Piano Starts Here Book Poster Image

Piano Starts Here

Masterful illustrations and an inspirational bio.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Despite setbacks, Art Tatum becomes a master pianist.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book may be too long-winded for the youngest listeners, but its inspirational message makes it worth a shot.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Art Tatum is born blind in Toledo, Ohio, and eventually becomes world-famous as a leading jazz pianist.

Is it any good?


Parker is a Caldecott honor-winning illustrator, and his pictures here do much to bring the story to life with old-fashioned details that effectively convey the time period. The story itself may be too long for some of the littlest kids, but parents can start with the pictures and then move to the text as their child's attention span lengthens. For those kids caught up in Tatum's story, Parker supplies a more thorough biography in back along with resources families can explore.

Art Tatum was born in Toledo, Ohio, legally blind but well-loved. He grew up at the piano eventually becoming world-famous and revered. This book traces his beginnings, letting kids glimpse the childhood of one of jazz's most inspirational talents.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can listen to some of Art Tatum's music to understand how truly talented he was. Kids who like his music can explore other artists of the same era and the musicians who went on to interpret Tatum's work.

Book details

Author:Robert Andrew Parker
Illustrator:Robert Andrew Parker
Book type:Non-Fiction
Publisher:Schwartz & Wade
Publication date:January 8, 2008
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

This review of Piano Starts Here was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.