Title: For the Love of Music: the remarkable story of Maria Anna Mozart
Author: Elizabeth Rusch
Illustrator: Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher
Publisher: New York: Tricycle Press/Random House, 2011
Genre: Picture book, historical/biographical fiction
Audience Age: 5 and up
Theme: music, biography of Mozart’s sister, love between brother and sister, love of music, history of music
Opening Sentences: When Maria Anna Mozart was a child, her life thrummed with music. Court musicians trumpeted French horns, choruses tra-la-la’ed, and countless fingers skittered up and down scales. “Oh father,” Maria pleaded, “please teach me to play!” And so he did.
Synopsis: Through illustrations that combine painting, fabric and lines of music, and text that appears to be on heavy cream-colored paper on the facing page, the life story of Mozart’s older sister, Maria Anna, is told. Each page of text is headed by a musical term that fits with the portion of the story that is being told. Maria Anna played the piano beautifully, she was said to be the most promising pianist in Europe – then one day her little brother, Wolfgang reached up and touched the keys. The children were soon playing duets, and were toured about as prodigies. They loved to play together. As they got older, Maria Anna had to stay home, while her brother became more and more famous. For love of music, she kept the music within her alive throughout her life.
Activities/Resources: The author provides a Curriculum Guide, and music/art projects on her website:
Availability: Readily available in hardcover.