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The Liszts

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  602 ratings  ·  160 reviews
The Liszts make lists. They make lists most usual and lists most unusual. They make lists in winter, spring, summer and fall. They make lists every day except Sundays, which are listless. Mama Liszt, Papa Liszt, Winifred, Edward, Frederick and Grandpa make lists all day long. So does their cat. Then one day a visitor arrives. He's not on anyone's list. Will the Liszts be a ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Tundra Books
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  602 ratings  ·  160 reviews

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Hannah Greendale
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Odd in the most delightful way. A peculiar family that makes peculiar lists until their routine is interrupted by an unexpected guest. A beautiful story of spontaneity packed with intricate illustrations and little pops of humor. Absolutely love this!

Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
This book was a lot of fun and the illustrations are amazing. My only complaint is that it does have anything to do with Liszt, as far as I can tell. Therefore it falls short of some of her other famous-people-pun-titles such as Virginia Wolf which manage to be relevant to the person's biography as well as whatever other idea struck the author.

Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
This is a book for older children (independent readers) and adults.

I think that it’s kind of brilliant.

I read it because of the illustrations and they are glorious. Gorgeous. Intricate. Complex. Fun.

As a list maker (my mother was also a list maker) I really appreciated the quirky story. I love what I think is the message too, to leave room for spontaneity and things that aren’t already on the list(s).

So many funny lines (Sundays were listless. ha ha) and I love that the cat makes lists too, inc
Dave Schaafsma
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Add The Liszts to our list of Kyo Maclear books with punning titles that are references to famous people, gorgeously illustrated books by a couple of my favorite illustrators, Isabelle Arsenault (Virginia Wolf, about the author Virginia Woolf and her sister, Vanessa Bell) and Julia, Child with Julie Morsand (you guessed it!). So imagine my profound disappointment as I read and reread this book for clues to Franz Liszt and find list after list but no Liszt on any list (whew!). Feel cheated, much? ...more
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I just loved the art in this clever children’s book. The Liszts, a family of compulsive list-makers with each member having a different peculiar interest, reminded me of the Royal Tenenbaums. The arrival of a mysterious visitor encourages them to leave room at the bottom of their lists for spontaneity. Favorite line: “They made lists every day except Sundays, which were listless.” Releases October 4th.
When I originally added Kyo Maclear's The Liszts to my Goodreads "Mount to Be Read" I was (erroneously it turns out) from the book title expecting that at least part of the author's presented story would feature a tie-in to both classical music and also to one of my favourite composers, Franz Liszt. And indeed, I was and still remain more than a bit personally disappointed that this has not at all been the case with The Liszts, that it is simply a quirky little picture book about a family where ...more
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Just under 4 stars for me. Good illustrations in a cross between art deco and the yellow submarine style, I liked the colour scheme but perhaps a little dark and sombre for a young reader. Lots of detail in the artwork, lots to look at. The idea of making lists was interesting, it was good to see Radiohead's Hail to the Thief there but surely Liszt could have been metioned! It did show a couple of their lists but I would like to have seen more and it was begging to have a couple of nicely decora ...more
The illustrations are absolutely wonderful, and the premise really promising, but the outcome was somehow lacking. Who is the stranger? What is he doing at the Liszts'? I was expecting a different resolution.

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Left me feeling listless, like the family's Sundays. Why do they not make lists on Sunday? Why does a stranger and his liveliness appeal only to the middle child?

Why is there so much black and gray, even on the pages in which Edward and the stranger have adventures? The movie Wizard of Oz did B&W vs. Color perfectly; I don't know why modern artists feel like that concept needs to 'improved.'

Maybe if I struggled more with a compulsion to find a balance between organizing & controlling all the de
Dov Zeller
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
The art is, as one gr reviewer puts it, "glorious." The storyline a bit inconsistent and doesn't really pull together in a way that makes sense. It's got a touch of Edward Gorey, which I think makes it endearing to me. But Gorey relishes absurdity while engaged, in his way, in conversation with conventional narrative forms. This book seems more interested in style than narrative, and wordplay for its own sake.

I read this a month or two ago and sent it back to the library before writing this revi
Carrie Gelson
Oh this book - illustrations are stunning, the story is quirky and it prompted all kinds of wild list making!
Elizabeth A
Jun 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphix, kids-ya, 2017, art
This children's picture book is about a family that makes lists. Everyone, including the cat, makes lists particular to their own interests. One day a stranger who is not on anyone's lists appears. Who is he and what does he want?

I really like the art and color palatte in this one, and the story is cute, but there are unresolved questions in my mind. Why were Sundays listless and who is that stranger? I did like the connection the stranger made with Edward, the middle child. If you are part of t
Vikki VanSickle
If I could redecorate my apartment based on the style and palette of any children's book it would be this one. What a gorgeous jewel-toned, art-deco inspired world Julia Sarda has created for this story. As always, Maclear is in top form in a story about a family of obsessive list-makers who find their routines thrown off by the arrival of a stranger and his less than A type tendencies. A tad Addams family goth, a tad Wes Anderson, this is a stand-out book in terms of story and design. ...more
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Reminded me a lot of Edward Gorey, except the Doubtful Guest in this situation is more of a wanted guest and is very welcome in the Liszts' household and no one dies morbidly at the end of the picture book. Also a lot of Edward Gorey's plots don't make any sense and aren't supposed to, and I don't know whether I was supposed to make sense of this picture book, but I'm going to assume not. ...more
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lovely illustrations about a list-loving, list-making family, the Liszts, and the stranger who arrives, and is not easily categorized by the family's lists. ...more
May 02, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a beautifully illustrated picture-book. Attention to detail in pictures draws your eye in and allows you to see much more than might normally be in ordinary picture book. So, three stars for the illustrations.

