Becoming Bach

Tom Leonard. Roaring Brook/Porter, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62672-286-6
In an imagined, first-person narrative, Johann Sebastian Bach recounts how music permeated his life. “I needed to make patterns, so I wrote music,” Bach explains; Leonard (Who Will Plant a Tree?) shows the young man staring into the distance as pale ribbons of musical notation swirl around him. Along with staffs and notes, colorful baroque ornamentation fills the pages, visually cementing the connection between the music Bach created and the world that inspired and informed it. While the narration is spare, a closing endnote dives into greater detail about Bach’s upbringing, family life, and musical output. It’s a visually striking portrait of a musician’s compulsion to create, and of how music can transcend distance and time. Ages 4–10. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2017
Release date: 02/28/2017
Genre: Children's
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