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Mary's Idea



Greenwillow Books


(pub.5.16.2023) 32 pages

Author and illustrator:

Chris Raschka

Character: Mary Lou Williams


" At the age of three, Mary Lou Williams taught herself how to play the piano. At the age of fifteen, she was considered a professional. An American jazz pianist and composer, Mary Lou Williams wrote hundreds of compositions, recorded hundreds of songs, and wrote arrangements for musicians, including Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman.

With a text full of rhythm and movement and illustrations that sing off the page, Chris Raschka’s picture book is equal parts biography and celebration of the imagination, ideas, and creative process."

Tantalizing taste:

"It was Mary's idea to play

the piano at three.

It was Mary's idea

to play the piano for me.

It was Mary's idea to make

the songs, to lead the band,

to shape the sounds ...

and Mary's ideas are grand."

And something more: The last page of the book includes a quote by Mary Lou Williams: "Your attentive participation, thru listening with your ears and your heart, will allow you to enjoy fully this exchange of ideas, to sense these various moods, and to reap the full therapeutic rewards that good music always brings to a tired, disturbed soul and all 'who dig the sounds.'"


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