A handful of picture book biographies about women arrived for me at the library this week, and since March is Women’s History Month, I’ll be featuring them for the rest of the week.
Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Summary: Maria Anna Mozart, known as Nannerl, tells the story of her life growing up with her younger brother, Wolfie. The two of them took to music at an early age and were playing concert halls in cities across Europe from the ages of five and ten. Nannerl also loved composing, but her father forbade it, saying that writing music was only for men. When Nannerl turned eighteen, she was told that touring was over for her and that she would stay home and get married. Wolfie continued to tour, and their correspondence grew less and less frequent until one devastating day when she learned of his death. Nannerl lived for almost forty more years, returning to Salzburg and her beloved harpsichord. Includes an author’s note explaining that this book is creative nonfiction, not a strict biography; also, a timeline, glossary, and list of books and online sources. 40 pages; grades K-4.
Pros: This is a fascinating story made more interesting by being told in Nannerl’s voice. The illustrations are a beautiful addition, particularly the ones that show the music created by the Mozarts.
Cons: A quick look at Wikipedia tells me there is a lot more to Maria Anna’s story and her relationship with her brother and father than this book is able to cover.