Not long after arriving in Canada 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 that this little girl has a talent that, with encouragement, will grow into something magical. He offers to give her music lessons, 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.
Gutnick's story skilfully conveys the growing confidence of his young narrator, and her absorption in an art. The delicate illustrations of Mathilde Cinq-Mars evoke the strong-though-contained emotions of the characters and the flowering of musical talent.
Cinq-Mars' delicate sketches, hand-drawn in color pencil, frame Gutnick's quiet text with charm and whimsy. The affection between the narrator and her teacher, as well as within her family, is palpable.... A heartwarming story about the magic of music, intergenerational relationships, and believing.
“This gentle story is perfect for readers of all ages, especially those interested in classical music…Mr. Mergler, Beethoven, and Me is a perfect picture book for schools and public libraries for appreciating the power of music, love, and friendship.”
"Inspired by a true story, David Gutnick has written a heart-warming account about how an elderly man's selfless offer to teach piano to a young girl transforms both their lives."
Cinq-Mars's illustrations, in gentle shades of green, gold, and pink, do a beautiful job of weaving musical symbols and luxuriant foliage together on every page.... This is a sweet story about the transformative power of music.
Author Gutnick manages to successfully portray the deep bond that Mergler built with all of students. This touching story displays Mergler’s kindness, generosity and sincerity. The full page, colour illustrations, created by Mathilde Cinq-Mars, are as soft and beautiful as Mergler’s soul.