Opal Wheeler Music Biographies
Published by E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc.
17 Total Books

This is a wonderful series of composer biographies that are appropriate for children of all ages. The books are told as engaging stories (no dry facts here!) and focus primarily on the life of the composer as a young child until adulthood. The books are beautifully illustrated and include selections from the composer's music.

This series was also published in London by Faber and Faber Limited and later reprinted between 2006 and 2011 by Zeezok Publishing as the Great Musician Series.

Many of the books were co-written by Sybil Deucher and a couple of books that were solely written by Sybil Deucher are included in this series.

Teachers, Parents, Librarians, the country over unite in praising the music and art biographies by Opal Wheeler and Sybil Deucher. The authors, they say, have found the way to childhood's understanding of the master composers and painters of the world... The children, too, share the responsibility for the wide popularity of these biographies. From Mozart, the Wonder Boy, to Stephen Foster, and His Little Dog Tray, boys and girls have been quick to discover that the great musicians and artists of the world were once young like themselves—shared their problems and perplexities—had their youthful enthusiasms and difficulties, too. The many letters received almost daily from children all over the country who have read and enjoyed these books offer eloquent testimony to the loving care that has gone into the preparation of each one of them. Here are a selected number of comments:

MAY LAMBERTON BECKER: "There is nothing for young children in musical biography to match the combination of pleasant anecdote and actual music in the series by these collaborators."

WALTER DAMROSCH: "Charmingly written and well authenticated... very well adapted to the comprehension of children, and should be of great help in awakening an affectionate feeling for music in their hearts."

THE LIBRARY JOURNAL: "These authors have made a distinctive contribution... 9, 10 and 11-year olds with any interest at all in music need no encouragement whatsoever to read these books one after another."

HENRIK WILLEM VAN LOON: "They will teach children the vernacular of the art of music. And once they know that vernacular they will enjoy what they hear a thousand times more."

From the dust jacket of Handel at the Court of Kings
Spines with dust jacket
Spines without dust jacket
Cover with dust jacket
Cover without dust jacket
Example page