The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano


Product Details

$19.99  $18.59
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publish Date
9.3 X 0.4 X 12.1 inches | 1.2 pounds

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About the Author

Elizabeth Rusch is an award-winning children's book author and magazine writer. Her books include The Mighty Mars Rovers, For the Love of Music: The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart, and Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World. She teaches nonfiction and children's literature at the Attic Institute in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at

Marjorie Priceman, illustrator of many acclaimed picture books, has won Caldecott Honors for her illustrations in Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin! by Lloyd Moss and Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the Frist Hot-Air Balloon Ride, which she also wrote. She lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.


* "Rusch playfully weaves aural imagery throughout this engaging story of how Bartolomeo Cristofori came to invent the piano . . . It's a spirited, informative tale that will resonate with music aficionados young and old."--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review "February 27, 2017 "
* "A bright, colorful introduction to a beloved instrument . . . Priceman's signature artwork is a perfect match for the words . . . Delightfully energetic, this will inspire young pianists."--Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review "2/15/17 "
* "Priceman's watercolors are zesty evocations of sound unleashed . . . Rusch supplies an amazing treasure trove of back matter that extends the title's interest beyond an expected picture-book audience . . . Kids taking music lessons or preparing for a school invention fair, teachers looking for high quality STEAM materials, and anyone with earbuds dangling from her/his head need to listen to the Cristofori story."--BCCB, Starred Review "April 2017 "
"Priceman's gouache-and-ink illustrations exuberantly fill all available page space . . . Fast-paced, lively, and informative, this book will appeal to music lovers as well as a wider audience, who may be creatively inspired by these passionate musicians and their instruments."--Booklist "February 1, 2017 "
"A well-researched, fascinating account of the father of modern-day pianos . . . Rusch's energetic text is paired well with Priceman's vibrant images, rendered in gouache and ink with bold strokes . . . A strong purchase for music lovers, budding pianists, and large biography and STEAM collections."--School Library Journal "April 2017 "
"Rusch's evocative text is underscored by Priceman's breezy but detailed gouache-and-ink illustrations and the book's dynamic design . . . which add a near soundtrack to the words. . . Bravo!"--The Horn Book "July/August 2017 "