The story, however, seems a odd choice for a picture book. It seems to be more a message for adults that have to adhere to lists, and duties and have no room for the unexpected. I am not aware of children who behave like that and if there are any, they wouldn't be reading picture bo
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
A very surreal and strange book, but I really liked it. Perhaps that should be 'so I obviously liked it'. The artwork is excellent and the concept is dreamy and outside the box. ...more
Marissa Elera
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This quirky, funky picture book brings deep joy to my soul. I was gasping in admiration from the very first page.
Daisy May Johnson
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautifully complex and dark, The Liszts is a picture book that stands at the edge of a thousand different classifications. It's poetry, it's art, it's story, and throughout all of that, it's a quiet instruction to value the arrival of the unexpected and the different within your life. The Liszt family make lists: "lists most usual / and lists most unusual". These may range from "lists of dreaded chores / and small winged insects" through to "lists that went on for 31 pges / lists to quiet the s ...more
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
"They made lists every day except Sundays,
which were listless."
A simple story but really fun. I love the encouragement of curiosity and the kinds of questions posed later in the story. I might actually rate the story a high/loveable 3 stars on its own, but the artwork is so wonderful I had to bump it up. I could just be reading into it too much, but it feels like there is very subtle commentary in here (Mama makes lists of "ghastly illnesses" and football players. and Papa makes lists of winged
Oct 05, 2016 rated it liked it
The illustrations and the premise are intriguing, but the story fell apart at the end.
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pbf-general
Quirky and unusual, but likable.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
No relation to Franz Liszt the Hungarian composer that I could make out, just a family whose members like to make lists about all kinds of likely and unlikely things. The story is amusing but the real standout here is the latitude it gives for the wonderful illustrations by Júlia Sardà. Pure fun!
Samuel Tyler
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
When you read enough children’s books you start to be able to pick up patterns in the genre. There are books that are aimed at the child alone and alienate the adult and there are those that cater for both. Perhaps the oddest grouping is those children’s books that are seemingly designed for adults to enjoy and do not appeal to children.

‘The Liszts’ are a family of obsessive list makers. They write down everything in list form. So obsessed with lists are they that they have stopped seeing the w
A digitized ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Liszts is a lighthearted children's picture book. If not for NetGalley, I would have possibly never found out about this adorable book, for prior to randomly coming across it on the site, I have heard of neither the author nor the illustrator.

The family members of this story love to create list; what the lists are about are mostly quite relatable, though some of the items that made it to
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful, large, illustrated book. If you love illustrated children's books, The Liszts (by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Julia Sarda) is worth it for the art alone. But the story, though simple, is cute as well. There lives a whole family of list-makers who are consumed by their love of listing and they seem to have no room for anything else, until a stranger turns up. I would love to see this made into a movie, by the studio that did Triplets of Belleville - it would be perfect as ...more
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fms-shelf
I received a free advanced copy of this book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

The illustrations in the this book are amazing. They look like they came out of a Wes Anderson movie and would be on the bookshelf of one of the “Royal Tenenbaums”. The story is intriguing, because most everyone knows a list maker or is a list maker themselves. It’s a simple, quirky, but cute story about how we sometimes need to take a break from our busy, scheduled lives
Ann Santori
Jun 23, 2016 rated it did not like it
I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Ummm . . . what? From the elaborate summary, I assumed that this would be a chapter book, but it is a picture book (with very few words). Which is fine, I suppose, and the illustrations are intriguing (though somewhat ghoulish), but there exists little to no understandable plot. The last page came and I had absolutely NO idea what I had just read.
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
first read of 2017 and such a great one at that. 4,5 stars altogether. I am deducting half a star because it was just too short. I can't usually consider that as a fault but I think the ending was just slightly too abrupt.

however, the art was beautifully unique, and the lettering absolutely gorgeous (yes, highly relevant here).

a great read for a list-lover like me. I would recommend it for anyone. it was slightly pricey but perhaps as a gift. a lovely picture book for adults.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Grandpa made lists of his greatest admirers and most fearsome enemies. The cat did the same." This is as close to a perfect cat-related sentence as I can imagine. This is another fantastic picture book from Kyo Maclear, and another example of how well her work is partnered with outstanding illustrators. Maclear's text is peculiar and wondrous, and Sarda's illustrations are puzzles in which to be lost for hours. Utterly delightful all around. ...more
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Kyo Maclear is a children’s author, novelist and essayist. She was born in London, England and moved to Toronto at the age of four.

Kyo is the author of several critically-acclaimed children’s books including: Spork (2010) and Virginia Wolf (2012), both illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault; Mr. Flux (2013), illustrated by Matte Stephens; Julia, Child (2014), illustrated by Julie Morstad; The Specific

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