As Glenn as Can Be

As Glenn as Can Be

Written by: Ellis, Sarah
Illustrated by: Vo, Nancy
ages 3 to 6 / grades P to 1

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A warm and witty portrait of child prodigy and world-famous classical musician Glenn Gould. 

Glenn was a child who knew his own mind — he liked boats but did not like fishing; he enjoyed puns and pranks but did not like bullying; he loved learning but did not like school … but more than anything else he loved to play the piano. 

Glenn had a professional performing career by the time he was fifteen; he gave concerts all over the world in his twenties. He became best known for his interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. But Glenn grew to dislike concerts — the hall was too cold, or he didn’t feel well, or the audience made too much noise (he didn’t even like their applause!). He discovered that when he played and recorded music in an empty concert hall, he could make it sound exactly the way he wanted. He could do what he loved best, while being completely himself.

Sarah Ellis’s beautifully written portrait of Glenn Gould is complemented by Nancy Vo’s gorgeous illustrations, bringing the life and times of this extraordinarily talented musician to readers young and old.

Includes a fascinating author’s note and resources for further information.


Key Text Features

additional information

afterword

author’s note

bibliography

biographical information

biographical note

explanation

facts

further information

further reading

historical context

illustrations

informational note

photographs

sources

vignettes

writing inspiration


Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.7
With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.2
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.7
Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

A warm and witty portrait of child prodigy and world-famous classical musician Glenn Gould. 

Glenn was a child who knew his own mind — he liked boats but did not like fishing; he enjoyed puns and pranks but did not like bullying; he loved learning but did not like school … but more than anything else he loved to play the piano. 

Glenn had a professional performing career by the time he was fifteen; he gave concerts all over the world in his twenties. He became best known for his interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. But Glenn grew to dislike concerts — the hall was too cold, or he didn’t feel well, or the audience made too much noise (he didn’t even like their applause!). He discovered that when he played and recorded music in an empty concert hall, he could make it sound exactly the way he wanted. He could do what he loved best, while being completely himself.

Sarah Ellis’s beautifully written portrait of Glenn Gould is complemented by Nancy Vo’s gorgeous illustrations, bringing the life and times of this extraordinarily talented musician to readers young and old.

Includes a fascinating author’s note and resources for further information.


Key Text Features

additional information

afterword

author’s note

bibliography

biographical information

biographical note

explanation

facts

further information

further reading

historical context

illustrations

informational note

photographs

sources

vignettes

writing inspiration


Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.7
With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.2
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.7
Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Apr 1, 2022
Specifications 40 pages | 10.25 in x 8.5 in
Supporting Resources
(select item to download)
Teacher's Guide
Written By

SARAH ELLIS is a celebrated author, teacher and children’s literature expert. She has written more than twenty books across the genres, and her books have been translated into French, Spanish, Danish, Chinese and Japanese. She has won the Governor General’s Literary Award (Pick-Up Sticks) and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award (Odd Man Out). Sarah is a masthead reviewer for the Horn Book Magazine, and she is a former faculty member of Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Illustrated by

NANCY VO was born on the prairies and now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. She studied fine arts and architecture, and now works as a facility planner and a picture-book maker. She is the author and illustrator of the first two books in the Crow Stories trilogy. The Outlaw was described by the New York Times as “Bewitching,” while The Ranger received a starred review from Kirkus and was praised as “visually arresting and enigmatic.” Nancy has also illustrated As Glenn as Can Be by Sarah Ellis.

Written By

SARAH ELLIS is a celebrated author, teacher and children’s literature expert. She has written more than twenty books across the genres, and her books have been translated into French, Spanish, Danish, Chinese and Japanese. She has won the Governor General’s Literary Award (Pick-Up Sticks) and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award (Odd Man Out). Sarah is a masthead reviewer for the Horn Book Magazine, and she is a former faculty member of Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Illustrated by

NANCY VO was born on the prairies and now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. She studied fine arts and architecture, and now works as a facility planner and a picture-book maker. She is the author and illustrator of the first two books in the Crow Stories trilogy. The Outlaw was described by the New York Times as “Bewitching,” while The Ranger received a starred review from Kirkus and was praised as “visually arresting and enigmatic.” Nancy has also illustrated As Glenn as Can Be by Sarah Ellis.

Audience ages 3 to 6 / grades P to 1
Key Text Features

additional information; afterword; author’s note; bibliography; biographical information; biographical note; explanation; facts; further information; further reading; historical context; illustrations; informational note; photographs; sources; vignettes; writing inspiration

Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.7
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.7
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.2

Nancy Vo’s illustrations have a cool, quirky feel that suits their subject well. Readers … are likely to be impressed as much by Gould’s idiosyncrasy as they are by his artistic dedication.

” —Wall Street Journal

Engaging, timeless and cleverly crafted.

” —CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Engaging … an accessible entry into Gould's life for young readers. STARRED REVIEW

” —Shelf Awareness

Wonderful … a book about the necessity and beauty of self-expression, self-love, and self-acceptance.

” —Cloud Lake Literary

Charmingly illustrated.

” —Prairie Books NOW

In this stylish and charming book, Sarah Ellis and Nancy Vo capture much that is essential about Glenn Gould in an original and impressively concise way, along the way offering young children an accessible introduction to the world of classical music.

” —Kevin Bazzana, biographer and author of Wondrous Strange: The Life and Art of Glenn Gould

I was moved and delighted at the simple beauty of the narrative, the wonderful and sensitive illustrations. This book will introduce Glenn Gould to new generations.

” —Brian M. Levine, Executive Director, The Glenn Gould Foundation