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Strange Mr. Satie by M. T. Anderson

Strange Mr. Satie

by M. T. Anderson

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Strange Mr. Satie was a very comical biography of a French Composer. I loved reading this book because it made me realize many difficulties people face in life. The book portrays Mr. Staie as a young scholar pursuing his passion, music, then he soon drops out. Mr. Satie was teased and criticized because he had a unique style when it came to music that nobody has ever heard. Mr. Satie later decided to enroll in college again so that he can fully learn music and then graduates.This book shows the readers that everyone is different and a lot of people make fun of you because you're different. Yet one should never give up their passions because others criticize them for being unique. ( )
  kristeen1995 | Jan 20, 2017 |
Mr. Satie was an eccentric man that never really saw the world in the same way as most people. He made music that seemed sad and happy at the same time and plays no one could wrap their head around. He seemed so childish but always was very mean to most people, he didn't like that people didn't like his music. He did incredible interesting things, like falling in love with a young lady Suzanne Valadon, and tagging himself along or her and her boyfriend's dates without hesitation. But eventually his anger got the best of him and he ended up losing his friends altogether. Later in life he decided he wanted to live a normal life so he decided it was time to finish his degree and do things like wear bowler hats and nice suits. But nothing can keep Mr. Satie from being the man he has always been, and that is "Mr. Satie". Although some people may find this book a little too weird, I found it to be almost magical and kept me wanted to know more about him. ( )
  MeganSchneider | Jan 19, 2017 |
The progression of music through time has taken the listener from primitive drums to the Gregorian Chant and from there to the centuries of great classical music from artists such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Handel. But at the end of the 1800s when Erik Satie began to compose and play his music, it was seen and heard and absurd, loud, ridiculous, and strange.

Erik Satie himself was a bit of an oddity in that he didn't like the ways things were - rules for how music should be, rules for behavior in school, rules for romance, rules for how to dress. He was at odds even with the French avant-garde community of those days.

My three girls took years of piano lessons and studied music on into college. I don't recall their playing any of Satie's compositions though they did play twentieth century composers. So to see just who Erik Satie was and what his music was all about that was so absurd and disruptive, I looked him up and found a plethora of listings online of his music.

Now about this children's biography Strange Mr. Satie: Composer of the Absurd. I have reviewed another of M.T.Anderson's biographies - Handle and found that he and the illustrators do a magnificent job of presenting these people to the young child. They make it interesting, fun, and informative. And they make the Mommy or Teacher want to research further into the life of the individual and his work.

The quirky life and absurdity of Satie is well captured by Petra Mathers illustrations. The cover illustration of a Satie seated at a grand piano with a jumble of stuff emanating from the sound board interior of the piano is spot on to represent the mixture of sounds Satie incorporated into his music.

The author M.T.Anderson tells the story of Satie's sad and troubled life with an easy style in short lines of prose. He helps the reader garner a bit of an understanding that this troubled man who had a wealth of music stored inside him that was trying to be released and the difficulties he had in coping with the realities of his day.

A terrific children's biography and perhaps it could lead to a study of music styles and troubled artists.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Candlewick Press to facilitate this review. Opinions are solely my own. I was not compensated for the review. ( )
  VeraGodley | Feb 26, 2016 |
I really liked this book for several reasons. I like that the author kept the text interesting and fun to read. She used phrases like, "where all of the poets, the painters, the actors and dancers, the wizards and wisecrackers would sit and sip and scribble ideas or talk about art." This makes the text very fun to read; rather than just simply saying there were wizards talking about art. I also enjoyed the way the author conveyed messages in a way that children would understand. She explains that Satie has a bad temper and often has tantrums. It is very developmentally appropriate to tell the story this way instead of saying that Satie would curse and scream at all of his friends. The author makes a very old story easy for a young audience to understand. The overall message of this story is that it is okay to be different. Even if no one supports or likes what you do, you should still pursue what makes you happy. ( )
  eschoe1 | Sep 30, 2014 |
I love many of M.T. Anderson's books, so I was hoping that this wouldn't disapoint. This is the kind of Anderson story I like. The writing is sparing and eloquent. He writes in a manner that allows a story to be understood, without sacrificing any of the artistry of true poetic form. I didn't know who Eric Satie was, but I'm finding that the more I read the more I realize I don't know. Anyway, of the many picture book biographies that I've been reading lately, this is probably my favorite. Not only was the book written at an exceptional level; the illustrations including the endpages were great. If you have the opportunity, read the quotes lavishly draped over the endpages. They are quite interesting, in an oddball style. ( )
  matthewbloome | May 19, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz (Children's Literature)
Satie, a composer known for his compositions which defied the conventions of the time, lived an equally unconventional life. Briefly and simply Anderson places him among his artist friends, all of whom were in rebellion against "the world of rules and polite smiles..." of the turn of the last century. He also does his best to convey for young readers how unusual both Satie's music and his life were. Satie had a terrible temper, lived eccentrically in poverty, then went back to school to obtain his music degree. His creations were severely criticized. But Anderson feels that sometimes "they can sound like him dancing, strange Mr. Satie, a child-man dancing...alone." Mathers's colored illustrations ably visualize some of the text's surreal imagery. Mixing double-page typical French street scenes with vignettes of the composer, his friends, and their creations, she creates a sort of rhythm in her low-key, oddly comical illustrations to accompany the image-filled, blank-verse-like text. Here is a book that could really use an accompanying CD to help understand the text. An author's note adds factual information. The end-papers, adapted from Satie's Memoirs of an Amnesiac, give a hint of his eccentricity. 2003, Viking/ Penguin Young Readers Group, $16.99. Ages 5 to 9.

added by kthomp25 | editChildren's Literature, Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
GraceAnne DeCandido (Booklist, Nov. 1, 2003 (Vol. 100, No. 5))
Anderson, who gave us the delightful Handel, Who Knew What He Liked (2001), and Mathers, who illustrated the quirky Little Love Song (1992), team up for a deliciously offbeat look at the French composer Erik Satie, a very odd man who made very odd music: "like an old chant and wild tunes. . . mixed together." Satie threw the artist he loved out the window (but Suzanne Valadon was also an acrobat and survived), and he had some mighty peculiar personal habits (he didn't take baths, scraping himself with stones, instead). Mathers strikingly reflects the composer's life and times by using surrealistic elements in her pictures: Satie's piano's pedals look like a leg and foot; the hats people wear at the famous cafe Le Chat Noir might be plates or clocks or bumblebees. Anderson's text has a fine rhythm, and it doesn't shirk at the strangeness, making this suitable for older children, as well. An excellent author's note fills in the biography. Category: Books for the Young--Nonfiction. 2003, Viking, $16.99. Gr. 1-3.
added by kthomp25 | editBooklist, GraceAnne DeCandido
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670036374, Hardcover)

In Paris, at the turn of the twentieth century, when artists were experimenting with new ways of seeing things, Erik Satie had something new to say about music. Most people didn't understand his pieces; critics called his music surreal. But Erik Satie didn't care. He wanted to make music that followed no rules but its own. Satie's life was strange and wonderful, frenetic and lonely all at the same time. He was friends with Picasso, and with wizards and puppeteers; he scraped himself with a stone instead of bathing, and he once threw his acrobat girlfriend out a window. Now award-winning author M. T. Anderson tells the story of the irreverent French composer in a biography that is witty, accessible, and endlessly surprising, while Petra Mathers' fanciful illustrations capture all the vibrancy that was Erik Satie's topsy-turvy world.

Illustrations by Petra Mathers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:23 -0400)

Introduces the life of the French composer, Erik Satie, who spent his entire career challenging established conventions in music.

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