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The Magic Violin Paperback – Large Print, October 12, 2007
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Top customer reviews
When Melina and her family are out at the Grand Place, a beautiful old plaza, she hears “Winter,” the Vivaldi piece she’s been trying to learn. An old woman, with the same emerald ring her teacher wears, is playing on the plaza. When Melina meets the violinist, she sees an amazing thing—a hamster playing “Winter” on a tiny violin! Melina is told if she wishes on a shooting star on Christmas Eve, her wish will come true.
This delightful story has magical and mysterious elements. The most important idea is that if you believe in yourself, the impossible becomes possible. Melina believes her violin has become magical, but the real power or magic is in her dedication to learning and playing well, and then experiencing the joy in accomplishing her goal.
Once again, K.C. Snider’s beautiful illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to this magical story. The warmth and joy of the Christmas season are evident on every page. This story, a wonderful collaboration between author and artist, makes you want to pack up and go to The Grand Place to experience such a magical Christmas. Highly recommended for ages 5 to 9.
A surprise is in store for Melina that Christmas Eve in the plaza, one which will change her life. Children and adults will love the magical realism of this gentle tale. At the same time, they will be inspired by it to have confidence in themselves, and to try hard to achieve a worthy goal by their own efforts. There is a sweetness in the story which will draw children and their parents and grandparents to read it again and again.
The lovely illustrations of K.C. Snider enhance the narrative, and engage the reader. The cover depicting the Grand Place is particularly descriptive and lovely. Mayra Calvani writes fluently and well. This book will be a joy and an inspiration to any child who is learning to play a musical instrument, or who is working hard to achieve any difficult goal.
Review by Douglas Quinn, Author of Blue Heron Marsh, etal [[...]
and Donna Higgins Colson, Professional Artist [[...]
The Magic Violin carries a necessary message and conveys an important lesson for everyone, no matter what discipline, whether child or adult. There is no easy path to what one wants to accomplish, in this case, the mastery of a musical instrument. Hard work and practice brings improvement. This reality is often a difficult concept for children to grasp.
We enjoyed the setting in Belgium, as it's also important that children learn about the world outside of their own area of personal experience. That said, while the introduction of the cute hamster under the old woman's hat was whimsical and fun, we didn't understand the hamster's purpose. Perhaps, if the hamster had been shown peeking out from behind the metronome in the illustration that appeared near the end on page 22, it would have worked better for us. Also, the way the story ended left us a little non-plussed. We believe that the message of the story needed to be reinforced at the end, rather than making the focal point the idea that the old woman and the child's violin instructor might be one in the same person.
As for the art, we felt the story and illustrations flowed well together. We found the cover illustration to be well done and delightful-magical, in fact. Which made the interior illustrations more of a disappointment, as they come across to the viewer as pleasant but somewhat wooden.
Overall, because of the important lesson it conveys, we would recommend The Magic Violin for the targeted 5 to 8 age range.
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