Book Review: Mr. Mergler, Beethoven, and Me by David Gutnick, Mathilde Cinq-Mars

Mr. Mergler, Beethoven, and Me is a picturebook written by David Gutnick and illustrated by Mathilde Cinq-Mars. Not long after arriving in North America from China, a young girl and her father bump into a kind old man at their local park. They have no idea that he has been teaching young people music for over fifty years. Mr. Mergler can hear music in a way that most of us can't, and he knows this little girl has a talent that, with encouragement, will grow into something magical. He gives her a gift that will tie them together forever. This story is inspired by events in the life of Daniel Mergler—a wonderful musician who loved to teach and whose generous spirit inspires author and journalist David Gutnick to this day.
Mr. Mergler, Beethoven, and Me is a lovely picturebook about how strangers can make connections through music, and how music can effect people. I like that the story is based on real people, and the relationships that they could have built. I liked seeing the young girl connecting with the music and Mr. Mergler, and how aware she is of the fact that her family could not have afforded the lessons that Mr. Mergler offered them for free because of her love of music. I like that the connection her family made with Mr. Mergler was so real, and it was heartbreaking when he passed away. However, like many teacher of all kinds he had a huge impact on those he works with. I think this book both encourages young readers to take the chance to try to learn new thing, and to remind teachers and families how much of an impact they can have on those they take under their wing. The artwork was classic and smooth. I liked the little details with music, and emotions that shone through the illustrations. 
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