Monday, September 9, 2013

The Extraordinary Music of Mr. Ives by Joanne Stanbridge - OPTIONAL

Stanbridge, Joanne  The Extraordinary Music of Mr. Ives  Houghton Mifflin, 2012.  $16.99 PICTURE BOOK  Content: G. 
Mr. Ives is a man who hears music in the everyday noises of the city.  He goes to work at an accounting office and hears music as he walks on the streets, works in the office and rides on the train.  When the Lusitania is shot down in 1915, the city is overcome with sadness and Mr. Ives is waiting at the train station when a street performer starts to sing “In the sweet bye and bye” and the people along the street all stop and join in with the singing.  Mr. Ives takes the experience home with him and writes the music and names it “From Hanover Square North, at the End of a Tragic Day, the Voice of the People Again Arose”.  Mr. Ives passes away and then fifteen years later is music begins to become famous. 
This is a good story about appreciating the music in the sounds around us.  It also shows that the musician enjoyed his own music, even when people didn’t appreciate it, he still wrote it.  The middle of the book has a few page spreads that show Lusitania sinking and some of the survivors getting off the ship, but no text to go with it.  This would be a good book to help kids understand where musicians draw their inspiration to write music. 
EL, MS-OPTIONAL  Reviewer, C. Peterson.

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