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

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

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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.

About the Authors

Joanna Ho is the New York Times bestselling author of Eyes That Kiss in the Corners and the vice principal of a high school in the San Francisco Bay Area. She used to hate it when her mom woke her up on Saturday mornings by blasting Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach’s cello suites. Now she loves the music and wakes her children up the same way. She has been an English teacher, a dean, a teacher, and a professional development mastermind. Her passion for equity in books and education is matched only by her love of homemade chocolate chip cookies, outdoor adventures, and dance parties with her kids. Visit her at www.joannahowrites.com.

Teresa Martinez lived in a small town in the north of Mexico during her early childhood, playing in the river, walking with the cows, and feeding the neighbor’s pigs. When her family decided to move to a bigger city, she became a very shy girl at school. Drawing helped her connect with other children. Listening to music has helped her imagine different places and times and has been a great source of inspiration. When she grew up, she studied graphic design and traveled to Italy to learn traditional painting techniques. Today she lives in Puerto Vallarta, drawing for kids as she did during her school days, and that makes her happy.

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