From the Publisher
AWARDS and RECOGNITIONS
Children's Crown Award Reading Programs, Children's Gallery Award, NomineeInternational Reading Association-Children's Book Council Joint Committee, Children's Choices (2008)Storytelling World, Honor Book (2009)PEN Center USA, Finalist, Children's Literature (2009)Kid's Wings, Award for Outstanding Literature (2009-2010)
Horn Book Guide
"This fictional account lyrically narrated in the composer's voice presents key moments in Antonio Vivaldi's life and musical career. . . Terra cotta-toned ink-line and watercolors, which accent Vivaldi's red hair, effectively depict Venetian landmarks. Musical notation decorates the endpapers. Recommended."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "The tension between spiritual and secular demands makes for an involving story, and Shefelman's smooth telling does it justice. . . Listeners who are content with a broadly imagined, biographically inspired tale may be pleased with both the domestic drama and Tom Shefelman's watercolor tour along the canals and through the churches and palaces of Venice."
Kirkus Reviews "Fetching introduction to one of the great masters of the Baroque era."
Publishers Weekly "The first-person narration offers an accessible and personable view of Vivaldi's intense passion for music. . . A noteworthy picture book biography."
Sacramento Bee "This fact-based story of the famous musician from Venice will hold young imaginations."
Chicago Tribute "Acknowledging the few facts we have about Antonio Vivaldi, Janice Shefelman makes us see not only the sickly little boy who became the famous composer but also the passionate power of music in this Venetian world. "
Children's Literature - Ken and Sylvia Marantz
Shefelman tells the story of the 17th century composer in the first person, beginning with his illness from birth. If God spares his life, his mother promises that he will become a priest. Not being healthy enough to play outside with the other children, Vivaldi studies the violin with his father. He loves playing and music and wants that to be his life. How he reconciles this with his duty to the priesthood is the rest of his story. Vivaldi becomes famous not only for his violin playing but also for the music he composed and for the orchestra of orphan girls that he trained. Venice, with its canals, ornate buildings, and the splendidly detailed church of San Marco with its busy plaza, is the romantic setting for the events. Interiors are given equal attention. The scene on the jacket/cover of Vivaldi playing his violin on a bridge over a canal with a gondola approaching sets the emotional tone. Music fills the endpapers, while a note separates fact from fiction. A glossary and added notes about Vivaldi's The Complete Four Seasons to encourage young music lovers are also included. Reviewer: Ken and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5- This fictionalized picture-book account of the composer's life is narrated by the young Vivaldi, beginning with his birth in Venice in 1678 during an earthquake. When his mother saw her newborn struggling for breath, she promised him to the priesthood, if only his life were spared. His father, a violinist, taught the child to play, acknowledging his love of music. At age 15, it was time to begin studying for the priesthood. Though he begged to pursue a career in music, his mother stood firm, and he eventually became known as the "Red Priest" because of his hair color. When he rushed from Mass to write down some musical notes, the Cardinal relieved him of his duties. He was ordered to teach violin to a group of orphan girls, who held concerts in the chapel. Vivaldi wrote The Four Seasons for them. The realistic pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations portray Venice's canals, the crowded piazza, San Marco, and interior scenes of the boy at home with his family. One dramatic spread of the countryside features Zephyr, Notus, Boreas, and Eurus-the four seasons, each blowing from a corner. An afterword, "Fact & Fiction," identifies the historical facts of the subject's life, including his decline in popularity and death, "poor and forgotten." The narration is straightforward and sometimes humorous.-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.