Playing from the Heart (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

What a meaningful new picture book story about a boy’s relationship with his piano, his father and his own creativity.  Diving deeper, the narrative addresses a tension many of us can relate to - between our innate, inspired creativity and the pressure of serious practice and skill which can take our ‘spark’ away.  What I love in Reynold’s story is that in the end, he cheers for music to be about joy and heart over perfection and he poetically tells this story from his heart.

— From Batya's Picks


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?

About the Author

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.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780763678920
ISBN-10: 0763678929
Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication Date: April 12th, 2016
Pages: 32
Language: English