The 39 Apartments of Ludwig van Beethoven – Perfect Picture Book Friday (PPBF)

A baby grand piano stands in my living room. The piano belonged to my aunt, Tante Helen. In her lifetime, the piano remained her pride and joy. When I think about my aunt, I either picture her stretching strudel dough over the backs of her hands in her cozy kitchen, painting a great forgery or abstract in her downstairs art studio, or playing her piano. Every holiday, every afternoon I visited her, and every free moment she found, Tante Helen played her piano. I loved to watch her disciplined fingers dance across the keys, filling her house with the music of Bach and Beethoven as well as popular songs from the movies and musicals of her youth.

When Tante Helen passed away, I inherited her piano. And thanks to years of piano lessons back in my school girl days, I enjoy playing that beautiful baby grand, too.

Since the day I inherited the piano, my husband and I have moved five times. Each time the piano movers arrive, I hold my breath until my cheeks are blue, watching the movers prop up my aunt’s beloved piano, remove the legs, wrap and secure moving blankets around the instrument before grunting as they tilt it on its side for what looks like a precarious ride out to the moving van. I feel like I don’t inhale again until we’re settled in our new home, and the piano is back on its legs.

Although I have only moved with the piano five times, someone in history has moved with his pianos (very plural) a whopping total of 39!

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday (PPBF). Today I’d like to share the picture book, The 39 Apartments of Ludwig van Beethoven by Johah Winter, illustrated by Barry Blitt.

Title – The 39 Apartments of Ludwig van Beethoven

Written by – Jonah Winter

Illustrated by – Barry Blitt

Published by – Schwartz & Wade books 2006

Suitable for ages – 4-9

Topics/Theme –  determination and persistence

Opening –  

FACT: Ludwig van Beethoven was born in the town of Bonn in the country of Germany i the year 1770. Years later, he became a great composer.

FACT: Ludwig van Beethoven owned five legless pianos and composed great works on the floor.

Amazon Review –  View it HERE. How hard is it to move 5 legless pianos 39 times?
Beethoven owned five legless pianos and composed great works on the floor. His first apartment was in the center of Vienna’s theater district… but he forgot to pay rent, so he had to move. (And it’s very hard to move a piano. Even harder to move five). Beethoven’s next apartment was in a dangerous part of town… so he moved, and the pianos followed on a series of pulleys. Then came an apartment with a view of the Danube (but he made too much noise and the neighbors complained), followed by an attic apartment (where he made even MORE of a ruckus), and so Beethoven moved again and again. Each time, pianos were bought, left behind, transported on pulleys, slides, and by movers, all so that gifted Beethoven could compose great works of music for the world.

Why do I like this book?  Unlike Beethoven, I honestly didn’t move with my aunt’s piano numerous times because my playing disturbed my neighbors, but I can’t help but admire the passion Beethoven felt for his music under the pressure of neighbor after neighbor complaining about his loud playing and his continued determination to find a place to live where he could compose his music.
Because very little is known about why Beethoven moved so many times, the author wrote what he calls a mockumentary. Written with humor and accompanied by playful art, Beethoven’s passion for composing music is brought to life in a kid-friendly, entertaining story.
Learn about Jonah Winter HERE.

Lear about Barry Blitt HERE.

Visit a kid-friendly site about Beethoven Here.

Find more “Perfect Picture Book Friday” reviews at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog HERE.

10 thoughts on “The 39 Apartments of Ludwig van Beethoven – Perfect Picture Book Friday (PPBF)

  1. Love this little-known fact about Beethoven & you! We have a concert grand that we moved from England to a house in the US & then moved to a small condo, where it awaits the someday when my eldest has the space for it. In the meantime, our son sometimes escapes his college housing to regale our neighbors with his improv’s. Can’t wait to find & read this book!

    Liked by 1 person

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