Thursday, May 29, 2014

Shelf Life [kids]

The Man With the ViolinThe Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson, 30 pages.
@SPL:  JP Stins

The notes seemed to soar to the ceiling and swoop to the floor. Dylan wanted to stay to listen to the entrancing story that the mysterious violinist was playing in the subway station. He wanted to dance; he wanted to be carried here and there by that wonderful music … but try as he might, his mother was in too much of a hurry to stop even for a minute.

Why wouldn’t his mother stay to listen to the music with him even for a few moments? Why was no one else stopping to listen?

The memory of the music stayed with Dylan for the rest of the day.

That evening, when the hustle and bustle of the day were finally over, Dylan was able to find a way in which he and his mother could listen together to the beautiful violin music in its entirety.

This compelling story reminds both children and adults of the power of music and the importance of taking the time to listen and be delighted by what we hear. It is based on a true incident. On January 12, 2007, world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell took part in an experiment planned with the Washington Post. Dressed as an ordinary street musician, he played his Stradivarius violin in the L’Enfant Plaza Subway Station in Washington, D.C. for 43 minutes to see what would happen.

Although over a thousand commuters walked by him, only seven people stopped to listen for more than a minute … yet people around the world pay $100 and more to listen to this musician in concert! (However, during the 43 minutes in the subway station, Bell noticed several children who obviously wanted to stop to listen, only to be hurried along by accompanying adults.)

Kathy Stinson, an award-winning Ontario children’s author best known for Red is Best, has told this story about music with words and prose that seems to rise and soar like the notes of a song, using long and short sentences, alliteration and other literary devices. Dusan Petricic’s striking illustrations, done in graphite and watercolor, aptly compliment this outstanding picture book

** Recommended for ages 4 to 8 years. 
 
Published in the Stratford Gazette on May 29. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

    

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