Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Marvin Makes Music by Marvin Hamlisch and Illustrated by Jim Madsen

Marvin Makes MusicMarvin Makes Music by Marvin Hamlisch and Illustrated by Jim Madsen.  Ages 4 – 8 (2.5 year old son loved it).  Dial Books for Young Readers.  November 2012.  32 pages.  ISBN-13: 978-0803737303. Nonfiction. $17.99

Summary:  This book is based on the true story of Marvin Hamlisch’s audition and acceptance to the Julliard School.  Marvin loves music.  He hears it everywhere and his piano is his best friend.  He loves composing his own music and he’d much rather play his own music than practice.

One day his father tells him that he and his piano teacher think he’s ready to enroll into one of the best music schools in the city.

The day of his audition is anything but smooth.  He and his father actually get trapped on the roof where he’s auditioning.  After getting back into the building, Marvin manages to come through and play his best. He becomes the youngest person ever accepted into the Julliard School.

This book also comes with a CD of The Music in My Mind.

Our Experience Reading this Book:  We highly, highly recommend this book.  It’s a nonfiction book that reads like a fairy tale.  The beautiful and stylized 1950’s/1960’s era illustrations set the tone and transport you back in history effortlessly.

It’s a wonderful book that reminds you that even people who are passionate and talented musicians don’t necessarily want to practice.  It also reminds us that it is important to overcome the things that scare us (like performing in front of people and auditions) to do what we love.

The suspense when Marvin and his father get locked out on the roof of the building is very well done.  My son actually exclaimed, “Oh no!”  When we finished reading the book my son wanted to turn around and read it again.  We’ve read it several days in a row now and have enjoyed it immensely each time.

After reading this book the other day, it was time for me to fix some lunch.  I went into the kitchen and left my son in the living room to play.  A few minutes later  I was thrilled to hear my son playing on his electronic keyboard.  I said, “Oh, what are you playing?”  He smiled and said, “Come play with me!”  How could I resist that?

It’s an inspirational picture book that I hope will inspire many, many people to come.

Where Obtained:  Library.

FTC Disclosures:  Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” If you click on the link and purchase the book, I will receive an affiliate commission.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Author/Illustrator Website: 

Some of my Favorite Reviews of this Book:



I’m linking up this post over at:

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted over at

Please go visit and hook up a nonfiction picture book review of your own and see other nonfiction picture book recommendations!  This is a great resource and Kidlitfrenzy is an amazing blog!

I’m also participating in the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2013.  I’ve set my goal for 25 books.  This is 1/25 since signing up for the challenge.


  1. This looks fantastic! We will definitely be getting it from the library! (And thanks for including that your 2.5-year-old loved it–I find that a lot of books, although maybe geared towards an older age group, are still more than appropriate for the younger crowd.)


    • Thank you! I’ve also been surprised at what books my son enjoys. I don’t really pay attention to the age range anymore. My philosophy is: Try it and see if he likes it. If he likes it, great. If not, we’ll try again later.

      Thank you so much for stopping by. 🙂


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