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The Man With the Violin Hardcover – August 8, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Annick Press; 1ST edition (August 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554515653
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554515653
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 10.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Children and adults should both read this book, for it affirms the former while chastising the latter—like Dylan and his mother, there are plenty of children who pay attention while adults do not. Loosely based on the true story of Joshua Bell, who played his Stradivarius in a D.C. train station and was barely noticed, this begins with Dylan noticing and being quite moved. The music stays with Dylan, coloring his drab day and, to his utter delight, reappearing on the radio later on. The story is simple, but the language has its own musicality, replete with alliteration, onomatopoeia, and sentences that linger and float, abruptly halt, and quickly resume. Petricic’s gorgeous illustrations in graphite and watercolor are as light and lucid as they are satirical. Featureless, careworn adults drift through life, while Dylan’s world is always transformed by Bell’s music into a rainbow of color and imagination. This reminds us all to look at the world through the eyes of children and be delighted by the serendipitous moments that surround us. Grades K-1. --Amina Chaudhri

Review

There's plenty to ponder in this melodious tale. It's a story that's bound to get kids thinking about the importance of listening. And, of course, the power of music. (Julie Hale Book Page 2013-08-21)

I think it's very important that we all pay attention to this wonderful book! (Sally Bender Sal's Fiction Addiction 2013-08-28)

Here's a much-needed reminder that we all need to slowwwwwwwwwww down. (Terry Hong Smithsonian BookDragon 2013-08-11)

This compelling story has a clear message for young and old, and features an inspiring young talent as a role model. It also provides the possibility of an enriched read aloud experience thanks to the links provided for musical accompaniment. The Man with the Violin captures the reader's imagination just as the violinist's music enthralls its young protagonist. This story reminds us that there is much in life to appreciate, if we can just pay attention. (Robin Sales Canadian Children's Book News 2013-12-01)

A brilliant portrayal of the sensitivities of children and the sad loss of that wonder by most adults... [In] 2007, [Joshua] Bell played his 1713 Stradivarius for transit goers for 45 minutes. Only 7 of over a thousand people stopped to watch...[but] every single time a child walked past, he or she tried to stop and watch. And every single time, a parent scooted the kid away. Kathy Stinson takes this astounding demographic and tells the story of a child who becomes enthralled by the music that he hears as his mother pulls him along on her way to work... Only when he hears the same music on the radio can Dylan get his mother's attention and take her along on his magical musical ride... Kathy Stinson's simple but powerful representation [is a] convincing message of the capacity of music to enrich our lives and the wisdom of children that is too often and too easily disregarded. (Helen K CanLit for Little Canadians 2013-09-05)

In the hands of such skilful creators, who have many books to their credit, this captivating tale is a beautiful balance between a simple but powerful text and illustrations that are full of vitality and rhythm. (Reesa Cohen CM Magazine 2013-10-04)

The drawings almost dance off the page. (Mary Lavers Cozy Little Book Journal 2013-10-10)

This is a phenomenal book. (goodreads.com 2013-10-01)

I want to read it over and over again. I want for others to read it. I want for schools and libraries to use it to teach music appreciation. I want it to get attention, lots of attention, because that's what it deserves. (Reading and Sharing 2013-10-01)

This book is a celebration of music and a great reminder to take the time to appreciate beauty that surrounds us. An interesting account of the real event is provided at the back. This was such an interesting story and one that I can see would be the starting point for some excellent class discussions. I can't wait to share this with my students. Love it! (Readingpowergear.com 2013-09-02)

This is a fine reminder of the old adage to stop and smell the roses, and a good impetus for a discussion of using one's powers of observation. (Grace Oliff School Library Journal 2013-10-00)

There's a lot to see in here--for your child and you, both. (Terri Schlichenmeyer Simcoe County 2013-10-14)

This book allows children and adults alike to appreciate little day-to-day wonders, to find solace in a rushed world, and to discover the joys of music. (ABQLA Bulletin (Quebec Library Association) 2013-12-00)

This important picture book will remind each of us to enjoy and savor our surroundings. (National Parenting Publications Award Gold Winner 2013-01-00)

The Man With the Violin--a beautiful new children's book worth cherishing this season--is based on a true story. (Vi-An Nguyen Parade 2013-12-02)

Stinson's melodious descriptions and Petricic's colourful swirls seem to envelop the reader, captivating them just like the music captivates Dylan. (Jen Bailey Readerly, National Reading Campaign 2014-01-28)

Customer Reviews

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Music speaks to everyone in some way or other...some listen and some don't.
Janice Card
This is the story of one little boy who was inspired by the music even though everyone around him barely even noticed.
Dragon_ball_dub
The author and illustrator did a wonderful job in creating a lasting story in music appreciation for all ages.
Mary Ann McKay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Sherry Ellis VINE VOICE on October 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dylan, like most little boys, is a kid who notices things: mismatched boots, an upside down newspaper, a cat eating a bone, and a backwards number "5." His mom, like most grown-ups, notices very little. She rushes through life, going from place to place, trying to get through an endless list of things to do. When Dylan and his mom go into a crowded subway station, Dylan hears beautiful music. It's coming from a violinist. He wants to stop and listen, but of course Mom is too busy for that. She whisks him home, and only much later realizes what a wonderful thing she has missed.

