cover image Marvin Makes Music

Marvin Makes Music

Marvin Hamlisch, illus. by Jim Madsen. Dial, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3730-3

Hamlisch—the late, acclaimed composer behind A Chorus Line and The Way We Were, among many other shows and films—describes himself as a music-obsessed child who even heard music in the honking of car horns. At the piano (his “best friend”), music “flowed into his ears and out of his fingers.” Yet Marvin hates practicing the “old songs” his piano teacher prefers, as well as playing in front of people, and he dreams about conducting an orchestra performing his own compositions. In addition to sharing true-to-life details about Hamlisch’s youth (including wearing pajamas under an itchy suit), the book centers on his audition at “one of the best music schools in the city” (flap copy notes that Hamlisch attended Juilliard at age six) and getting locked out of the building just before his performance. Madsen’s (The Crossing) angular digital art has a dramatic quality that befits a life built around theater and film in a revealing glimpse into this musical legend’s childhood. A CD of an original composition by Hamlisch is included. Ages 6–8. Agent: Anna Olswanger, Liza Dawson Associates. Illustrator’s agent: Shannon Associates. (Nov.)