Playing at the Border: A Story of Yo-Yo Ma

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Author: Joanna Ho

Illustrator: Teresa Martinez

From Joanna Ho, the author of the New York Times bestselling Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, comes a timely, lyrical picture book about famous musician Yo-Yo Ma, immigration, and using music to build bridges between cultures.

The brilliant author of Eyes that Kiss in the Corners, Joanna Ho, delivers a poignant picture book biography, perfect for fans of Ada’s Violin.

Before Yo-Yo Ma became one of the most renowned and celebrated cellists, he wanted to play the double bass. But it was too big for his four-year-old hands. Over time, Ma honed his amazing talent, and his music became a reflection of his own life between borders, cultures, disciplines, and generations. Since then, he has recorded over a hundred albums, won nineteen Grammy Awards, performed for eight American presidents, and received the National Medal of the Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, just to name a few accomplishments.

Staying true to himself, Yo-Yo Ma performed at the US-Mexico border at the Rio Grande on April 13, 2019, as part of his multicontinent “Bach Project” tour to prove a point—through music, we can build bridges rather than walls between different cultures.

Joanna Ho’s lyrical writing and Teresa Martinez’s vibrant art weave together to tell an inspiring story of Yo-Yo Ma, who challenges conventions, expectations, and beliefs in order to build bridges to unite communities, people, and cultures.