The Definitive Guide to

Hosea Plays On

Written by Kathleen M. Blasi and illustrated by Shane W. Evans
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.0 / 5.0
List Price
Target Age
Book Type

What's Hosea Plays On About

Publisher Summary

This heartwarming picture book (based on a true story) depicts a day in the life of Hosea Taylor, a musician who—with his charm, talent, and generosity—brought joy to everyone he met.

Every day, Hosea takes the Number 42 bus into the city to play his shiny brass saxophone—and to hopefully earn enough money. Setting up in his favorite place, Hosea makes sweet music as people greet him with a smile, a little girl dances, and crowds surround him. A surprise ending reveals what the money is really for. Kathleen Blasi’s delightful text and Shane Evan’s colorful images capture the real-life closeness between the much-loved Hosea—who shared his passion for music and life with everyone—and his community.

An Author’s Note explains how Blasi learned about Hosea Taylor (1948-2016), and what compelled her to write his story.

What Kind of Book is Hosea Plays On

Quotes from Hosea Plays On

  • Fingers fluttered. Keys clicked. Smoky notes lifted through the air, threading along to waiting ears. People slowed, then stopped, to listen to the melody stretch . . . climb . . . soar . . and fall.
  • They settled on the stoop. Hosea lifted the shiny brass trumpet from its velvet-lined case and handed it to Nate. The boy drew in a breath, then released a tangled tune. Together, the two played on.

What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • Hosea Plays On is based on the true story of Hosea Missouri Taylor Jr. The final page of the book includes a more detailed history of Hosea and what he meant to his community. Can you think of someone in your community that behaves selflessly and helps others? How could you thank them for their efforts? How could you be a positive influence on others yourself?

  • Hosea worked hard and saved money until he had enough to complete his purchase. Was the wait worth it to Hosea? How can you set up a system to save money?

  • Hosea shares his talent for music with those around him. What talents do you have? How can you share them?

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

The Goodfather
Husband. Father. Children's Book Critic Extraordinaire:)

Book Lists That Include Hosea Plays On

Book Lists › African Americans
Children's Books About African Americans
Book Lists › community helpers
Children's Books About Community Helpers
Book Lists › community
Children's Books About Community
Kids Book Club
Monthly. Curated. Delivered.
Get Started
As low as $16.95 / mo

Who Wrote Hosea Plays On

Kathleen M. Blasi

Kathleen M. Blasi enjoys shining a light on the stories of everyday heroes. Active in the children’s writing community, she is a former Co-Director of the Rochester Children’s Book Festival, for which she received the 2015 New York State Reading Association Literacy Advocate Award. Kathleen lives with her family in Upstate NY, where, through writing workshops, she fosters the curiosity of young storytellers. Visit her online at and on Twitter @kmblasi.

View Author

Who Illustrated Hosea Plays On

Shane W. Evans

Shane W. Evans loves to dream. First he dreamed of opening his own art studio. He did that in 2007. Shane’s books include We March; Olu’s Dream; and Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom, a 2012 Coretta Scott King Medalist. When he isn’t on the road, Shane dreams at home in Kansas City, MO. Visit him online at

View Illustrator

What Has Kathleen M. Blasi Said About Hosea Plays On

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Kathleen M. Blasi know that we want more details from them about Hosea Plays On! Try tweeting at them on twitter (@kmblasi).

What Has Shane W. Evans Said About Hosea Plays On

Nothing yet! 🤷 You should let Shane W. Evans know that we want more details from them about Hosea Plays On!

Kathleen M. Blasi's Book Dedication

For my parents, Frank and Gloria McAlpin, whose circle of kindness always has room for one more.

Shane W. Evans's Book Dedication

I thank God for the vision and hands to guide me. This book is dedicated to the memory of Pat Doughtery and his family, to all who graced the School of the Arts and Monroe High School, and to the city of Rochester, NY, that we all called home, the city that made "Hosea Play" and all of us play along.

What Do Critics Say About Hosea Plays On

  • Kirkus Reviews

    “Hosea’s only stated goal is to make “enough” money, but the text leaves readers wondering what he needs money for. Locals flock to Hosea as he plays through the sunshine and rain.”

    Read full review >>
  • Publishers Weekly

    “‘You ready to learn?’ Hosea says. Hosea does more than just entertain; he makes his own community as he shares his music and his warmth.”

    Read full review >>
Who is Nate?
  1. Hosea's son
  2. Hosea's neighbor
  3. a stranger who is down on his luck
  4. a paying student of Hosea's
Take the Full Quiz!

More Books From These Creatives

Big Papa and the Time Machine book
African Americans · feeling scared · grandpa · family history
Big Papa and the Time Machine
Mixed Me! book
confidence · being yourself · being different · diversity
Mixed Me!
Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa book
Kwanzaa · grandma · family · African Americans
Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa
Hands Up! book
the body · African Americans
Hands Up!
My Brother Charlie book
autism · disabilities
My Brother Charlie
We March book
activism · diversity · history
We March
Lillian's Right to Vote book
Martin Luther King, Jr. · civil rights movement · activism
Lillian's Right to Vote
being yourself · belonging · being different
Chocolate Me!
love · family · divorce
I Love You More Than . . .

Books You Might Enjoy If You Liked Hosea Plays On

To the Sea book
making friends · kindness · problem solving · friendship · being nice · hard work · loneliness
To the Sea
Trombone Shorty book
Coretta Scott King Award Winners · music
Trombone Shorty
McToad Mows Tiny Island book
trucks · hard work · tractors · vehicles · jobs and careers · humor · transportation
McToad Mows Tiny Island
The House That Jane Built book
female role models · activism · community helpers · community · building things · home
The House That Jane Built
Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott book
civil rights movement · Martin Luther King, Jr. · baking · activism · African Americans
Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott
The King Who Banned the Dark book
facing fears · bedtime · community helpers · sleep
The King Who Banned the Dark
What Is Given from the Heart book
African Americans · financial difficulty · giving · sharing
What Is Given from the Heart

Book Details

ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:
Publication Date:
January 7, 2020