Candlewick Press, April 2014
An exuberant picture book applauds the man behind the 1869 National Peace Jubilee, the largest and loudest concert the world had ever seen — or heard.
As a young boy growing up in Ireland, Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore loved music — the louder, the better! This love of music followed him to Boston in 1849, where he became a bandleader. During the brutal Civil War, it was music that kept up his spirits and those of his fellow soldiers.
So when the war ended and peace was restored to the country, Patrick had an idea. He would create the biggest, boldest, loudest concert the world had ever known to celebrate. A peace jubilee!
But with twelve cannons, forty church bells, one thousand musicians, and ten thousand singers, just how would all of this sound? Matt Tavares’s spirited illustrations burst with sound words in perfect harmony with Alicia Potter’s triumphant story of the joy of music.
“Potter’s prose and Tavares’s paintings deliver a rousing performance themselves—the sea of humanity packed into the Temple of Peace as the concert begins is breathtaking, and a testament to the immense power of music.”
“Potter maintains suspense throughout—no concert this large had ever been attempted, and critics were vehement that it could only produce cacophony. Tavares’ watercolor-and-gouache paintings magnificently capture crowds, street scenes, and individual expressions, while the typeface makes the individual instrumental and street sounds leap from the page. It’s just as Potter writes at the book’s end: ‘So very, very LOUD! And so very, very beautiful.’”
“Potter employs a direct, accessible narration to describe the years of painstaking preparation and carefully builds anticipation for the main event. Words that represent sounds stand out in large bold type of varying designs; they are incorporated into Tavares’ illustrations, rendered in softly hued watercolor, gouache, ink and pencil. … Lovingly evokes a lost time.”
Awards and Honors:
- Lupine Honor Picture Book, Maine Library Association
- A Notable Trade Social Studies Book for Young People 2015