When I was growing up, there was a shelf in my dining room that held old children’s books. They were set apart from most of our children’s books, kept in another room. I don’t remember how I discovered them, but their difference made them special. They were older and thicker than the picture books. Less brightly-colored. Hardcover. To me, these were the serious kids books, and they were a little daunting. But I went and explored anyway, and discovered mysterious riches: "Arabian Nights", "A Child’s Garden of Verses", several opera and ballet stories, and two composer biographies.
Mozart, The Wonder Boy (Great Musicians Series) and Joseph Haydn The Merry Little Peasant (Great Musicians Series) had belonged to my dad when he was a child. They had lots of pictures, but they were chapter books. I had never read biographies before, and but these felt accessible, especially since they focused on the composers' childhood . I could tell the books hadn’t been written in my time, but they were interesting and compelling, and turned out to have a lot of information in them.
I was so excited to discover recently that these books are back in print, and that they were part of a series!