Monday, August 4, 2014

The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson, A Review ★★★★★


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Book Description

"Who is playing that beautiful music in the subway? And why is nobody listening?"

This gorgeous picture book is based on the true story of Joshua Bell, the renowned American violinist who famously took his instrument down into the Washington D.C. subway for a free concert. More than a thousand commuters rushed by him, but only seven stopped to listen for more than a minute. In "The Man With the Violin," bestselling author Kathy Stinson has woven a heart-warming story that reminds us all to stop and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.

Dylan is someone who notices things. His mom is someone who doesn't. So try as he might, Dylan can't get his mom to listen to the man playing the violin in the subway station. But Dylan is swept away by the soaring and swooping notes that fill the air as crowds of oblivious people rush by. With the beautiful music in his head all day long, Dylan can't forget the violinist, and finally succeeds in making his mother stop and listen, too.

Vividly imagined text combined with illustrations that pulse with energy and movement expertly demonstrate the transformative power of music. With an afterword explaining Joshua Bell's story, and a postscript by Joshua Bell himself.


I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.  I also borrowed the print version from my library.  Here is my honest review.

A sweet story with a message for all of us to slow down a little and notice things. As with most picture books, it is the art that captures our eye; Petričić has done a phenomenal job with this book. Despite being a 2D flat picture, one can sense movement and hear sound. It's incredible. 

Worth noting: a notice on the back states: "A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to a charity that promotes engagement with music among young people." 

As a mom, I think this is a book we should read often to remind us to pause with our children and discover the world around them. It is so new to them and we have a chance to see the world through new eyes again. As a teacher, this is a book that I would definitely want in my classroom library. It would make a wonderful book to build a writing/illustrating unit around. It is also a great example of a fiction work based on a true event (non-fiction). 

This is a book that I will be adding to our bookshelf.  I believe this book will become a classic.

This book has won numerous awards; you can view the entire list of awards and nominations on the publisher's page.

I gave this book: 

★ = I did not like it     ★ = It was okay     ★ = I liked it    
★ = I really liked it     ★ = I loved it

Want to Know More?

Book Trailer

Or watch on youTube here

Dušan Petričić, Illustrator

Joshua Bell, The Man with the Violin

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