouache-and-ink illustrations and the book’s dynamic design . . . which add a near soundtrack to the words. . . Bravo!”
– The Horn Book, July/August 2017
Awards and Honors
- CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book
- Bank Street Children's Book Award
- Oregon Book Award Finalist
- NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended Book
- New York Public Library Best Books for Kids
- CBC-NSTA Best STEM Book
- Topaz Nonfiction Reading List (TX)
Resources and Downloads
High Resolution Images
- Book Cover Image (jpg): The Music of Life Hardcover 9781481444842
- Author Photo (jpg): Elizabeth Rusch Photo by Lynne Spencer(0.1 MB)
Any use of an author photo must include its respective photo credit
More books from this illustrator: Marjorie Priceman
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