What Charlie Heardby Mordicai Gerstein (Author, Illustrator)
What’s noise to you, is Music to me.
BING BONG BOOM! TA TA TA! Ribbit Ribbit! SPLASH CLANG CLINCK!
Charlie was born with ears wide open. His father was a music teacher and also lead the town’s only band. From early on Charlie experimented with music. Dogs barks, Church bell sounds, swish of his mothers dress.. were all music to his ears. As he grew older he learned to combine these “sounds” into a musical pieces. He longed for the world to hear what he heard! But all that the people heard was noise!
“Most people didn’t know how to listen to it” he lamented. Some people thought it was a joke, some thought it was annoying and others felt down right angry. But Charlie kept on writing. Whether it was the cheering of the crowd, bands playing all at once, fire engines clacking or even the ducks quacking, Charles found ways to compose these into beautiful music.
“It was a new kind of music” Charles said. “It didn’t have to be pretty, just true to his feelings..” and Charlie kept writing. He grew up, got married, became successful at an insurance job. Yet he never stopped writing. So what happens at the end? Does he ever get noticed? Does all his work go to the grave?
Mordecai Gernstein has done it again. A simple book with busy pages of sounds from everywhere. We read each and every sound that Charlie heard and tried to imagine the music that he thought it was. Mordecai’s brilliant dedication to Charles Ives work in this children picture book will soon be your favorite read aloud. Message in this book: Don’t let criticism or scorn stop you from keeping true to your passion.