Mary's Idea


Author: Chris Raschka


Illustrator: Chris Raschka

*SIGNED BOOKS, while supplies last!*

Two-time Caldecott Medal winner Chris Raschka captures the sound, passion, innovation, and love of the arts that the renowned jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams shared with the world. Mary’s Idea is a stunning and transporting picture book about music and the creative process for readers of Trombone Shorty and Chris Raschka’s acclaimed books about musicians, including Charlie Parker Played Be Bop and Mysterious Thelonious. 

At the age of three, Mary Lou Williams taught herself how to play the piano. At the age of fifteen, she was considered a professional. An American jazz pianist and composer, Mary Lou Williams wrote hundreds of compositions, recorded hundreds of songs, and wrote arrangements for musicians, including Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman.

Mary’s Idea is an exquisite picture book about Mary Lou Williams, an artist often overlooked in the canon of American music because of her gender and skin color. With a text full of rhythm and movement and illustrations that sing off the page, Chris Raschka’s picture book is equal parts a biography and a celebration of the imagination and creative process. Mary’s Idea will find readers in fans of Traci N. Todd and Christian Robinson’s Nina and Brian Selznick and Pam Muñoz Ryan’s When Marian Sang.