Inspired by my friend, Carole Smith, at McCheek’s Academy, who adored this book as a child and whose own art has obviously been influenced by the illustrations found in the book, I ordered last week. I was not disappointed and neither was my older daughter, who is the youngest member of the Houston Youth Symphony.
Sorry, shameless Mom brag, but this book is about a violin that changes everyone’s perspective on how they perceive life and often my daughter, an enthusiastic violin player, talks about how music changes everything. From moods to how one perceives the world, she believes that anyone who is sad can be uplifted when they hear Orange Blossom Special and that a beautiful lullaby can captivate even the smallest child. She loves her violin and even takes it on our family vacations.
This book stresses just that. It is a wonderful tale about a man named Patrick who marches into town to buy a violin with his only silver piece. As he leaves town and sits by a pond and begins to play, extraordinary things begin to happen. Fish begin to sing, dance and even change color.
Children pop on by and their hair bands and shoelaces grow into huge bows. They follow Patrick like a Pied Piper and watch as apple trees’ leaves change into an assortment of colors and begin to grow pears, cakes and other treats.
As the story continues birds’ feathers grow fancier, cows’ spots change to stars and even a tramp change colors and his pipe becomes a sparkler once Patrick’s music touches it. In fact, everything is more beautiful once it has had the opportunity to listen to Patrick’s violin.
He even rescues a tinker from death’s door once he serenades him. After saving the tinker, the children, the tramp and the entire menagerie ride back into town, friends for life!
This book is slightly old fashioned, but that is what makes it so charming. It is a quick read and the gorgeous illustration will inspire art work for years to come.
It is a must have for any budding musician or artist in the house! Quentin Blake, who did the illustrations for many Roald Dahl books, has several other books. I would love to see them all published in an anthology!