Playing at the Border: A Story of Yo-Yo Ma by Joanna Ho and illustrated by Teresa Martínez is a lovely story about how music is the sound of the world, and how it can build a bridge, not a wall. This story follows and is based on the journey of Yo-Yo Ma to promote peace in a divided time.
Lyrical text gives life to how Ma wanted to spread a bit of hope during a time in this country that was less than hopeful. With a president wanting to build walls, literally and figuratively, a man sat in one country and played for another. Yo-Yo Ma is a prodigy that took his talent and tries to unite with it, not divide.
This gorgeously illustrated book is for all who love music, history, and current events. The details are as rich as the colors used. The text flows and you float along the page. The book is to invoke emotions and it definitely does that. It might feel a bit heavy handed at times, but still, it is a lovely story that does not hide the fact that there is a message, and it is willing to say it.
The afterwards give more information on the project, the music, the composer and even the cello itself. This history shows the long journey it took for this cello to come into the possession of one person, who then would do what they did best. While not an easy read/listen for the younger child, all ages can appreciate this tale.