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Apt. 3

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  367 ratings  ·  72 reviews
In his apartment in the city, Sam hears voices, barking dogs, snoring, and all kinds of other noises. One rainy day he also hears the sad sounds of a harmonica, and wonders who's playing. Sam's search leads him to Apt. 3, where he finds not only the source of the music--but a new friend.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published May 24th 1999 by Puffin Books (first published 1971)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  367 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

Oh, Ezra Jack Keats—I am not worthy. Mr. Keats has been a favorite artist and voice in my reading world as far back as I can remember. As an adult though, I find myself admiring his work for different reasons. Keats can capture such realism and grit in his tales and descriptions that I just don’t see or hear in modern picture books. Like a time capsule or bubble of history, his stories hold and display actions or objects not seen in kids’ books anymore. Readers will come across shouting, fightin
Denise Lauron
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite of the books by Ezra Jack Keats so far. It tells a beautiful story of the adventure to find the music in the apartment building. What a wonderful story!
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: apartment or music story times
Recommended to Joan by: June Krell
I picked this up because a friend and I were trying to think of stories involving kids in apartments and she mentioned this book. It has been a while since I've looked through a Keats book and I was impressed with how wonderful the pictures were and how well they have held up over the years. He achieved this by mostly vague portrayals of the two kids involved and completely vague illustrations of their new adult friend. What he did emphasize was Sam's cap. In some pictures it looks like your typ ...more
Ms. Arca
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was meant to be read aloud (preferably with a harmonica if you have one handy!) and enjoyed together to bring this little apartment complex to life. Love the moody art, the cast of characters, the nod to the communicative power of music, and the reminder of how closely we are all in each other’s lives even when we don’t try to be. Gotta love Ezra Jack Keats!
Feb 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, picture-book
I love the dark and moody feel of the illustrations in Ezra Jack Keats' Apt. 3. Somehow through the illustrations I can actually hear the harmonica music that Sam and Ben are trying to track down in their apartment building. The writing is also very vivid: "He stood up suddenly, raised his harmonica to his mouth, and began to play. He played purples and grays and rain and smoke and the sounds of night." Can't you just hear that music?
Sarah Sammis
Oct 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Sarah by: HNU
A pair of boys, some harmonica music, milk and a blind man.
Matthew Hunter
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ezra. Jack. Keats. He’s not just the bright colors and playfulness of The Snowy Day. There’s also a shadowy side. On a dark and rainy day, young Sam hears harmonica music that “fill[s] him with sad and lonely feelings — like the rain outside.” Sam wants to know who’s playing such music, so he and his little brother Ben go exploring through their apartment building. Through their neighbors’ closed doors they hear: chips being crunched, arguments, angry barking, a mother singing to her baby, a bas ...more
Ben Truong
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Apt. 3 is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats, which tells a story about a boy named Sam and his younger brother Ben who goes investigating when they hear harmonica music being played as they tried to identify the musician.

The text is rather simple and straightforward. It is about a boy named Sam and his younger brother Ben trying to figure out the identity of the mysterious harmonica player. It's filled with childlike investigation by eavesdropping and hiding fr
Stephanie Glenn

Summary: The story of two children who live in a city apartment and go in search of the source of harmonica music they have heard before. They visit the doors of their neighbors to try to discover who is playing the strange music.

Evaluation: While I enjoyed the story itself, I cannot get past the fact that two children, who are obviously scared, enter into the apartment of a strange man who lives in their building. They do end up making friends with the man with the harmonica, but I would not r

On a rainy day, Sam hears someone playing the harmonica from an apartment somewhere in his building. Him and his brother go in search of from what apartment the music is coming from. They search and listen by each door until they find the apartment in question. But what they find inside of the apartment is more than what they expected to find.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, read-aloud
I love the art and words of Ezra Jack Keats. Just enough abstract to have lots of meanings for many people and just enough realism to suggest things children know about. This one caught the wonder of a neighbor who "knows things" about him and his world. Kids liked this one too.
Adriana Palencia
I didn’t necessarily enjoy the story. I thought the fact that two children wandered around their apartment building by themselves was dangerous. I didn’t like that the children also stepped into a strangers apartment. I wouldn’t want any children to imitate the two characters in this story.
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book just no more than ten minutes ago while clearing space in my room. It wasn't even a month ago that I became aware of Ezra Jack Keats. It's a touching story that left me yearning more.

May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
Moody illustrations outshine the story of two brothers' explorations of the secret lives of music and their neighbors' apartments - especially what's behind door number three.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Ezra Jack Keats has a realism to his work that you just don't come across very often in children's literature, picture books in particular. I have a profound respect for his work.
Kevin Summers
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Sample quote: "After a while, Sam turned to the man and said, 'Would you like to take a walk with us tomorrow?' The music became so soft and quiet they could barely hear it."
Two boys explore their apartment on a rainy day looking for the Apartment that someone is inside playing the harmonica. They meet a neighbor who sees with his intuition, not with his eyes.
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: faith
This one was a little weird.
Wetdryvac Wetdryvac
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent and relatively non-preachy story with lovely art.
Laura Molinario
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Picture Book
Lynn  Davidson
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sam and Ben hear harmonica music in their apartment building, so they go listen outside every door until they find out who's playing the music. And they make a friend.
Michael Fitzgerald
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Intriguing story with illustrations that are mysterious, dark - sometimes hard to read black on dark blue, but it draws you in. Sets a nice mood - quite different from most books.
Engel Dreizehn
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really demonstrates the urban apartment life and community the POV of children with Keat's signature style.
Kristin Nelson
Jun 11, 2020 rated it liked it
The setting is not the most familiar for children's books...the stairs and hallways of an apartment building. A slice of everyday life for Sam and Ben.
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Kinda creepy...

3/24/17 Read with Naomi & Julia.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I like that Keats has kids in their natural environments. Those aren't always white picket fence homes or beautiful forests. This is a gentle piece. And, while I understand the choice to make the illustrations darker, I didn't really like it.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reading this tale proved to me how much picture books have changed since I was a kid. A mystery, a solution and a great story.
Karlie Devenney
Jan 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: childrens-keats
The author included many descriptive words which connected well with the illustrations. Personally I was not interested with this book due to the lack of events.
Lana Harriman
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Personal reflection - This was an interesting read. From the start, I was drawn to the book by it's dark and mysterious artwork on the cover. The book remained mysterious as the main characters, Sam and his little brother, Ben, searched their apartment complex for the sound of a harmonica being played somewhere in the building. Most of the apartments they stopped in front of were filled with unsettling noises coming from inside. The boys finally find the source of the music and, though timid of ...more
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
Living in a worn, tired apartment complex in New York City, Sam and his younger brother Ben one day curiously follow the rich sound of mysterious music that flows from one of the apartments in their building. Sam and Ben walk past door after door, hearing the variety of sounds that make up the city's human rhythm, from babies crying to televisions blaring to angry arguments between married couples, but it turns out to be the door they least expect that is home to the music they've been tracing. ...more
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