This gorgeous picture book is based on the true story of Joshua Bell, the renowned American violinist who famously took his instrument down into the Washington D.C. subway for a free concert. More than a thousand commuters rushed by him, but only seven stopped to listen for more than a minute. In The Man with the Violin, bestselling author Kathy Stinson has woven a heart-warming story that reminds us all to stop and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.
"In January of 2007, over a thousand people heard me play my violin in the L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station in Washing ton, D.C. But very few actually listened," writes musician Joshua Bell in a postscript to a picture book based on that event. According to Bell, a few children tried to stay and listen, but were hustled along by their parents which is exactly what happens to a (fictional) boy in this story. "Dylan was someone who noticed things," writes Stinson (Red Is Best). Petricic (Mr. Zinger's Hat) provides a wonderful visual representation of Dylan's attentiveness as boy and mother dash through the dull, gray metro station. White contrails streak behind them, and Dylan's highlights colorful objects and people that have caught his eye (his mother's contrail, meanwhile is blank). Swirls of colors show how Bell's music enchants Dylan, and at times the boy is literally born aloft by the music he hears and remembers. In a world of sounds that aren't always as pleasant as a Stradivarius, Stinson and Petricic remind readers young (and especially old) to stop and listen to the arpeggios. Ages 5 8.
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There is no attribution for the music being played. Is it Mr. Bell? This is a cute story. I wish my parents had let me learn the violin when I wanted to rather than several years later! Maybe this story will encourage parents to listen to their kids. This is not worth $9.99, worth about $0.99