The Dance of the Violin

illus. by Dušan Petričić. 32p. Annick. Mar. 2017. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781554519002.
PreS-Gr 3—With music in his heart, a little boy named Joshua turns pots into drums, cardboard tubes into a trumpet, and rubber bands into a guitar. His parents buy him a violin, and when he first plays it, a twinkling star appears above his head; when he finally learns other songs, whole stories pour from his violin. Soon, Joshua is begging to learn a difficult piece of music for a competition where the winner performs with "an orchestra!" Magical realism is at its best in this delightful picture book about a boy, his violin, and his love of music. The pencil and watercolor illustrations dance across the page whenever Joshua thinks about or plays music. Colors swirl, loop, and squiggle. When Joshua plays very fast, or prestissimo, the music spills out of the violin in sharp overlaid lines, hiding him behind a cloud of color. The crescendo of the narrative comes when the boy makes an error during the competition and must decide if his mistakes will stop him from playing. This is a fictionalized account of how world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell got his start in music and how he lost and found his confidence.
VERDICT An excellent addition to most collections and a great read-aloud for storytimes with a music theme.

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