The Man with the Violin is based on the true story of an experiment that violinist, Joshua Bell, did in a Washington D.C. subway station. The story is told in a charming way with language a child would enjoy. Words like, "grr-rumble," and "ro-o-oar," and "patter, " and "clatter," bring sounds to life throughout the book. Probably the strongest aspect of the book is the illustrations. Illustrator, Dusan Petricic visually creates the sounds of music through swirling, colorful lines, and the noise of the station is depicted as sharp, angular, dark lines. Also, the objects Dylan observes, are cleverly illustrated in color while what the mother observes is drawn in dull, boring shades of gray. Children will enjoy picking out the humorous items, such as the mismatched boots, and seeing the splotches of color on things Dylan has noticed.

While the story is written for children, the inherent lesson in the book is one that would most benefit the adults reading it. Namely, that one should not rush through life, but rather pause to enjoy it.

The Man with the Violin is a book that would appeal to children ages 4-8.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Janice Card on November 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nicely done! The artwork enhanced the text. The event was worth recording in book form. Bringing out how observant children are and how we adults let many fine things pass us by were important points to bring out. Music speaks to everyone in some way or other...some listen and some don't. Maybe this little treasure will encourage more observation and appreciation for the wonderful things that surround us.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dragon_ball_dub on September 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I will go ahead and give this 5/5 because there is no real way to improve on the story with loosing the child-friendly appeal.

once upon a time famous violinist Joshua Bell participated in an experiment where he played in a NY subway and pretty much no one payed any attention. (with a few exceptions of course.)

This is the story of one little boy who was inspired by the music even though everyone around him barely even noticed. It is a simple story that can be read to kid or used as a teaching tool.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Knapp on October 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Many adults already know this story: Joshua Bell played his violin in a subway station and the busy adults just walked on by. Sad to say, i would have probably been one of those busy adults, maybe thinking "That's pretty!" but focused on my mental "to do" list and what to make for dinner. The illustrations bring the simply-told story alive, with a good use of black and white for the hurried masses, and bright colors for the music and those who take the time to notice. The brief endnotes tell more about Joshua Bell and his subway music experiment. If it had been possible to include a free link to listen to a brief bit of the music, that would have really added to my enjoyment. There is a URL given at the back of the book, to iTunes, to down load complete songs for 99 cents each.

Overall, a sweet choice for kids who love music, or an adult who needs to be reminded to stop and smell the roses (or listen to the musical notes!)
About me: I'm a middle school/high school librarian
How I got this book: Review copy sent to me by the publisher
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Judie C May on June 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great back story. Loved the illustrations, but just felt let down by the reading of it. It felt staccato in its presentation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Honest John on December 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got the kindle version and it really doesn't work. The story is great and the illustrations are awesome but the writer and illustrator have been seriously let down by print-based thinking. One would have thought that such a large publishing house would have been able to manage the transition from paper to electronic but very obviously not. I actually plan to get the paper version so that I can enjoy it properly.
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Format: Hardcover
This purchase was a good reminder of the downside of shopping online. If I'd seen this in a bookstore and flipped through it, I would've put it back on the shelf. Somebody's blog somewhere said it had great illustrations (the main reason I buy picture books regardless of what I think of the story) and I believed them. But in comparison to the 150 or so picture books that I already have, the artwork is well below average.

And the premise, although a true story, is just a little bit silly. All this experiment proves is that people walking through a Metro Station have somewhere else to be, that's the only reason they're in the Metro Station in the first place. People don't tend to hang out there just to listen to music. Those most likely to stop would be the children, they aren't going to have to explain to their bosses that listening to a free concert was more important than getting to work on time.
The little boy in the story has a hard time hearing the music above all the regular train station noise. No kidding. That's one reason why it doesn't shock me that people pay over $100 a seat to hear Mr. Bell play at Carnegie Hall but don't "appreciate" hearing a priceless Stradivarius playing in a train station.

"Open your eyes and ears to notice the beauty around you" is a nice message and all, but not how I would summarize this book. "There's a time and place for everything" is more like.

It gets some stars because -spoiler alert of sorts- I do like that the mother listened to her son and stopped what she was doing to spend time with him enjoying something he thought was important.
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