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When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky: Two Artists, Their Ballet, and One Extraordinary Riot Hardcover – March 5, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547907257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547907253
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 10 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 3-Composed with much alliterative, musical language, and onomatopoeia, this narrative flows beautifully, telling the story of the friendship and collaboration between composer Igor Stravinsky and dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. Focusing on the changes to their work and personal styles that resulted from their meeting to the culmination of their efforts, the ballet The Rite of Spring, the story conveys their composition process in a lively, upbeat fashion, with a percussive vocabulary. This book would be the perfect accompaniment in music lessons exploring the 100th anniversary of the famous work, and may inspire young musicians to create their own and definitely different work. Children may be surprised to learn about the commotion the composition caused, and the riotous ballet is sure to catch their attention. Vibrantly colored illustrations, inspired by Matisse and Picasso, of the musical notes, instruments, and dancers depicted, enhance the tone of the story and complement the text well. A detailed note from the author, complete with photographs, provides interesting background information about Stravinsky, Nijinsky, and The Rite of Spring.-Alison Donnelly, Collinsville Memorial Public Library, ILα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* One of the problems with musician biographies for younger kids is that they are usually not familiar with the artists or their sounds. Words and art have to work together to give a sense of the music and be invigorating enough that readers will want to seek it out themselves. That’s where this book excels. The title and the bright cover will initially grab kids: Stravinsky at the piano; Nijinsky posing; both framed by a rainbow of musicians, dancers, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and more. Inside, the text has a beat all its own as it first introduces the two men and how they worked alone, while noting that they both dreamed of something different. Their collaboration brought the world The Rite of Spring (They took Russian folk dances and Russian songs / they squared them and flattened them, twisted and cubed them / turning them into something different and new), which opened to a riot in Paris during its premier. The acrylic artwork captures the innovation, the noise, and the excitement in swirling, whirling images crowded with color and movement. Jumbled faces and bodies, reminiscent of those found in Toulouse Lautrec’s posters, add to the mix. This one will make kids want to sit down and listen to the music for themselves. Grades 2-4. --Ilene Cooper

More About the Author

Lauren Stringer is an artist, author, and theatrical designer living in Minneapolis, MN. Her first illustrated picture book, Mud, written by Mary Lyn Ray, won a Minnesota Book Award, IRA Children's Choice, and Crayola Kids Best Book of the Year. She has illustrated many award-winning picture books, including Scarecrow and Snow, both by Cynthia Rylant, Fold Me A Poem, by Kristine O'Connell George, Our Family Tree, an Evolution Story, by Lisa Westberg Peters, The Princess and Her Panther, by Wendy Orr, and Tell Me About Your Day Today, by Mem Fox. She own Winter is the Warmest Season was a Booklist Editor's Choice. Her newest book, When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky, Two Artists, Their Ballet, and One Extraordinary Riot, was awarded the McKnight Fellowship for Children's Literature.

Customer Reviews

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See all 9 customer reviews
This is a great book to use in the music classroom.
Elizabeth Brewster
Besides the beautifully flowing and whimsical illustrations, this story shares a historical leap in music and dance that is easily understood by our youngest readers.
TyAnne Guida Rezac
At first it seems advanced for young children, but the story is simple and the illustrations are excellent.
safetysue

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By inthemusic on May 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The cover of this picture caught my eye due to it's recognizable traits of Stravinsky, Najinsky and the period costumes in the rich illustrations. The drawings are perfect to reflect the dissonance and dynamics of the music. The illustrations are full of movement, energy and balanced structure that make the composition and choreography leap from the pages. This is not an easy task to pull off. Lauren Stringer also has a great ear for rhythm and rhyme. Families who love the arts will enjoy this book as a fun way to introduce their young children to the history of 20th Century art produced by Russians who came to the West. Two major figures were Igor Stravinsky and Vaslav Nijinsky, both of whom were linked to Sergei Diaghilev's Ballet Russes, but later went on to attain greater fame. This book is a great addition to a family's children's book library as it celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first performance of the Rite of Spring at the Theatre des Champs Elysee.

I really appreciated the authenticity of the costume illustrations for both the Rite of Spring and Petrushka. This attention to detail is extended to cubist paintings, textiles and stage sets from the short, but rich life of the Ballet Russes which are part of the illustrations. It is clear that Lauren Springer has a love and eye for performance arts and seeks to bring that to young children without compromise. It is clear that a great deal of research and effort went into the creation of this book.

My only objection, and the reason I did not rate the book with 5 stars, is that I believe that the story of the Rite of Spring ballet and its creation would have been more appropriate for readers who are a little older.
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Format: Hardcover
At the American Library Association’s mid-winter Conference last month I spotted this new book on the famous Russian composer and choreographer and their collaboration for “The Rite of Spring” in the children’s section and recently got a copy.

The author – who wrote both the text and did the colorful illustrations – comes from a musical family. Her husband is a composer and her daughter is a choreographer. (I got this info from the inside back flap of the book jacket.).
There are not many words (barely 200) in the core text in this slim 32-page book. The author is trying to point out that both these famous erarly-20th century Russians were pushing the boundaries of “art” in introducing the “new” sounds and dance styles to a new audience in Paris.

Two pages at the end of the book are all text and include a “Note from the Author” explaining why she chose the subject (she was at a concert of “the Rite of Spring” and saw a photo of the two Russians), as well as bios of both men. She goes on to explain that the colorful illustrations on the previous pages were inspired by famous art works of the period. There is also a list of "Sources".

For someone who wants to introduce their young children to the arts, this could be a good incentive, though I have to admit that it Stravinsky’s music is not the most “accessible” music for children.

I hope that you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
“Anything Phonographic”
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Sack VINE VOICE on October 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Stravinsky and Nijusky are two different artist with very different visions. When the work together to create a ballet "The Rite of Spring" they aren't sure how it will go over. Opening night is met with mixed reviews. It creates a huge ruckus and music and dance was forever changed. This was the start of the modern dance movement.

Great for reading during a lesson on the fine arts!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jacquelyn Schaffer on October 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love the incorporation of all the arts; music, visual and dance! Illustrations are colorful and beautiful and very well done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By safetysue on September 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great little book. At first it seems advanced for young children, but the story is simple and the illustrations are excellent. This is going to my 4 yr. old grandson. Though his favorite composer is now Mozart, it may change to Stravinsky!
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