Handel, Who Knew What He Liked by M.T. Anderson

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A droll biography reveals the high notes—and the low notes—in the life of the world’s foremost composer of Baroque music.

This is not your usual picture book biography. Nor was George Frideric Handel your everyday eighteenth-century composer. This witty and yet rigorously researched and accessible biography captures Handel’s essential spirit—from a child who smuggled a clavichord into the attic to play music against his father’s orders to a young man who imported forty-five pounds of mountain snow to chill wine for a gala—as well as his remarkable, enduring musical triumphs. But M. T. Anderson also shows Handel’s struggles and chronicles the illness, ill fortune, and despair that led to his greatest achievement, the Messiah. With impeccable detail and a wink at the reader, Kevin Hawkes illustrates the singular story of Handel and the music through which he lives on.

About M.T. Anderson

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M. T. Anderson is the author of the young adult novels THIRSTY and BURGER WUSS and a faculty member of Vermont College's MFA Program in Writing for Children. About HANDEL, WHO KNEW WHAT HE LIKED, he says, "As a child, I loved Handel's music, because it seemed to suggest that humans are a noble race, full of reason and gentility. Then I got to high school."Kevin Hawkes is the illustrator of a number of popular books for children, including WESLANDIA, THE LIBRARIAN WHO MEASURED THE EARTH, MARVEN OF THE GREAT NORTH WOODS, and PAINTING THE WIND: A STORY OF VINCENT VAN GOGH. He says, "I loved illustrating this book, though it was quite a challenge—Handel's music is so beautiful and powerful, and his life was so complex. I hope I've done him justice."From the Hardcover edition.
Published October 1, 2001 by Candlewick. 48 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Children's Books, History, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Readers don’t need to know anything about the composer to enjoy this lively biography, but it is hard to imagine anyone reading these pages who wouldn’t want to run right out to hear the “Water Music” or a snatch of the “Messiah.” Handel’s father didn’t want him to be a musician, but the boy snuc...

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Publishers Weekly

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The author comically debunks popular myths as well, such as the tradition of a standing ovation during the "Hallelujah Chorus" originating with the king: "This story is almost certainly not true, but it is a good story nonetheless."

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