Marvin Makes Music

( 2 )

Overview

A true story from one of America's most beloved composers

Marvin loves to play the piano and compose his own songs. But performing music over and over that's composed by some old guys name Ludwig and Wolfgang just gives him knots in his stomach. When his father tells Marvin he has an audition with the most prestigious music school, how can Marvin overcome his nerves and get swept away by the music?

This endearing book is based on the true life ...

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Overview

A true story from one of America's most beloved composers

Marvin loves to play the piano and compose his own songs. But performing music over and over that's composed by some old guys name Ludwig and Wolfgang just gives him knots in his stomach. When his father tells Marvin he has an audition with the most prestigious music school, how can Marvin overcome his nerves and get swept away by the music?

This endearing book is based on the true life story of composer Marvin Hamlisch, who, at the age of six, was the youngest person ever accepted into the Juilliard School.

Includes CD with original song

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
…[a] sweet and inspirational autobiographical tale…
—Pamela Paul
Publishers Weekly
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.)
Children's Literature - Tiffany Torbeck
Young Marvin loves to play the piano, but like many young musicians, he does not like to practice. Instead, Marvin wants to play the kind of music that he likes, music that reminds him of a city symphony. But Marvin's parents are so proud of his ability that they have him play for any guest to their home, and soon they are excitedly preparing for an audition at an exclusive music school. Marvin is so nervous that his father takes him up to the roof to enjoy the clouds, but the door locks behind them and they are trapped. How will Marvin make his audition? This slight cliffhanger is quickly resolved and the story ends happily. Marvin's story will show children that practice can ultimately lead to success, but most readers will not stick around long enough to learn this lesson. While the illustrations are lovely, they are not engaging, and this book is overly sentimental and preachy. A CD is included featuring an original song by Hamlisch, making this book even more difficult to categorize as it is not a true book and CD kit, but rather a picture book with a bonus CD. Most libraries will likely pass on this volume as it adds little value to popular or story time picture book collections. Reviewer: Tiffany Torbeck
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—This autobiographical picture book depicts the youth of the composer/conductor. A child prodigy, Hamlisch entered Julliard at the age of seven. He tells of his love of music, his annoyance with practicing, and his nervousness at performing for others (including the Julliard judges). Humorous details include Marvin wearing his soft pajamas under his scratchy suit and getting locked on the roof before his audition.The digital paintings are lush, with a look of Disney-esque animation to them, although Marvin's father has the same expression in every scene. There is far too little detail for report-writing, but Hamlisch's personal story may inspire young music lovers to research further.—Heidi Estrin, Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803737303
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/8/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 218,012
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Marvin Hamlisch is the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, and Pulitzer-winning composer of the scores for Broadway's A Chorus Line and over 40 films, including The Way We Were. He lives in New York City.

Jim Madsen has been illustrating for more than 20 years. He makes his home in Provo, Utah, with his wife and three children.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 2, 2012

    Do you remember singing along to ¿Nobody Does it Better,¿ or the

    Do you remember singing along to ‘Nobody Does it Better,” or the ‘Way We Were?” Do you remember getting a little knot in your stomach the first time you heard Melissa Manchester sing ‘Looking Through the Eyes of Love?’ Do you remember humming the music from “The Sting?” Who doesn’t?

    What if those songs did not exist? What if our favorite singer, composer or group never stepped before a microphone or sat down at a piano? That is the plight that may have already happened or will happen because a young gifted child is not able to follow his or her dream. How many children have been told to “be quiet” when they were banging drums in a basement or dusty garage and then walked away from the music because of the criticism?

    Many of us grew up with a piano in our house, but did not pursue a potential magnificent opportunity.

    “Marvin Makes Music” is a children’s book penned by Marvin Hamlisch shortly before his death. It was illustrated by Jim Madsen who magically connects Marvin’s words to pictures. It is a wonderful tale through the eyes of a young Marvin as he follows his dream, albeit filled with some struggles. If someone hears music or words coming from blaring car horns or the chatter of seagulls it is inherent in all of us to help foster those emotions and allow a child or even a grandma to express that special talent.
    Marvin and Rupert Holmes also produced a musical CD for the book that is an excellent method to further explain how a car horn or a cricket’s chirp can help produce music. It is believed to be the last recording by Mr. Hamlisch before his death.
    This is a must-read for all who believe that dreams do exist and can come true and it should be shared with any child who is willing or wanting to listen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2012

    Marvin Hamlisch was a great talent. Even as we mourn his loss, w

    Marvin Hamlisch was a great talent. Even as we mourn his loss, we are fortunate to have this charming, delightful children's story. It is Marvin's story and, like Marvin himself, it is charming, friendly, funny, and delightful. Great timing, too: a perfect gift for any children on your holiday shopping list.


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