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Playing from the Heart

illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

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music, parents, death & dying
list price: $20.00
published: 2016
publisher: Candlewick Press

Peter H. Reynolds, creator of The Dot, has composed a pitch-perfect tribute to the power of music and the bonds of family.

When a young boy begins to play on his family’s piano, reveling in the fun of plunking the keys, his father signs him up for lessons so that he can learn to play properly. With his father’s encouragement, Raj learns notes, then scales, then songs, and finally classical pieces that his father can recognize and be proud of. But the more Raj practices and the more skilled he becomes, the less he enjoys playing, until he grows up and stops playing altogether. But when his father becomes ill and asks Raj to play for him, will Raj remember how to play from the heart?

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Contributor notes

Peter H. Reynolds is a New York Times best-selling illustrator who has created many acclaimed books for children. In addition to his Creatrilogy — The Dot, Ish, and Sky Color — he is the author-illustrator of Rose’s Garden, The North Star, So Few of Me, and The Smallest Gift of Christmas, as well as the illustrator of Megan McDonald’s Judy Moody and Stink series. Born in Canada, Peter H. Reynolds now lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.

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Editorial Review

Reynolds' signature mixed-media illustrations make deft use of white space and muted color to enhance the emotion of the text...A reminder (perhaps more to adults than children) not to stifle creativity but to let it flow from within.
—Kirkus Reviews

Suitable for a wide age range of music lovers, this is a lyrical and lovingly illustrated story that tugs on the heartstrings.
—School Library Journal

The illustrations—rendered in pen, ink, watercolor, gouache, and tea—are playful and delicate, reflecting the heartfulness of the story.
—Literacy Daily

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