WHEN RUBIN PLAYS by Grace Zhang
Grace Zhang’s WHEN RUBIN PLAYS is unlike any other picture book on music I’ve seen. It uniqueness comes from the main character, who like most, is driven by his love of music. Unlike most, however, others, his practice does not make perfect. Unless, that is, perfection is finding an appreciative audience of feral cats. They appreciate Rubin’s violin screeches, encourage his performance gusto, so that ultimately Rubin finds his own voice and way of expression. Zhang’s illustrations accent the heart, humor and richness of her story.