Because is a word laden with possibility. Mo Willems explores a chain of cause and effect in his latest picture book Because.
Willems begins with Beethoven and traces the events that lead from his composition to a performance by an orchestra. He includes moments on this continuum that are deliberately planned: musicians who learn to play an instrument and practice until they become proficient. Then there are unexpected occurrences: due to illness there is an extra ticket available.
The result of this string of events is that the life of one girl is changed. She becomes a composer and conducts an orchestral performance of her composition.
And that night, someone heard her music and was changed.
I sitting with a teen and together we read this book. We considered how because happens in her life. Because she wanted to play a music instrument that was different from the instruments other members of her family play, she decided to try strings. Because she liked the sound and the shape, she decided to try the cello.
Because she played the cello with the orchestra in her school, she met another student studying the cello. Because they performed together, the two became best friends.