In a brilliant performance worthy of the composer, M. T. Anderson and Petra Mathers present a picture-book biography of the singular Erik Satie.

Throughout his life, Erik Satie wanted to make a new kind of music, a kind of music both very young and very old, very bold and very shy, that followed no rules but its own.

At first glance, Erik Satie looked as normal as anyone else in Paris one hundred years ago. Beyond his shy smile, however, was a mind like no other. When Satie sat down at the piano to compose or play music, his tunes were strange and dreamlike, his melodies topsy-turvy and discordant. Many people hated his music. Few understood it. But to Erik Satie there was sense in nonsense, and the vibrant, surreal compositions of this eccentric man-child would go on to influence many artists.


M. T. Anderson is the author of Handel, Who Knew What He Liked, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. He also wrote the National Book Award–winning The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party and its follow-up, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves. His novel Feed was a National Book Award finalist. M. T. Anderson lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Petra Mathers says, “Even though he walked everywhere he went, Satie was never a pedestrian; he was always a little aloft.” Petra Mathers has written and/or illustrated more than thirty books for children, four of which won New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books honors. Her first book, Maria Theresa, was awarded the Ezra Jack Keats Medal. She lives in Astoria, Oregon.

Other books you'll love